As much as I enjoy Christmas, lately I have been really excited about New Year's Day. The possibility of hitting the reset button and getting a fresh start beats any gift anyone could get me. However, the word 'resolution' has always reminded me of unrealistic expectations and predetermined disappointments. Which is why for the past three years my girlfriends and I changed our perspective on New Year's resolutions and began doing vision boards instead. It allowed me to keep focus on my goals by literally visualizing them.
One of the major goals I set on my 2014 vision board was to live an organic lifestyle. Knowing that this could be an overwhelming task, I began with simple baby steps. First, by buying organic fruits and vegetables on sale, then expanding to non-perishable items. By the end of the year, it had evolved to include 75% of all the food we bought for home. I was super proud of this achievement and decided to take it a step further. This Christmas I would shop sustainable garbs, organic and/or Made in USA.
The previous Christmas season I had practiced by making all of my girlfriend's gifts myself. However, this year I wanted to take it to the next level by including all family gifts. I realized I didn't have the time to 'make' the gifts so instead I opted to hit one of my favorite department stores. Sadly, I couldn't find any suitable gift that was Made in the USA. Not-a-single-item! Zero, zip, nada! Over 95% of all clothing was made in China. Even the few (and I mean very, very few) items that were organic or sustainable, were made overseas.
With a mix of sadness and anger, I returned home disappointed that in an entire department store I couldn't find something that met my criteria. Then it came to me what my senior yoga teacher always says “expectations are premeditated resentments”. I shouldn't have expected to find those items there. Had all the experience of years of Christmas shopping disappeared? What was I thinking? I wasn't thinking, that was the problem.
I realized that even as I wrote a blog about Thoughts on Gratitude and Conscious Online Shopping, PuraKai's Best Sustainable Gifts: Holiday Edition and Top 7 Sustainable Online Boutiques, my old shopping habit of 'going to the mall' remains very much ingrained. I should have known better. So in that humble moment I followed my own advise (don't you hate it when you don't?!), to shop in a sustainable online boutique. I went on PuraKai.com and out of 12 family gifts, I found 8, that is a successful shopping day in my book. In addition, some of the purchases supported non-profit causes and that is a win-win in itself.
Everyone was super happy with their gifts. My sister and sisters-in-law got hemp dresses, while the boys got organic cotton shirts. Lesson learned, right? Not so fast! Ironically, the week after Christmas I wanted to get some new organic yoga clothing and guess where I went??? The darn department store again!! As I looked over and over tags of clothes to find out where they were made and what they were made of, it hit me again. I got out of the store without a single item, but this time I had a smile on my face.