Small Life, Slow Life: On Cravings & Leaning in to What You Really Want

I’m obligated to express here that the opinions of this blog are my own and in no way are endorsed/shared by lululemon athletica. kthxbye!

The No Limits Tank is out in Pow Purple.

I saw it being pulled out of boxes in the backroom and squealed. “Ohhh,” I sighed, letting it drip through my fingers, “I have to have it. I’m buying it!”

That being said, I felt the same way/said the same thing about the Pack Your Practice bag in Pow Purple. For days, I played with it – cinching it up, stretching it out, imaging all the cool things I’d put in the pockets. Sure, the bag I have right now is really great, but this  bag…!

“Hold on,” I thought. “This is the same thing you do whenever anything cool comes out in a new color.”

The Pack Your Practice bag in Pow Purple. Do I need it? Only as much as I thought I needed the last bag I bought.

So I put the bag down, only to be ensnared a few days later by the Define Jacket in Pow Purple. Never mind that it’s in the triple-digits here and I won’t wear the thing until December.

We get new product every week. And because I work for an amazing company, it’s always exciting. I watch as my coworkers’ eyes become gleaming and lust-filled like my own. It’s a wonder any of us takes a paycheck home.

I didn’t end up buying the bag or the jacket. I still think about them, but I can remember that I also felt this way about the water bottle in purple, the No Limits Tank in Pow Pink, and the Run Inspire Crop in black – the only difference is, I bought all of those.

And I am no happier.

Do I love the stuff I bought? Sure. It’s no secret that lululemon makes fantastic garments and accessories. But what happens after I take these items home and use them a couple of times?

I forget all about them.

Does this sound like you?

Oh, craving, how I love thee. You are such an apt teacher wrapped up in gobs of wanting.

Even I, who have lost all of my material possessions not once, but twice (weird ex-boyfriend situation), can forget that material stuff ain’t where it’s at. My man and I keep our living space super sparse, and we love it that way. We have a rule – for each and every thing we buy, we have to get rid of something else. It works great, cleaning takes a manner of minutes, and we’re never digging through oodles of stuff trying to find that one thing we’re looking for. Well, most of the time. (I chronically lose things. Sigh.)

So here’s the thing I realized.

A few weeks ago, there was a little snafu with my cell phone and I was without service for four days. It was only supposed to be one day, but as things go with Mercury Retrograde life, it was a full four.

First, no one died. Not even me. When I had wifi access, I was able to text other iPhone users (thanks for sticking it to my cell phone company, Apple!) or email them. No one wondered if I’d been hurt and it was pretty easy to get a hold of me. You know, in the old days, if there was an emergency, people would just call their loved ones at work. Or home. Or drive to their house. Or send a pigeon! Whatever! Everyone who needed me, got me.

On day 2, I was a little antsy. I couldn’t check twitter or play Draw Something. My texts went off into some beautiful void somewhere, never to be received by me. My facebook feed went unchecked.

But once I got used to not having a phone, something very interesting happened. My brain seemed to decide: “Hmm, I can’t crave to be instantly connected anymore. So…I guess I’ll just crave other stuff.”

Over those four days, I had weirder food cravings than I’ve had in a year. Vegetarian chili on a 100-degree day? Uh, yeah – that’s weird. I also craved getting manicures, seeing movies, playing video games, reading magazines I haven’t kept up with since my twenties, tearing through my storage unit to find old books, and I wanted to make lots and lots of material purchases. (Ahem – No Limits Tank in Pow Pink.)

I tweeted about this weird thing that happened to me:

It wasn’t like I stumbled on rocket science. We’ve become creatures of immense activity. Due to our influx of technology, our brains are amassing so much more information that we ever used to, so now a minute of downtime feels like an hour in downward facing dog – unbearable.

Boredom seems to be public enemy #1. What will happen if we eat lunch on our own with no one to talk to? What will happen if our phones stop working? What will happen if we have time to kill and the internet is down?

Will we die? No, we’ll just have to think about stuff. And by golly, that could be uncomfortable!

Boredom/Discomfort = The same thing, sweetness. And chances are, you’re avoiding it too.

How did the story end?

Oh, No Limits Tank in Pow Pink – why didn’t you make me eternally happy?

My phone came back to life, a little to my disappointment – because on days 3 and 4, I sat outside on my breaks and just lazily watched people walk by. I read a good chunk of Atlas Shrugged (I’ll spare you my thoughts on that for some other time, but suffice to say that a super pro-capitalism book didn’t do a lot for my material cravings). I went for walks while listening to music. I sat around in cafes and secretly rejoiced that no one could get in touch with me. I thought about things and made lists.

It was nice.

But that’s not to say my cravings stopped.

I find that if I lean into the craving, if I’m patient enough to ask myself – “Hey, what’s really going on here?” – I can find out some pretty useful info.

Example 1 – My cravings for sugar are cravings for sweetness (emotional). Aka, happiness.

Example 2 – My cravings for cute clothing are so that I feel special. I want to bound out of the house in an exuberant mood because the color purple I’m wearing literally makes me feel happier. (Note – my pink No Limits Tank that I already own does the same thing.)

Example 3 – My cravings for insta-communication is because, underneath it all, I long to feel even more and more connected.

Happiness, special-ness, connection. We want these things because they’re integral components of a fulfilled life.

And the secret (which is not so secret at all) is: You don’t need to buy, update, scroll or eat your way to any of those things. They’re yours by birthright. 

So the next time you want to get some (sex, snacks or new gear), try going out there and making some (happiness, sweetness, connection).

What do you find yourself craving? What’s it really about?

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