Strolling through our local supermarket today, i tend to get a little lost by the myriad shelves of endless products for every facet of our existence. How is it possible to have 100 types of shampoo, or 20 types of toothpaste. Manufacturers are always bringing out a new and improved something or other to further complicate our lives by giving us more choices. I'm only talking about a small supermarket. Walk into any hypermarket and it gets even more complicated. A shampoo for every conceivable hair type, a toothpaste for every possible type of tooth or even lack of teeth. My feeling is that for the most part the product is the same, with very small differences. It's the marketing and branding that's different. Just another message, wrapped around the same product in order to underpin our need to be different. That somehow a certain toothpaste was made just for us. Shampoo is just shampoo ... even the most basic will do a good job of washing your hair, and there are those who don't use these products at all ! Some helpful recent studies have shown that washing your hair is actually damaging rather than cleansing and there are many studies that show perfectly healthy teeth without the use of any toothpaste. In fact by using and buying into the sales pitch we enter a cycle that's hard to escape, creating a dependency we have to keep funding, which is the whole point and purpose. Manufacturers don't make products because they like us ! They want us to depend on their products so that we continue to keep buying them.
One of the techniques i learned, many years ago was "mindfulness" simply put, its the ability to tune out everything that is peripheral and rest in the fundamentals. Drawing inwards, breathing, letting your mind find peace. Beyond that (in my own personal practice) removing the screams and shouts from a million sources, filtering out the constant stream of noise that simply going to a supermarket can generate. It's one of the most powerful techniques you can learn to find clean, pure thought. In some of my darkest and most challenging times, mindfulness helped me find a space in amongst the competing voices. Next time you visit a supermarket, take a few minutes to observe. Draw inwards and see how the world we live in can dominate our minds and how you can opt out no matter what your being sold. Or join me on one of my mindfulness courses.
Jimi Katz managing director of "Arkesise" a multidisciplinary centre of therapeutic excellence.
My place is here, now. What has gone before has informed my journey and fired my mission. My passion, is releasing my fellow journeymen to experience life with fresh eyes, a fresh beginning. Let's walk together for a time, lets open doors together, let's uncover our true selves.