Facebook, MySpace, E-mail, Internet surfing.
They all make me think I'm not doing enough with my life.
If I get one more poke, message or comment showing me photos of you smiling maniacally or telling me how great your life is, I might just… just...
close my account.
I'm so glad you are doing well. I'm glad you let me know. Don't stop. No really, don't stop telling me how great your life is. I'm proud to know you are happy healthy and successful.
I just want to make a point and it's nothing personal. It's just personal. My personal.
I'm guilty too. I have a new video or blog or on line class or show that's on TV and I post it on line.
Why do we do this?
To keep in touch?
To validate ourselves?
I'm not quite sure. I'm trying to figure it out as I...
am trying to find more time. Time to be quite and still.
See, I can't even spell quiet correctly. And still, you'd have to put me in a straight jacket and plant me in the Himalayan Mountains for that to happen.
We are a culture that on many levels are forced to live in our sympathetic nervous system. The place of fight or flight. We are ready, not for our next combat in nature with an animal that might attack but rather, the next task, goal, duty, accomplishment that takes all of our energy to pursue and then it's on to the next one.
When do we stop to take it all in and observe what is happening?
Maybe you know the answer.
I know that I've had this come up for me for years. I do something I'm happy and proud to do and then it's on to the next thing. Things like facebook actually tell us to take the time out to share our accomplishments and happiness and that is actually quite good.
I know that I rarely understand the value and underestimate living in the present moment consciously without using one moment to springboard to the next until I am home at 10PM, exhausted, trying to wind down for it all to happen again the next day.
If I have down time, I don’t know what to do with myself, On Demand, sleep? The parasympathetic nervous system is now in rest and digest mode. I’m relaxed, eating, sloth like, immobile maybe.
Can I feel in between?
The space between fight and rest?
Moment. Just say it. Moment. See what’s around you. Moment. Hear what is around you. Moment. Feel how you are feeling.
You are now present. You are mindful. In fact, you are meditating. You might not be sitting upright in a chair for hours, but you are. You are timeless.
When you find yourself aware of the moment you are in, time isn’t so fleeting and fast. You are, simply between the two
places of doing and not doing. You are being. Everything else just is what it is and where you are is priceless. Like an American Express Card.
Easier said than done.
Here's the deal. I love my job. My job, the one I make a living doing is not the dream I keep pursuing. Although at times, the two cross.
I would love to be one of the rare breeds of animal in Los Angeles that says that she is not an actor and a yoga teacher.
I know I became a yoga teacher before it was 'in' and I became a yoga teacher, kicking and screaming and thinking I could never do such a thing.
But it came to me. Not like a temp agency calling with a job.
It came to me because it had to be. It came to me like I had no other choice. It came to me because the people I loved and admired told me I should be and because of that, I said ok. I did the work, ‘cause I’m good at that. I put in the hours of study and practice and it became me. I can’t see a difference between me and yoga. We are the same.
Now that yoga is so mainstream, its hard, because well, there's a lot of us doing it.
It's like going to Toronto and seeing a little film with 40 people in the audience of a 250 seat theatre and thinking Slumdog Millionaire is this is the best film I've ever seen and then months later, like a virus, it's spread and agreed that it is the best movie of the year.
Listen, I’m happy you all liked it, just like I’m happy that the No Doubt got famous after I pleaded with my editor to interview them and then they became untouchable.
I’m not responsible, I’m part of the big beast that makes things happen because they are great, hence my blog entry today.
What I’m saying is that now, unlike the past, our experiences are out there to be shared, commented on and judged in instant time. Not even human time. Not even in the time we have to actually contemplate what has happened. Everything happens so fast. It’s done before it’s done. It’s said before it’s sent.
It’s solidified. It’s past. The moment is then it’s gone faster than we can feel it.
Yoga and teaching for me is like, breathing, like drinking water or eating food to survive.
I don't know what I would do without it. I don’t know who I am without yoga. It is a part of every fibre of my being. And yet, it is something I am still learning and growing from. It’s like a disease, but a good one. I know, not possible. Yoga is union and for the most part, I feel so out of union but it’s all I can talk about and write about and think about. It’s my life.
And yet, I still have my dreams of being an actor and author and none of those things are completely out of my grasp.
I'm on TV and published as a journalist.
I can't complain.
But I do.
We always wonder.
Is there something more I should be doing, could be doing?
Because there are others out there that are on TV more, teaching more. They might even have a relationship or family and my goodness, I don’t have either of those so there must be something I’m doing wrong. Maybe I’m not together enough. Maybe, I should on line.
Don’t go online.
Is just being enough for me to make what I want a reality?
