Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I Got a Download

I love this youtube clip so much.  Please watch it if you haven't already.

It's about New Age stuff and it's funny.  

As you know, I spend much of my freetime doing yoga and exploring various facets of New Age lifestyle.  Since moving to California, I have cleansed, taken a vow of silence, dropped shaman medicine, met with mystics, sought daily guidance from both Angel and Faerie cards, burned sage, and wrapped myself in a daily yoga routine more immersive than any I have tried before.  Certainly, I am a cult candidate personality, always searching and highly suggestive to stories of bliss and transformation.  But every time I think I am getting closer to some spiritual truth about the world, an inner (persistent) snarky voice turns on and I make jokes in my mind.  I miss funny shit when I hang out with mystics.  They rarely laugh at themselves.

I remember the one and only yoga retreat I went on a few years ago.  Worst one week mind behavior ever.  I could barely contain my mirth at dinner when every single conversation revolved around raw food and who was and wasn't eating sugar and wheat.  Gag me.  I couldn't stop myself.  The chef served pasta one night and I ate three plates just to stuff the void.  During the week I started writing a screenplay in my mind. While I was supposed to be cleansing myself of fear and anxiety, an action spoof was basically writing itself.  In the end, I never committed the story to paper, but believe me, the plot was flushed out.  As a pitch:  a remote yoga retreat in Mexico is taken hostage by a local drug cartel and spa victims are forced to choose between passive yogic behavior (standing on their heads all day and hunger strikes) or taking up arms against the rebels and fighting for freedom.  Gweneth Paltrow was going to play lead with Madonna as the aging grande dame of the yoga retreat.

Anyway, this morning I was at my yoga class and I got a download.  Just to flush out this experience for you, I will add some details about my current yoga obsession.  Mysore yoga is my new practice.  I love it because the practice is demanding and has the potential to calm my mind.  It's hard because I'm physically not very good at it and I feel constantly humbled by yogis who have been doing the practice for many years.  Ashtanga practiced in the mysore tradition is a set routine where everyone works at their own pace.  You get to do more parts of the routine when you are ready.  (Frank was excited to hear about this part because he wanted to know if it felt like leveling up in a video game.  Pretty much actually.)  Mysore teachers do not lead the class, but move around the room giving adjustments and helping students learn new poses when appropriate.  I am just starting my practice, so quite often I am in a simple head to knee pose while on the mat next to me someone is doing this kind of crazy, beautiful thing.  You are not supposed to compare yourself to anyone else.  You are not supposed to be competitive with yourself.  The practice is supposed to be very zen like, "just breathe and practice and all things are coming".  That kind of thing.  Ashtanga yogis wear this shirt that says, "One lifetime is not enough".  And I really believe in the message.  And my body is changing and I feel great.  But my mind is tricky. 

Today someone was jumping back and forth over themselves in a backbend flipover and he fell.  Just the other day I had heard this same guy say how discipline came easy to him, how he approached his practice just like he approaches everything in life.  He was basically bragging about his deep focus abilities to someone who expressed awe and amazement at his physical mastery of the ashtanga poses. When he fell today I experienced the best case of schadenfreude ever in a yoga room.  I loved that he fell.  His ego is too huge.  He brags about finding it easy to focus.  What?  Fucking yoga asshole.

This is what my mind started doing:  first, I realized it's really fun to see yogis fall down; while also recognizing that no matter how much we want to believe in a noncompetitive yoga spirit, the shit is awesome athletically and you can definitely see when someone is winning and when they are not; and finally, how cool it would be to see yogis do reality television.  I have been watching a lot of reality television lately so this leap made total sense to me.

I started making yoga reality t.v. pitches in my mind.  I don't know yet if the final pitch should be Yoga Island (a Survivor style reality show where a bunch of yogis are put on an island and teamed up and given challenges, voting each other off one by one over a series of weeks); or Stretched (a Chopped style show where each week four yogis compete against each other to win prize money to open up their own yoga studio); or maybe Project Yoga (a Project Runway derivative where young yoga hopefuls are guided by experts to see who has what it takes to be the next yoga superstar; or lastly, Yoga with the Stars (a Dancing with the Stars style show where semi-celebrities are teamed up with yoga masters to see who has what it takes to become a yoga master?  Why don't these shows exist?  I want to watch them.  Can you imagine how fun it would be to see yogis acting bitchy and stressed and voting each other off week by week while trying to stay zen and eat healthy?  All of this came rushing to me while I am backbending and trying to breathe and clear my mind. I got a download.

This is how my mind works.  I seem to read a lot and get ideas and then move on to the next idea without a lot of action.  I can make connections between things and my own train of thought is amusing and satisfying but....I am a wanderer.

I am constantly given the gift of ideas and I don't know the first thing about the discipline of putting ideas to paper or networking the shit out of an idea to get it made or published or realized.

That is why I go to the mat every day and pray I will learn what it means to focus.  This is why I hate people who claim that focus is easy.  And I wouldn't want to have a beer with one.

I appreciate this place to write it down.  MB, I am trying to stop living just in my head and make goals and act on my ideas.  I am also watching Project Runway and Chopped and cleaning up after three kids.  I think the idea of yoga reality tv is a good one.  I should type "how to pitch a reality tv show" into ehow.  I should have written down that awesome yoga retreat screenplay.  Truth?  I am often most content with the idea phase.  And I spend most of my time trying to do backbends.

Love and miss you.