Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Moment of Zen, brought to you by Pier 1

(Disclaimer- This blog is in no way affiliated with Pier 1 Imports. The views expressed within are solely my own...but if my blog makes you want to buy something, I'm more than willing to sell it to you!)

I had my feet anointed today.

No, no sinful women or long hair this time around. Rather I was moving these cute little reed diffusers from one shelf to another when I dropped one. Before I knew it I heard glass break, the scent of Spiced Pear filled the air, the floor was slippery and the caustic fragrant liquid was eating through the soles of my shoes. Ugggghhh.

For some reason lately my anxiety level has been a little elevated. I felt the all too familiar stress-tears well up in my eyes. But my manager, Heather, simply laughed, threw the broken diffuser away and grabbed some paper towels. What could have been a bad situation was quickly diffused (ha ha!) by a wonderful joy-filled co-worker. They're just things...insignificant in the long run.

It got me thinking about my materialism. I joke that everyday that I walk into the store, I spent my paycheck before I get it. I mentally spend it on dining room tables, sofas, dishes, candles and stem-ware...oh the stem-ware!

I believe it was Tyler Durden who once said -"The things you own end up owning you". So I took advantage of a slow day customer wise to reflect on why it is I find myself wanting all these things.

I realized it isn't the things themselves that I want. I know that having things won't make me happy, but it's the potential for situations I see myself in with the things that makes me happy. I want the experiences that go along with the possessions, to have the opportunities the things afford.

Allow me to clarify-

I see myself throwing dinner parties with close friends with fun plates and classy stem-ware. Vegan manicotti and a nice red wine perhaps? Maybe some homemade sushi and miso soup.
I want companionship and thought provoking conversation.

Not to mention all the Buddhas, which make me laugh at the absurdity of paying $150 for an image of someone who swore off his princely life and possessions (and it doesn't even look that authentic).
I want to surround myself with reminders of peace.

And as for the candles...well...I see them lit in intimate situations. When the second bottle of wine is open and the conversation is really good.
I'm craving and clinging to sensual pleasures...sue me. I never said I had this non-attachment thing down. ;-)

So maybe that's how I'll justify my work- I'm not selling things, I'm selling experiences.

Regardless, from now on I will take my time and use both hands when it comes to handling reed diffusers and life experiences. Things will break, life will go on and I will smell like Spiced Pear for the next few days.

Life is good.

PS: If you want to indulge my materialistic side, I'd absolutely love a picnic basket! There's one at Pier 1 called "Zen" (oh the irony) that I crave and cling to everyday. Come on, it's not a possession, it's an experience!


Themindtaker said...

One thing that I found quite interesting this year in my Buddhism class is that many Buddhists choose not to become full mendicant monks because they have other things they want to accomplish in this life. They live lives of material possessions trying not to gain negative karma in the process because they figure they're not in any rush to end their cycle of rebirth (by entering Nirvana). They can work toward enlightenment without truly planning on reaching it in this lifetime.

I don't think your flame was meant to be extinguished any time soon. The things you own may end up owning you, but perhaps some creature comforts can actually be a good thing in this life. Besides, a peanut butter, deviled eggs and champagne picnic would be perfectly accented with a Zen picnic basket. ;)

kourtney said...

Oh, Pier 1...
Try working at a shoe store... After working there for a week and staring at shoes I thought were ugly in the first few shifts, I have found some of them to be growing on me, and today I counted 40 pairs of shoes I wanted to buy. Of course, I won't buy them, but... umm... 40?! Haha. Pier 1 made me have too much shit. DSW will make me have too many shoes.

Ryan H. Paul said...

Oh the stem-ware. What ever happened to those champagne flutes? It seems we are on a similar page when it come to materialism. True, there are things I buy just to have but most of the time I buy stuff just as a catalyst for future experiences.

Movies definitely fall into that category. I don't buy movies to just have them sit on a shelf. Ultimately, I buy them so I can watch them with someone special, late at night, all curled up together. The other big thing would be the magic that I buy. I know you always thought I was buying it for myself, but really I bought all that stuff so I could show it to you and make you smile. It was my version of t-shirts with catchy phrases on them, or big posters of college plays.

Anyway, back to the point, buying stuff for the sake of buying stuff is no good. However, when accompanied by an amazing experience(i.e. champagne flutes), materialism isn't such a bad thing.


Simge said...

Oh! I've been looking everywhere to find the Zen Picnic Basket.
Can you PLEASE please inform me about it if you're still working there? (Wether pier 1 still has it or not as well as if it's a servis for 2 because in the picture it seems it's for 1.)

my mail is