It doesn’t take much for me to jump onto the latest wellness bandwagon, especially if it tempts me with promises of serenity, enlightenment, and reaching the pinnacle of health. A pinnacle sounds carefree and jolly — like a combination of a pinwheel and Popsicle. Sure, I’ll reach for that!
But after three years of diligently sticking with my yoga, meditation, and clean eating regime, I’m still totally baffled by finding my Zen.
Like anything else, being honest about what’s really happening behind the scenes, (or inside my head!) might just bring about some clarity. So without any further ados (or oms) . . .
10 Confessions From a Wanna-Be Zen Seeker
- During guided group meditations, I can’t help but peek through the crack of my half-opened eyelids to see if anyone is staring at me. As I gawk at other participants, I note how silly they appear while closing their own eyes and wonder if I look the same? Nah!
- I only go to yoga class so I can sprawl out on those colored mats that take me back to kindergarten, when after lunch we chose a special napping rug while the teacher read aloud from Ramona the Pest. Ah, the sweet, innocence of an orange yoga mat.
- I’ve been using the word “Mindful” long before it became this decade’s buzzword. Here are some of the ways I’ve incorporated it — “If you don’t stop kicking the back of my seat, I’m going to lose my mindful!” And, “Do you mindful?? I’m trying to get some sleep here!” As well as, “Mindful your own damn business!” And there’s always, “I have a good mindful to let you freeze to death in those skimpy shorts.” I was ahead of my time saying “authentic” too. i.e. “Is this just a plain old suede purse or is it genuine, authentic leatherette?” But trust me….You don’t want to hear all the ways I’ve used the catchphrase, “staying present.”
- At the end of class, when our yoga teacher bids us “Namaste,” I get embarrassed for her. Poor misguided thing, she’s saying it all wrong. Everyone knows it’s “Na maste,” which rhymes with “blah taste.” And speaking of food — boiled soybeans (edamame) is pronounced “Ed-a-maim” simultaneously implying that anyone named Edward is violent.
- After meditation, when everyone proclaims how well-rested, focused and lucid they are, I’m always reminded of The Emperor’s New Clothes. When you’re feeling no different at all, it’s tempting to cry out, (just like that wide-eyed, honest child from the fable) “But he doesn’t have a stitch on. He’s completely naked!”
- When folks talk about regimented juice cleanses that spring-clean their insides while releasing the toxins from their bodies, I chime right in bragging about my own juice cleansing high. It’s true – yesterday I scrubbed the large grape stain right out of my Juicy Couture jacket and I’m definitely feeling more alive.
- My meditation leader showed up with a bandaged wrist one day and before I could stop myself, I blurted out, “Woo Woo Guru has Boo-Boo!”
- Whenever I hear discussions about tantra, I offer one of my own little mantras on tantras, “Throwing himself on the floor in a screaming fit of rage never hurt any child. Let him temper tantra all he wants.”
- No!! I don’t want to set a powerful “intention!” I just want to stick to my old-fashioned, comforting goals on my nice little bucket list.
- And if I hear one more well-meaning instructor begin to issue those familiar directions, “Slowly become aware of your breathing. Concentrate on each respiration entering and exiting your body. Notice how the breath moves in and out, automatically and effortlessly. Pay attention to when it turns the corner from inhalation to exhalation and how that makes you feel, yada yada …” I’m going to interrupt and scream, “I don’t have to…..I own a Spire!”