In life, such as it is, there is a countless intelligence and money invested in stopping us from thinking. So even though we see things in our world that feel off - even when we want to take action and make a change there is a lot that comes down on us when we try to make a move. There is a lot that needs the rich to stay rich, the poor to stay poor, the oppressed to stay oppressed, and the dark inner abyss and darkness that we all face at different times in different ways to go mostly untreated instead of respected, handled and loved.  If we are kept vulnerable to our own impulses then our impulses can be commodified. 

What does this mean? Let's take shopping. When you find yourself shop in order to:

1) make yourself feel better

2) fit in - get the stuff other people have so you can blend in

3) forget about something

4) because you feel "bored" or have nothing "better" to do

You are filling something inside by reaching for something outside of yourself. This also happens with drinking, drugs, sex, food, even love itself can be something we reach for to not sit still in ourself. But when it comes to shopping there are TONS of businesses - almost all business - ready to take your vulnerable state and answer it with some something. 

So much marketing is directed toward getting us not to think and just buy. "look good" "fit in" "feel good" and not what we need --  change, wake up, stick with it.

The challenge is hard with food and stuff. We need to eat and we need to wear something so it can get really slippery when you start to indulge in those things as ways to escape. And it's not your fault!

When we walk into a store, for example, someone figured out the the smell of our first love, the time we were denied a gift from our mother, the desire for more all making us victims of our own humanity. Of course we shop all the time! We are human and effected by each other and some humans figure out how to effect each other.

So let's practice consuming from a place of positive and calm and joy and the good and not from the place of need and emptiness and terror. 

Practicing makes better. Welcome to the Pop Up [Ethical] Sweatshop. The practice ground for connecting with your ethical style. 

At the Pop Up [Ethical] Sweatshop - the real sweatshop is within the  world of the consumer. with a range of choices that represent ethics that speak to different parts of the self - the pop-up becomes a training ground for moving through choices in the world from our hearts. It's a place to exercise caring and a system by which we can get more honest to see who we are in the world and let it shift into being the world we want.

The Mindful Consumption Meditation: Look at stuff and see that in each thing we carry we carry all that has gone into it.  Explore the metaphor of our interconnectedness as the concrete reality it is - the way we treat the parts of our world. How much we know. What we wear.  What we have. What we want from this world and life.