Conspicious Consumption

January 14, 2015

I started taking a great Zumba class, but there I was in regular aerobic shoes. I looked around and most of the class had on cute, colorful shoes. It’s pretty hard to see the brand name or model type while people are jumping up and down, but I tried to figure out what model/style/brand was most popular. Then I went on-line and started a six-month journey into the world of shoes appropriate for Zumba. What I found during my personal journey are probably not isolated incidences. I’m sure that others have had similar experiences in trying to find shoes that not only fit properly, but are fit for the specific purpose.

ImageHere are just some of the situations that I got into.

We’re in an on-line world these days, so that’s where I started. I looked up reviews for Zumba shoes and found a few advertised. Then I read, read, read reviews and found no real agreement on which shoes were good or not. Some Zumba instructors loved one brand/style while some users disliked the very same shoes. Well, so much for individual tastes and feet. Then there was the buying experience. Perhaps the one pair was a lemon and just wasn’t made to the size, shape or material conformance that the other pair was held up to and thus the user had a different experience. Maybe it was a different factory that actually made that pair; after all, most of these aerobic shoes are made in China, Thailand, or some other part of Asia. There must be hundreds of factories with varying degrees of quality control.

I finally got to the point of jumping in, no pun intended, and bought a pair of PUMA’s with cell technology. They were very smart looking with a pink/orange wave of color and a rubbery cell bottom. Unfortunately this same bottom stuck to the wood floor and caused my ankles to hurt within the first month. I persevered nonetheless until I was in real pain, and then finally gave up.  At this point, the on-line store refused to take them back and referred me to the manufacturer who gave me a store credit. Their store site was more expensive which forced me (sort of) to select a more expensive pair of aerobic shoes in the hopes that if I spent even more money perhaps I would get a better result. The selected pair was even worse. Although touted as being wonderful for dance (Zumba is a kind of latin exercise), there was little to no arch support. Ok, I learned that I needed more support. Back these went and being new I got a full refund. I accepted that the first pair would just have to be worn for exercise other than Zumba.

Still determined to buy a pair of shoes suitable for Zumba, I tried again. I really like my New Balance walking shoes so I went on the NB website and a chat box opened asking me if I wanted help. Once I went down that rabbit hole I eventually called them and got a very nice man who told me about a shoe that NB was making just for Zumba. Really? He seemed very sincere when he told me that the staff was really into Zumba and developed this particular model after experience with taking classes. Ok, I thought, I’ve found the right shoe. Yes, but for me? I tried this one and although there wasn’t enough room at the toe to be called “too big”, as I walked I felt like I was walking on the tip of my toes (I could feel my toes on the ground as I walked). Guess you had to be there. Anyway, after two classes these shoes went back. Didn’t work for me. I felt really bad since I liked the shoe and I liked the salesman.

With each try I’m spending more and more money, going way over my normal limit for aerobic shoes. I was responding not only to advertising to buy the fancier models but also what I saw in my Zumba class – women who were also yielding to the so-called need for a feature rich shoe for a specific kind of exercise. Oh, if I only had stock in these companies that are producing bright pink, neo-green and bright orange-soled shoes for Zumba that cost $60 and up!

Try Again.

Except that these relatively expensive shoes didn’t fit me properly, hurt my feet, hurt my ankles, etc. In most cases I was able to return them after finding out that they didn’t work for me. But, it took a lot of my time. I finally decided that I needed to physically go to a store and try on shoes. Just when I planned to go to the nearby outlet, a friend suggested a low end department store that carried a selection of aerobic shoes for both men and women. There were some on sale, some that were brand names but mostly not what I’d seem at my gym classes. Previously, I was aiming at a cross-trainer based on the reviews. However, I decided to change my approach and use my own judgment. What a concept? I simply looked at the bottom of a shoe with a solid sole, good arch support, and reasonably flat bottom so that it wouldn’t catch on the floor and voila – I found the Fila dynamic action running shoe. It had a bright pink sole (really cool looking), black with pink edges for the laces (fits right in with the Zumba theme) and a smooth bottom. Then I tried them on. I found that I wore ½ size smaller with this brand which gave me a much more solid foundation than the others I had tried. I had satisfied my needs – good fit, ½ price (only $39), good looking and felt good on the floor. Even though they were not a popular brand for Zumba I finally realized that conspicuous consumption didn’t fit into my lifestyle. I felt good about my purpose and could move on to other things. Enough with the exercise shoes!


Pay It Forward

February 4, 2011
Pay it forward

Pay it forward

There is an expression going around lately called “pay it forward”. This means to do random acts of kindness without anyone doing anything nice for you… yet. In other words, you are kind, loving, sharing, etc. in advance of anything coming to you. It’s based on being in the Law of Abundance; that is, that there is an unlimited supply of everything around us. All we have to do is believe and it will be manifested for us. Is it hard to believe in such a miraculous concept? Well, people are starting to believe and such miracles are happening.

Here’s one of the many examples that I’ve personally experienced. Last Saturday I went to a spiritually-based program. The leaders practiced abundance in holding a program for donations only. During the program, the woman next to me wanted to buy one of my books as she knew someone who’d just lost a friend. She wanted to help her friend by giving him a copy of a book that is a spiritual perspective on death and dying in the hope that it would support his grieving process. I was happy to oblige. In the spirit of abundance, I added a donation to the box for the presenters since my “sale” happened just before their program. I was in the right place at the right time because of their holding this program and I wanted to continue the movement of positive energy.

