Over the weekend my wife and I went to the mall. She needed to return a jacket she bought online. The thing is, we rarely ever go to the mall.
When we got there, we immediately felt overwhelmed. The lighting was harsh. The air was stale. It was crowded. People were unfriendly and distant. It felt like the people walking around shopping were disconnected from themselves. It wasn't peaceful. It was clutter because it was draining and took away from our peace of mind.
I think shopping centers and stores are designed to make you disconnected, so you feel out of sorts and seek shopping as a way of feeling better. They take advantage of the message we were taught by advertisements, that we need things in order to feel better.
When it turned out that the store couldn't return the jacket anyway, we happily got out of there.
As we drove out of the parking lot, I realized we needed to recover and take care of ourselves. I suggested that we pull over into a wooded park I saw by the side of the road. We parked and walked into the woods.
We were instantly soothed. The trees, shrubs, grass, and stream felt like friends. We felt reconnected.
I took this picture of our feet as we stood amidst the calm.