Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Looking Up!

After much resistance, I finally joined the club. No, I’m not talking about some pricy fitness center. I’m talking about buying a smartphone. It took me a long time but I finally realized I could not keep up with the pace of the world without it.

So far, I have no regrets. I’m enjoying being able to check my email anywhere, anytime, and it’s great for locating restaurants in unfamiliar neighborhoods, among other things. However, there’s one thing about cell phones of any ilk (and particularly, perhaps, about the mesmerizing smartphone) that bothers me. Yes, you guessed it! It keeps us looking down.

Not that there’s anything wrong with checking out your shoes or the cracks in the sidewalk now and then. But looking up seems a much better, more expansive option in most cases. So along with getting a smartphone, I made myself a vow: Henceforth I’m going to make a concerted effort to look up at the sky, every hour on the hour (or as close to it as possible).

Why would I do such a thing? Well, my first yoga teacher Liz (her name is Jill in my memoir, Yin, Yang, Yogini) once told me that in order to believe all you need to do is look at the sky. And I found that she was right. Whenever I feel separated from the Divine, from nature, from my soul, from my heart, or from my true self, all I need to do is look up. Whether the sky is cloudy, royal blue, filled with seagulls, glowing with stars, dark and grainy, pink with rainbows, doesn’t matter. There’s something about staring into the vastness, the endlessness, the overwhelming ongoing-ness of the sky. Every time, it does the trick.

So while I’m enjoying my new smartphone, I’m going to remember that there’s a lot going on up above, all around, and inside. It’s fine to text, to research, or chat, or do whatever we do on our smartphones, but if we want to be really smart, it makes sense to cast our gaze to the heavens now and then, just to remind ourselves to believe.

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