After the program, while I was in the ladies’ room, a woman heard me mention my book, and said, “You’re an author?” “Yes, I replied”. “My book is available here in the library”. I saw the pained look on her face and I inquired, “Have you just lost someone?” “Yes”, she said. Then I offered to “check in” as I call it to see if her friend had information that might help this person with her grieving. We exchanged enough information so that if she was meant to receive a message she would get one. She hugged me being so grateful for my offering to help a perfect stranger. But I know the call to service when the bell rings for me. Meeting someone in such a synchronistic manner makes me take notice.

 I went home that evening and meditated. What was the situation with the departed? I picked up on his sorrow at leaving this world without his good-byes to his long-time friend, the illness which took him, partly of his own doing since it was addiction-related and one more thing. He also regretted a misunderstanding about an item of his estate and for whom it was meant. The next day, I called the woman and gave her my information. I was correct on all counts and she was extremely happy. She expressed her gratitude and wanted to repay me in some manner. I told her, “Don’t worry. The universe will take care of me.”

I didn’t have to wait long. The very next day I received a call from a woman who’d seen a notice about an upcoming presentation I was scheduled to do. She had checked my website and called me for a consultation. After the complementary phone session, she decided to book some coaching hours. There was no doubt in my mind what had happened. The universe was bringing business my way; I was getting back what I was giving out. Isn’t it just great how it works? Try it for yourself and see. In the meanwhile, you might be surprised where the good things will come from, so just allow it all to unfold.

Does the Law of Abundance Really Work?

March 1, 2010

What is the Law of Abundance? Does it really work if we apply it in our lives?

The Law of Abundance states that what we give out comes back to us multiplied (much like the Law of Attraction) but it refers to how we deal with money, our time, helping others, tips, – in short ” our finances” whether material, physical, emotional, or spiritual in nature.

For example, if we walk around with a torn wallet, we are sending a message to the universe that we don’t honor ourselves enough to buy a new wallet. “We’re not worth it” or “we can’t afford it”, or “We don’t want to spend the money on ourselves”. No matter how you slice it, it’s not a good idea to carry around a wallet that’s really tattered.

Another example is if we worry about our bills all the time. We are sending a message out that we don’t have enough money, we stress about it and that’s what we get back – more stress and more bills and more stress and more bills.

Perhaps someone asks you to help them at work, wants to borrow a chair at work when you have two or a friend needs to talk… and you don’t have time…

The above examples are called being in Scarcity – the opposite of Abundance. Being in Abundance is believing that you have enough, trusting that the universe is limitedless and that you will be provided for one way or another.

How does this work in practice? Let’s say you’re on a budget for whatever reason and you want to exhibit Abundance – send a donation to a charity anyway. Even a small one. It shows that you get the concept of Abundance – that of sharing what little you have. Help others, put yourself out there, for when the time comes, you may need the help back.

The same goes for tips. There are some things that I feel I need even when times are tough and that’s getting my nails done. I can go longer on hair cuts, but not my nails. However, my nail lady offers to fore go her tip knowing that I’m on the short side. But I won’t have it. I tell her, “Michelle, for you, I always have money”. She does a wonderful job. She cares and I care back. It’s one of those relationships that’s a joy in my life – she makes me feel blessed.

If you follow the Law of Abundance, what can you expect?

We had terrible snows here in the Northern Virginia area and my lower level had considerable damage forcing me to make an insurance claim. Fortunately, I’m covered except for my deductible. Because I’m in the universal flow, am in Abundance, the universe responded to my need. The same week, a client turned up without my doing anything and bought coaching hours, and an unexpected check came in the mail. The total? Exactly enough to cover the insurance deductible! That’s the Law of Abundance at work.

The universe has a way of letting us know when we are doing the right thing at the right time and for the right reason – we get feedback – if we pay attention to our messages. Comments are always welcome.

Abundance is about not being in scarcity

October 29, 2009

What is the Law of Abundance? What we give out comes back to us multiplied.

How do we attract abundance? We all want stuff in our lives – friends, support, guidance as well as financial security. The way to attract what we need is to give it out first – something like what I’ve heard called “pay it forward”. Doing it first sets the stage for us to attract it back.

What is scarcity? When we worry about our finances and pinch pennies more than necessary, don’t help others in need, walk around with a torn wallet because we don’t want to replace it then we are essentially in “scarcity mode”. This is definitely negative energy.

Here’s an example of being in abundance and the universe returning the energy of unlimitlessness back to us…. last night I went to a women’s social network group in order to expand my circle of friends. I met a woman who had major stuff going on – a husband that left her on their 25th anniversary and lots of pain in her body. To me, she deserved some help so I offered a free intuitive life coaching session in the hope that I could discover where some of her negative energy was coming from. What was the negative pattern she was holding and how could I help her overcome it? My selfless offer was repaid rather quickly.

This morning I was researching publishing options for my forthcoming book, The Circle of Life-A Journey Through Grief to Understanding. I came upon another author who had used the editor I’m considering and he was most generous with his time in not only giving the editor a referral but in providing his publishing experience and contacts. My abundance came back to me multiplied. He even offered to host a book signing. Wow! He didn’t even know me.

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