Monday mantra: Be here now.
On Saturday, merely hours into my social media detox, I went to my favorite yoga class at the Y. The teacher is a powerhouse sprite. Tiny, muscular, exceeding cheerful, presumably Canadian. (I’ll have to ask her some day; I’m basing this completely on the Alanis Morisette and Neil Young in the class playlist and her pronunciation of the word “toes.”)
The class is hard. I haven’t escaped one without rubbery quads or trembling triceps. But it makes me feel strong and balanced and flexible. As I talked in a previous post, the best part of the class is what it does for my brain. The teacher opens each class asking us to think of an “intention,” which we revisit throughout the class.
On Saturday, I was thinking about my goal to stay off Facebook and Twitter for two weeks. I went with the phrase “Be here.” That eventually morphed into “Be here now.”
Even though that phrase has hippy-dippy/acid-trippy connotations for me, adding the “now” gave it a sense of urgency. A pre-21st century way of saying “Put down the damn iPhone,” among other things.
I put it on our kitchen chalkboard.
This morning, I dropped Noah and Rory off at preschool for the first time in a week. I gleefully went to yoga, excited for a whole 2.75 hours to myself.
When the teacher asked us to think of our intention, I went to “be here now.” But it was not happening for me.
Instead of being in the moment, I spent the entire class regretting my choice of unflattering tank top and trying to think of an intention that would counteract the thought “Look at this walrus doing yoga.”
Instead of focusing on my breath in a seated forward fold, I examined the stubble on my calves and wondered about the cankle-reduction surgery I recently read about and made a mental note that it was time to break the spending freeze with an industrial-grade pedicure.
It was still a good class, but I was frustrated with my inability to calm my brain and focus on my intention. I went to Target for a few groceries (including a delicious glazed donut that I ate in the car) and then went to pick up Rory at school (and later realized that I talked to both of Rory’s teachers and a few other parents with frosting on my face).
I arrived at Rory’s school a little early. I sat in my parked my car, squeezing every minute out of that 2.75 hours that I could. But not how I normally would. Not perusing Facebook. Not telling the world in 140 characters about the donut I just ate.
Gazing into my side view mirror, I noticed a bumper sticker on the front of the van parked behind me.
And wouldn’t you know.
Resolutions aren’t meant to be easy. What would be the point if they were? Mantras are aspirational. It would be useless to choose as an intention something I’ve already mastered. And even if I never master any of it, I appreciate the signs from the universe to keep trying.