The concept doesn't just fall on to someone living in LA with two passions.
My mother in New York is caring for my ill father and making her living in real estate. When she vents to me about a lost deal or customer or house, I don't feel very different from her.
For anyone who has passion in their life, the next commission, gig, co-star, guest-star, workshop could be just the validation you need to keep doing what you do.
My question is why do we need it?
Isn’t just being enough?
If a tree falls in a forest and you don’t hear it, did it fall? Did it make a noise?
Did it fall on a child and we saw it on the news and we tsk tskd it as we saw it then moved on?
Should we stop watching the news? Especially before we go to bed?
Should we start drinking a glass of wine a night to fight cancer but not more than one glass a night because we could get cancer? Should we stop eating carbs? Should we eat carbs but only in moderation? Should we eat carbs in moderation depending on the amount of exercise we do in a day? Should we get eight hours of sleep? I can’t get eight hours of sleep because I’m thinking about how many glasses of wine or carbs I had and where Matt Lauer is.
Can we stop with this nonsense?
Can we stop with all this interference?
Can we stop?
Do I really have 600 friends on facebook and still feel alone?
We can get the paycheck and eat our meals from Whole Foods or drink our expensive cocktails at swanky haunts, but are we really fulfilled with the time we spend in pursuit and in reflection?
We are bombarded.
Do more, should do more, could do more, be more.
Where we are is not enough, because there is always more.
This economy has scared us out of our jobs and security and if we are lucky we still have our jobs and security but are scared that today might be the last day we have it.
So, what do we do with what we have right now?
I, we, live in LA where youth is coveted and eternal if you have the right amount of money.
Our lives move so fast we can hardly understand what is happening.
Youth, freedom, time, is all a matter of perspective and taking a moment to be in the moment.
Being present in where we are, wherever we are in our yoga and meditation practice, the path of our career or family or finances, will provide us with an amount of time we cannot find on a clock or 'what are you doing right now' on face book.
Taking a moment to sit with yourself and look around at what life you have built for yourself, where you live, what is around you, the noises in and outside of yourself, will allow you that pause in time that will give you the perspective you need to keep going in the moment, not in the shoulda.
There is nothing more that needs to be done other than what you are doing. If you find yourself on line and looking at someone else's life, take just as much time to look at your life, not on line and see what you are doing. What you are feeling right now could never be photographed or put in words. Why, because it's gone as soon as you recognize it. Just like those snapshots of happiness you might see on facebook. Once the flash has gone off, you never know what happens after.
To labor minutes, hours, into an abyss of time that slips away from you before you know it, catch yourself and reflect on where you are.
Use the Internet or facebook to connect, share and then let it go. Don't hold onto it once it's on cyberspace and don't haunt the lives of others, because we all want the same thing.
We do. And I'm writing this because I need this and maybe you don't, but if you are reading this, perhaps you do too.
Maybe you can retouch or change a photo from the past but you can't change what is happening now and you can't necessarily control what will happen next. The only thing you can do is be aware of the right now, who you are with, what you are doing and all that is around you. That moment will last forever if you recognize it.
If you look at life like your own personal camera you can put in focus what needs to be and take all the stuff that's blurred and out of focus and Photoshop it out. Do it in your life.
with what is absolutely necessary.
I think about when I was living in China and didn't want to bring a lot of 'stuff' with me while living over there. I wore the same thing over and over. Every picture of me looked like the same day even though I knew where and when I was...different.
I was happy with little, clothes, food, internet access. I was alive in the moment. I always think of that girl in Shanghai often. Lola. They couldn’t say Laurie so they called me Lola.
When I get caught up, I think about that girl, with her back pack and ipod with 100 songs only for months to listen and internet access for a few moments a day and the rest of the day was spent just being with where I was, where I was walking, who was around me. China was a scary place for me to be alone and yet I never felt more alive and connected to everything.
It brought me in reunion with some great friends from the past, college, high school and for that I am grateful. What I'm not grateful for is staying on facebook after a brief moment and looking at all my 'friends' real or imagined that make me feel like I'm not doing enough. It's not them. It's me.
Be with the minimum you need. Find your inner Lola.
Take away the things you don't.
Be as much as you can in the moment and if you get carried away with facebook and the lives you lived or the lives of loves or friends, what you think you should or could do better or more, reign yourself back in by simply saying to yourself, "moment." and come back to your reality.
It will last a lot longer and feel so much more in focus than putting your camera on automatic.
Stay eternal, youthful and happy with where you are without the distraction of any blue glow of computer, yellow glow of TV, chatter from voices outside of your own.
There is nothing more.
And be well.
In the moment.
Now turn off your freekin' computer!