The Supermarket and Self Improvement

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supermarketIt was imperative that I go to the grocery store today. The dog was out of food. The cat was out of food. And neither my son nor I wanted anything that we found in the refrigerator or pantry. I could have found something for me if I was desperate but I wasn’t desperate yet. It’s better to go to the store for cat food than  listen to her mournful meow.

 

The store for me this morning was a wonder of appreciation. I’ve shopped for so many years that I forget to notice. I generally get my cart and go to the aisles that have the items I want, fill my basket, check out and go home to put everything away. For most of that I am on automatic pilot, basically unconscious to what I’m doing and seeing. I focus on specials and my list and get out of there as fast as I can.

 

Today was different. This morning I was astonished at what is available to me. I was amazed at the wealth of goods surrounding me—not just the food but all the items—the aisles of beautifully packaged cosmetics and bath accessories, the food for animals, the toys for children, light bulbs and tools to work with at home, socks and underwear, wonderful things to drink, a meat counter filled with jumbo shrimp, salmon, chicken, steaks—you name it—all I had to do was tell the butcher what I wanted and it was mine. Wonderful fresh vegetables, cakes, pies, cookies and a deli bursting with food ready to be served and enjoyed. There were aisles of ice cream and frozen deserts, foods prepared and ready to defrost, cook and eat.

It was an abundance of abundance.

I go there every week, sometimes two or three times during the week, and I hadn’t thought of it as a display of abundance. But that’s what it is.

Oh, I know you’re probably thinking, “But you have to have money to pay for all of that.” Yes, and sometimes money is tight. But this abundance IS available. I am keenly aware that there are countries that don’t have anything like this available. Even if a person had the money there is nothing like this available to them. They can’t find it.

 

I came home still in a state of appreciation and as I look around, I see one thing after another to appreciate and be grateful for. I am so very blessed in so many ways.

 

My intention is to stay conscious at least for today—seeing the abundance and beauty all around me, appreciating it, being thankful for the farmers who grew the food, for the people who worked to get it to me, for the people who work in the store or were in any way involved. If I can stay conscious today, maybe I can do it again tomorrow. There is great joy in living consciously rather than on remote control.

 

What about you? Are you fully conscious during any part of your day? What do you appreciate? Look around you. Doesn’t self improvement involve being aware and appreciating the abundance and beauty you find all around you?

Irene Conlan

Irene Conlan has a master's degree in nursing, She taught nursing at Arizona State University, served as Director of Nursing Administration at St. Luke's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix and served as Assistant Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services for the Division of Health Care Facilities and Emergency Medical Services. Now retired, she is an avid blogger and manages http://www.theselfimprovementblog.com,http://www.theselfesteemblog.com and hosts the Self Improvement Radio Show on VoiceAmerica. Irene lives in Fountain Hills, AZ and has two sons and four grandsons.