On Mascara

When I was growing up, my Mom was a single Mother who didn’t really hit her career stride until after we both went to college (at the same time!).  I started working as early as I could to be able to buy things at the flea market and thrift stores.

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Many of my friend’s families were wealthier than ours and I was fortunate to be the recipient of their awesome hand-me-down designer clothes that I happily wore.  When I was really young, I remember being so sad when I broke a crayon and thinking I will never get another one.  I did not have any idea that a box of new crayons was less than 3$ which I learned in my 30s having my own kids.  This way of feeling about money has been a hard one to overcome but I have been resolute about not living in a “scarcity” mindset with mostly excellent results.


I had the good fortune of learning how to work on myself in my late-teens as I got on a spiritual path. One practice I learned was to identify a characteristic about myself that I wanted to change and then practice a new behavior in very practical ways.  An example would be, let’s say you feel you are too impatient.  A way to practice a new behavior would be to choose the longest line at the grocery store and go stand in it!  Little things happen all day, every day that are opportunities to practice new ways of being.  Such as the last time I bought mascara.

I bought a not high-end but not cheap mascara (let’s say it was 20$) and quickly realized it was all bad things.  It clumped, didn’t give me long or voluminous lashes and worst of all, was very difficult to remove.  This is a product lose-lose-lose proposition.  But my first thought as my eyes are stinging from trying to get it off with make-up remover is, “oh well, I will not get this again” with the implicit assumption that I will keep using it.

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Then I said to myself, it doesn’t have to be like this.  It’s 20 dollars which is not a small amount of money but is certainly not “worth” the next 3 months of stinging eyes and shitty make-up.  And I was reminded that my first thought is not always my best thought.  It took me a few days to even push this inner dialogue out into my consciousness and have the next healthy thought which is to buy some new mascara.

So, I bought 3. For less than 20$.

I tell you this story because it is fraught with feelings.  Feelings of low self-worth and also progress over a very old issue and thought which is the “never enough” school of being.  I have found that every time I practice the opposite of this way of being, things shift for me.  You will hear me say to people that I am “rich” even though by many people’s standards I am most certainly not.  By mine, I am!  I have everything I need and more.

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And that’s how I want to feel.

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