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I wrote a cute little essay once (I thought, anyway) about how, when they were young, my three boys used to always want me to watch them performing such various feats as climbing up on the back of the sofa, brushing their teeth, hopping on one foot, or coloring a picture. Most of the time, even if I thought the feat was pretty unremarkable, I would drop whatever I was doing to observe with feigned fascination. After all, I didn’t want them to think that Mommy had better things to do than pay attention to them.
Well, as they say, that was then and this is now. I am still fascinated by my children—probably even more so now that they are doing truly remarkable things like drawing up architectural plans, designing websites, or writing phenomenal poetry, but I don’t feel quite the same way about the rest of the world, and at the risk of sounding cranky (yet again), I would like to say that I am getting rather tired of everyone (and I include myself in this) asking everyone else to watch, listen, or look at them. The problem is, between Facebook, You Tube, websites, iPhones, Linked In, and all these other places where we can watch and admire one another, sometimes I feel dizzy. How many articles, pictures, comments, videos, and on and on ad nauseum can one person possibly examine in a day without totally losing their mind? (And yes, I know, here I am writing yet another blog!)
A yoga teacher I greatly admire (you know who you are, Charlotte!) is fond of telling us to pay attention to our own mats and not be looking around all the time to see what others are doing (thus becoming competitive, envious and feeling either superior or inferior). Your yoga practice, in other words, is about you and your own body, your own mind, your own soul, not anyone else’s. There is really no need to check to see if someone’s leg is lifting higher than yours, or if they are rising into Wheel when you are still stuck in a baby-ish Bridge pose.
Sometimes I feel this way about my time off the mat, too. Yes, I know we all have our various talents, and we all need to sell our wares. But I wonder what would happen if one day everyone just stopped yelling, “Watch me!” and looked within, instead. It might be one dull day on Facebook, but who knows what we'd all find out.