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Game Over, Man!

Posted on 10-28-2010 by Elise Joan

Well, the theme for fall in Los Angeles certainly seems to be rainy days!  And as someone who can be supremely susceptible to the ‘gloom’, my ultimate challenge to myself seems to be finding the proverbial silver lining.

As a teacher of Yoga, and an advocate of wellness, I am a firm believer in cultivating balance.   Harmonizing body and mind…. Training our weaknesses to become our strengths…  accessing  unaffected clarity of thoughts… the list goes on.  Many of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras focus on finding this elusive equanimity.   Finding Sthira or ‘stability’ is one of the foundations of the practice of yoga.  This type of constancy,  can be defined as our ability to remain unfettered by external disturbances which threaten our equilibrium.   Now, this sounds like a rather simple concept, but I find it to be one of the most elusive skills to cultivate.  Existing in a society makes it challenging to be unaffected by the energies and perceptions of other people.

In an era inundated with ceaseless texting, emailing, facebooking, tweeting and ‘God knows what’ other social media, we are constantly assaulted by the needs, demands, thoughts, and desires of others. As lady gaga so wisely says: “Stop calling, Stop calling, I don’t wanna think anymore!”  These words so often come to mind when my iPhone is ‘blowing up’ like the Chernobyl.  In these moments, I truly appreciate the value of silence.  There are times when I feel like I am always on the go…. Running from classes to meetings to photo or tv shoots… answering emails and texts and tweets from my iPhone every time I hit a stoplight or wait in line at the grocery store.  Often, it feels like the demands on my time and the appeals for immediate and constant accessibility are ENDLESS!  There is simply always SOMETHING productive I could be doing.  One more critically important item on an immeasurable ‘TO DO” list.  To avoid going diametrically insane, all this madness simply MUST be tempered by stillness.  Or at least… a slight pump of the often neglected brakes.

So today I chose a blissful activity that is utterly antithetical to my natural inclination toward perpetual motion: I stopped.

The incessant downpour of rain provided the perfect backdrop for me to take a full day off.  From everything.  Yes….. even my iPhone.  And….. (gasp)……  facebook!!  In fact, I even took the day off from getting dressed.  I simply stayed in my pajamas all day.  I sat snuggled under a down comforter on the couch eating food that was delivered to me, and watched movies.  I started with a new Horror release: “Splice”, and culminated my day of rest with a legendary classic (and personal favorite) “Aliens”.  (As you can tell… I’m not a “romantic comedy” kind of girl.  I’m more a “watching-Arnold-Schwarzenegger-destroy-millions-of-Predators-without-a-scratch” kind of girl.)

For a WHOLE day, I did not turn my phone on.  I did not update my status or open my laptop.  I didn’t even put my contact lenses in.  I simply recharged.  And it felt…… Amazing!!!!!!

Sometimes we forget that we absolutely do NOT have to be instantly available to anyone and everyone who contacts us.  The emails can wait a day (or even 2 or 3) without anyone’s world ending.  Alarmingly…. no natural disasters occurred from the fact that I did not respond to every text I received.  Sigourney Weaver did not have to emerge and save us from acid-blooded Mother Aliens that descended as a result of my NOT tweeting for a day.  And though I did get a few worried calls from friends and family who thought I SURELY must have died since I had not updated my status in  24 hours, even THEY survived.  Everything was still there, patiently waiting for me the next day.  And by the time the clouds cleared, and I re-entered the world, I actually felt READY to be back.

Sometimes…. it’s astounding how invigorating a little retreat from life can be.

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