It became an existential debate – an internal conversation not just about what I spend my money on but even more profoundly, questions that centered around:

Who am I?

What me am I presenting to the world?

Of course they were fabulous. Well-made and ostensibly, quite comfortable considering I was teetering on my tiptoes, supported by a thin nail in a plushly-carpeted store.

And I think, in essence, these beautiful shoes spoke to me on a deep level because if I was a pair of shoes, I would totally be a pair of sparkly leopard open-toed booties.

One hundred and ten percent.

And yet, no matter how hard I tried, nor how long I sat admiring how adorable and sexy my feet looked as the light of the store danced off the glitter…

…I could not see how these beautiful specimens would “fit” into my life both literally and figuratively.

Sure I could have worn them that very night to the Gwen Stefani concert I was attending in Las Vegas. Paired with my denim jumpsuit they would have garnered just the sort of attention and compliments I revel in; the kind I dress for, the ones that are an acknowledgement of my embodiment and my ability to create unique ensembles.

But where else, and with what, would I wear them?

I spent many (MANY) painstaking (VERY PAINFUL) moments ensconced in envisioning additional circumstances that would justify the significant investment.

And I couldn’t.

Despite how creative I am, regardless of my visionary capabilities and in spite of how much of me just wanted to swipe my card and prance out with one of those adorable shopping bags, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.

I saw them becoming a WATERFALL ITEM and, even worse, something that might claim a position on top of my closet, out of reach and only taken down occasionally; something that might garner resentment.

Resentment not just because I might not have many opportunities to wear them but resentment because they just don’t relate to my life the way they might have, or the way I might have been able to convince myself they would, even two years ago.

They were absurd; and yet absurdly amazing.

And as such, they would not have eased into any realistic position in my current wardrobe.

They wanted more than that from me.

They wanted attention on every level.

And I fell deeply in love with them for that.

I felt perfectly at home in them at that moment, ensconced in the glitz of Las Vegas, but I knew they would not be at home once I returned home.

Everyone in the store was on board with me purchasing them. There was a sheen of peer pressure to take the plunge and just splurge.

They are amazing!

They are so YOU!

Those shoes are high fashion!

It felt like a lot of noise. All of the words and thoughts reminded me of why I personally prefer to shop for myself ALONE.

And in the end, after a time-warp of 90 minutes spent in debate, I came to the decision that I would feel more powerful walking out of the store without that beautiful bag of shoes in hand.

Because sometimes when shopping (remember, it’s called shopping not buying), it’s about the things you buy as much as the things you don’t.

And please keep in mind, that whatever you bring into your life, what will serve as an extension of you and your energy, and either bring you levity and inspiration (or the opposite) – all of it needs to be aligned with who you are, who you are being and even who you are becoming.

But I find that in some situations, it’s best to create the space for something new. By not buying them, there’s room for something else that will truly serve me in my own transformation from someone who previously never thought twice about buying something that spoke to her on any level.

And so some of my purchases were not always level-headed.

Now I am realizing that in the work I do with others, and particularly in the work I am doing on myself, my own shifting, the conversation goes much deeper than those booties would have allowed me to go.

At that particular moment.

I am well aware that as proud fashionista and recovering shopaholic, those sparkly leopard open-toed booties might well haunt me.

But better that they do so from a distance rather than in physical form on a high shelf of my closet.

And maybe someday, after I daydream about them enough, I might proceed with bringing them into my life.

Because, you see, it’s about so much more than just the thing when it comes to style and our personal expression.

We get to decide. We get to choose what we buy, what we wear, who we are, the stories we are telling the world and ourselves.

And in those excruciating moments, I could not write a future for those sparkly leopard open-toed booties.

But I’m grateful for the experience of having tried them on and reveling in the beautiful brand Sarah Jessica Parker has created.

And I’m particularly thankful for the space that still exists in my closet and for feeling no remorse leaving the store empty-handed.

I could feel as I walked away that my bank account rejoiced and my soul breathed a sigh of relief that I’m no longer convincing myself that I am someone I am not.

I no longer need to hide, to create a façade behind anything.

The beautiful and the ugly, the joyful and the painful can all exist side-by-side.

And I will dance anywhere and everywhere no matter what is on my feet.

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Helena Grant is a Life Coach and Transformative Style Healer specializing in bringing the spiritual to the physical by helping women express themselves through clothing. She works virtually one-to-one with clients who are ready to re-shape the way they see themselves and design the lives they truly desire and deserve. Find out more by clicking HERE.

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