The last few months I’ve been thinking a lot about the possessions that clutter people’s homes. In particular, the things that you would find in the bathroom. Looking at the products that I used to buy and know that others keep in the bathroom, brought me to one word. Insecurity.
As humans, advertisers pray on our insecurities – the beauty industry is a prime example of this. They market to us to make us feel like we want to be someone else. Like what we have right now is not enough, and we need that anti-wrinkle cream to make all our lines magically disappear or hair colour to hide our natural grey tones. It has taken me a while, but I’ve stopped dying my hair even with the most natural hair colours because I don’t feel like I need to cover up my truth. There is a difference between owning your ageing process or unique look and covering that up to what society deems as acceptable.
We have a long way to go, but I believe that people are turning the corner. Slowly. But better slowly than not at all.
We are all becoming more mindful of how we spend our money — not falling for those TV ads where the guy is trying to sell you an overpriced mop or the neckline slimmer. Remember those? Now you’ll see a lot more people stripping back to basics and only using the essentials. But marketing has also evolved. You probably see more ads now without being aware of them. YouTube, scrolling through Facebook, watching Instagram stories or merely being on a website after looking at flights, which miraculously follow you for the next few days wherever you click!
What if you still haven’t gone on this journey of reducing and decluttering your home? What if your bathroom is still filled with expired products and perfume bottles that were never even opened? We sometimes tend to keep things out of guilt because they were a gift or maybe we spend a small fortune on a product that was going to solve all our skin issues.
It’s time to let it go.
Sometimes it’s not about the past, but where things are in this present moment. Are products cluttering your bathroom? Are they currently being used? Leave the past behind; you can’t change anything. All you have control over is how you deal with it now. Do you want to be moving those products around in your bathroom for another 1, 2, 5 years? They will still be there, just as full as before. Either make a plan to use them up (within a particular time frame – don’t just say you will and not do it) or get rid of them. No one needs three sets of travel size essentials like shampoo and soap or 10+ nail polish bottles that are no longer useable.
This process of letting go will feel liberating, trust me. You’ll think clearer, your space will be less cluttered, and when you start to pay attention to what you use, you may choose healthier alternatives as a result. Coconut oil in the bathroom can go a long way!
I’m not saying go zero-waste or healthy, organic ninja on your bathroom (like we have), but notice how much less you spend when you use less and with purpose. If you’d like more insight into what we have in our bathroom, let me know in the comments below, and I will put a post together.
When comparison starts to breed discontent.
Humans aren’t stupid. We’re advertised to in a way that makes us seem like we can easily be swayed — some more than others. But when you strip it back to the bare bones of it all, you see that what they are really trying to do is make you compare yourself to that perfectly photoshopped model. The model that doesn’t even look like that themselves in real life.
When you compare yourself to others, whether it be body image, a lifestyle that others may have, or the few belongings that they own, you create a cycle of low self-worth and judgement. You believe that you’re not good enough, that what you have (or don’t for that matter) isn’t good enough. That this expectation gap will never close or become smaller.
This keeps you in a vicious cycle of discontent, and you begin to feel like nothing is ever enough. For years I suffered from this. Having an idea of where I should be and what my home/lifestyle should look like, I was consumed by pretty things and looking at images of interior design and style. Dreaming and hoping that one day I would live in this adorable little cottage on a property with an impeccable vegetable garden backing a forest. Talk about specifics! Even though it has taken me a while, and I sometimes see myself slipping into this ‘wishful thinking’ scenario, I have created more gratitude for what I have right now and being happy with that. Not waiting for the fairytale to happen, but embracing the things that I do have now and making that my fairytale ending.
Practising gratitude will change everything.
When you start to practice gratitude, you quickly realise that external factors don’t bother you so much. That the pretty dress you saw on the rack in your favourite store isn’t pulling at your heartstrings like it once used to. That what you have right now is enough.
Practising gratitude opens your eyes and heart to feel happy with what you have right now. Not where you will be next week, but at this very moment. Even focusing on your breath, and realising that each one is a gift is something that will change the way that you see your existence.
Take away all the distractions, the comparisons, the insecurities. And what you’re left with is beauty, clarity, gratitude and fulfilment. Don’t let your insecurities clutter your life, instead shift your focus onto more important things.