swipe your card and stay entertained

by blogasana on January 24, 2011

After ten days in Belize—at a pace, schedule and mindset only beachgoers know—I got on a plane to come home.

Sitting in the stiff, blue tweed airplane seat (can we agree that they make those seats as ergonomically awful as possible?), I looked at the TV screen in the seat back in front of me to read:

Swipe your card to stay entertained for $6.

It might as well have said Sell your soul for peace of mind. I was triggered.

After ten days of lounging, napping, resting, reading, and sunning…  days of simplicity, quietude, subtlety, and beauty, the sign felt like a poke in the eye. Stay entertained. For $6.

The thing is, we are constantly entertained, stimulated, engaged, and distracted.

And isn’t it just like us to think we can buy it…. the right yoga pants, new boobs, peace of mind.

It can even sneak into yoga. This is one of the main reason I no longer (at least not very often) use music in class. We don’t come to practice to be entertained.*

*Post Script: And by this I mean no offense to those who do use music. Ain’t no one shoe that’s gonna fit all people.

We come to the mat to spend a few precious moments with what’s real… what’s really happening.

A few moments of quiet. (As quiet as it gets on 21st Street in Anycity.)

A few moments of simplicity.

A few moments when no one else is putting their expectations, mood, or agenda on us.

As only time and space away from one’s regular routine can do, my short stint as a beachcomber has me meeting ordinary circumstances with an out-of-the-ordinary perspective. I’m simplifying my teaching, we’re doing major purging in the house, and, as you know, I’m taking recess (again) in February.

Now, don’t think I’ve gotten all high and mighty.

Remember in When Harry Met Sally when the two are talking about how hard the dating scene is, and Sally says, It might be a long time before we feel comfortable with someone again… and even longer before we can have sex with them. And Harry casually replies, Oh, I has sex with her!

Well, I swiped my card.

That’s right. I wanted to be entertained. I’d journaled and self-reflected my heart out for 10 days.

It’s all about balance, baby.

So I ask you… from the whisperings of your heart, the knowing that is suspicious and can be scary to trust: what is it that you need?

A break from the intensity of work? A “zone-out” where you aren’t putting 110% into an outcome? A pause? Connection and quiet? Some alone time?

And what would it be like to give that to yourself? Can you do it guilt-free?


EIGHT DAYS TILL RECESS!! But who’s counting.

I hope to see you at class. Or online (yes, my new project is almost ready!!). Or in the comments. Take care of yourself!

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Leili January 24, 2011 at 7:32 pm

What is it that I need? Yes, that’s the question.


JennaFrancisco January 24, 2011 at 7:49 pm

Ya. I love it. I swiped my card last time I flew, too. I’ve missed your beautiful writing, especially because it always makes me think. I’ve been going to Kaiser twice a week for the last few weeks for testing, and I have to lie down w/ monitors on for at least 20 mins. What to do during that 20 mins? Read on my kindle? Can’t I sneak in an overdue call on my cell phone? Chat with the nurse? How about nothing?! It’s so hard for us to do nothing without trying to cram in a little something. Enjoy your recess. :-) xo
Beautiful pictures, by the way.


Tracy January 25, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Hi, Michelle! You have been greatly missed here… but Belize looks like a little slice of heave–gorgeous photos! The airline we usually travel hasn’t charged us for entertainment–not yet anyway. It’s coming, no doubt–LOL! And in the air entertainment on international flights is almost essential at times. ;o) I try to strike a good balance between quiet moments and deep connection with what I’m doing and the occasional entertainment. I don’t buy into the needing to be stimulated or entertained all the time. I thrive on a good amount of quite, and especially while working. My husband & I are both this way, so we respect each other’s need for time & space. Alone time never feels quilty to me. Enjoy your next recess! Happy Days ((HUGS))


Madeleine January 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm

Those photos are the best. Great ponderings, too!


yogaquest January 25, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Great post. Thanks Michelle!


Traci January 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm

Hmmm…the eternal question, right? So hard to get past all of the shoulds, can’ts, need to’s, but if’s and recognize what that is..that thing…what “I” need. Sometimes I wonder if I would know it if it hit me over the head?! But what I DO know is that I have to start asking. It’s kind of like expecting to win the lottery when you don’t buy tickets. Thanks for asking the questions Missy.


geanette January 27, 2011 at 5:20 pm

Love it! The perspective is wonderful! As a fellow short time beachcomber I too have returned to civilization with a keen awareness of simplicity. The need to rush to get something done, like unpacking a BAAAA-ZILLION boxes, doesn’t seem so urgent.

What I need now? A massage!



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