Separating the B From the S

The other day I was headed to a yoga class. I noticed that my watch and the clock in my car were 10 minutes apart, which meant that if my watch was right I might be late, which meant I might not find a place to park, lay my mat in my favorite spot by the door, or even get in class.

When I turned into the parking lot (on two wheels) I could see several people covertly dashing from their cars, which meant my watch was right. The sight of them all racing sent a reflexive primal release of adrenaline – Okay-okay, where’s my yoga mat… should I grab my purse or leave it in the trunk?  Take it… duh. And okay, well, where? I looked up from my flurry of gun powder only to see three more people scuffling by me. Great! Just take the mat and let’s go, Maryanne! I headed for the studio like a restrained dart, careful not to appear desperate- it just wouldn’t be yogi-like.

As I was about to hop/leap up onto the curb, two people were closing in on me. They were not exactly running but may as well have been; the intensity of their vibe was like a fleet of wild stallions, which sent an additional flush-this time of fury-through my body-mind-spirit. And then out of nowhere, in sudden revolt, I stopped dead in my tracks and blurted out “I refuse-to rush-into a YO-GA class!” Which came out more like a declaration (and a surprise) rather than a blurt.

A gal who had just come up on my heels slowed her pace slightly and whispered sweetly as she crept by, “You’re exactly right,” then purposefully slipped in front of me so she could get in the door first.

Thank God for Savasana. I had forgotten about the stampede, but chalking it up to another of life’s current conundrums just wasn’t going to cut it. I could still feel the after burn of the disparaging culture we have become, a people obviously wearied by the chase after the American dream, trampled again and again by the rat race.  And frankly, that bothered me

Gimme a B~

Normally I can utilize my internal mechanism designed to see things for what they are; this, however, was a new animal, a hybrid. This kind of BS was new and improved. Once upon a time the cons were the cons, the preppies, the junkies, the snobs, the geeks, the jocks, the bullies, the hussies, and so on. You could spot these personas a mile away. Now the ego has gotten so divisive, and with the help of high tech it can hide behind a cacophony of razzle dazzle, words, sweet smoke and mirrors galore.

Suddenly it’s a free-for-all. We can say anything, be anything we want, as long as we have a web site or a Facebook page, we’re legit. As long as we say the right thing, it doesn’t matter what our behavior is. It does not matter that people are not who they say they are, as long as they get what they want. It’s become “the way it is.” You can be a parent who doesn’t like kids, a husband who doesn’t believe in marriage, or what the hey-a U.S. president who doesn’t understand the English language.

Let me just say you are not alone in your confusion. And you, like me, like the rest of us, fall victim to the vortex, the “say one thing, do another” culture. The proverbial duck above water whose feet are furiously paddling to stay afloat.

We say we want to help, but what we don’t say is that we want to help ourselves. My current fantasy (not sexy but hey) is wondering what it, life, us, would be like in the absence of fake?

As for the S, my guess is being in survival mode according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs drives most of us and is responsible for what compels most of our unconscious, fake behavior. Apparently what the last fifty years has taught us is that fake is the new real; when we have the rent paid then comes safety; if we have any energy left over from playing the game of satisfying our psychological needs and if we are among the eccentric few who make time, the last is self-actualization. Peak, or what I prefer to call spiritual experiences, are reserved for folks who apparently have time on their hands or just don’t get it the necessity for all the rest.

The bummer is that spirit is EXACTLY what we need right now. It’s our survival, old-brain, unconscious, dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest mentality that is killing us, or at least it’s trying to kill our spirit.

So how do we deal? Take a deep, audible breath-ujjayi, kapalabhati, whatever-and for one precious moment, slow down. Look inside. (Oh, yeah, Great Relationships Begin Within, right?) Shift the focus.

I would rather spend my day in self-inquiry, any time, than be trampled by a rabid wanna-be yogini. Looks like that pyramid is doing a shirshasana-let’s flip it other-side up. Who knows, maybe Maslow was dyslexic?