Shopping used to be how I coped with the negative emotions I experienced in life. I remember the day I dropped $100 at a shop after booking and then losing a dance job. On the day of our first rehearsal, I discovered the director wanted different girls, and I lost the job the same day. The choreographer wasn’t the kindest, to say the least, and offered no ease with this transition. I was heartbroken and devastated. So I called my agent, cried in my car, and went shopping immediately afterwards.
I also shopped when I was bored, needed “inspiration”, had free time, or was struggling with my own insecurities. These insecurities came with the territory in the Hollywood entertainment industry. It’s sad to say, but no one is exempt from the pressures of looking perfect in this business.
Shopping seemed to be the best solution for my emotional instability, but it was only a mask for what I truly needed to focus upon.
When I decided to pay off my $20,000 of debt after getting married, I knew I also needed to dig deeper in terms of why shopping was my addiction. I also needed to determine whether I wanted a temporary solution to my negative emotions or something long lasting. Having new things was only exciting in the moment of collecting them.
When I brought new items home after shopping, they instantly felt dull. That’s why I went shopping again. I was unconsciously making choices with how and why I spent money. I was also driven by sales, pieces that did nothing for my wardrobe, items that made my home appear more cluttered, and beauty products that did nothing for my self esteem.
When you work in entertainment, and also around brands whose goal is to make you feel that you need their products to be happy, sexy, loved, etc., you also get an inside glimpse of some of the marketing propaganda. I’ve seen a lot, experienced a lot, and have witnessed what others view as “oh so glamorous” that really isn’t.
Taking back my power began when I started my journey of simple conscious living.
On this journey I found my own voice versus being a puppet of the entertainment industry or society. It all began with decluttering. I needed to consciously witness how my shopping was manifesting in my home in addition to my finances.
I had a closet full of nothing to wear, my skin was constantly breaking out despite my expensive skin care, my makeup was never quite right, and everyone else except me seemed to be booking more while having it all together. When you really get clear, you begin to see your own bulls*#% as well as the facade that others put on. Everyone deals with emotional/physical traumas and insecurities in life.
While decluttering I put myself on a debt payment plan. I started creating capsule wardrobes, and I began focusing more on beauty from the inside out. I had no idea at the time the extent to which healing my body from the inside out would allow my skin to be free of a five-step skin care regimen, and help my hair grow healthier.
To be completely honest, I started focusing primarily on healing my mental, emotional, and physical body.
The more I healed, the more confident I became. The more I healed, the more I understood my true self worth. The more I healed, the better I felt about myself aside from what I owned. I have friends who have so much more than I, but I don’t feel a need to compare or envy them because I’ve learned to love myself during this journey.
Self love has nothing to do with popularity or how much you have.
If it did your self love would immediately vanish if those two things disappeared. Self love is more about honoring your sense of self and creating necessary boundaries so that others do the same. Once you allow yourself to live by the beat of your own drum, and discover what truly is important in your life, it is nearly impossible to want to go back to your old addictive ways.
My life beyond being a shopaholic began with admitting I had this addiction, taking my power back by decluttering, paying off my debt, then focusing on healing my emotional, mental, and physical body. I shared more on emotional detoxing/decluttering as well as physical detoxing on Minimalist Beauty. I’ve also written about learning how to be your own nutritionist. Proper nutrition will instantly change the appearance of your skin, hair, and body.
Beauty and peace of mind truly do begin from the inside out!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)