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Refocusing the Blog

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post. This is because, much though I love yoga, it’s been difficult to focus adequate attention on coming up with new things to say about yoga—especially since there are so many other really fine information sources out there. I will still post occasionally about yoga, but there is so much else in the world that fascinates me  that I find it difficult to limit my thinking and writing to that one valuable tool for living. On the other hand, given that the definition of “yoga” is to yoke together — mind and body, spirit and mind, inner and outer realities — perhaps I’ll still be exploring yoga, just from another perspective.

Every so often I try to tell the story of my life to a new friend, to a potential agent or editor, to a potential employer, to myself. And I go to pieces. Not in terms of mental breakdown; sometimes that might be a relief.

What I mean is that I try to compose a linear story that would make who I am now make sense, and I find it cannot be done. For instance, I am a yoga teacher, but that story line starts and stops many times as other plot lines, important to my development as a yogi, but seemingly unrelated, show signs of interfering.

And is my real story one of becoming a yoga teacher, or even a yogi? I doubt it. My students might think so, but the teacher that I am is contingent upon my development as a human in relation to other humans. It is contingent upon what I learned by studying astrology for so long. It is even contingent on my struggles to become a writer.

But is my life’s story about becoming a writer?

I am a writer, but the writer I have become bears little resemblance to the writer I thought I wanted to be. I wanted to write stories, novels. I wanted to bury myself in lives different from mine. For the same reason I considered pursuing acting as a career.

That was an idea I ditched fairly early on because I couldn’t face auditions. Little did I know that life is just one long audition. I might as well have faced it back then and gotten it out of the way.

On the other hand, learning to handle rejection requires a doctorate in how the world works. And actors get rejected a lot!

My self-bestowed doctorate in how the world works is composed of lots of independent study in yoga, astrology, observation, hard knocks, laziness, determination, friendship, betrayal, doing the wrong thing, doing the right thing, making the wrong thing right, accepting responsibility, discerning which responsibility is really mine, and many more topics.

My biggest fear in attempting to pull it all together is falling into the trap of being facile in my handling of experience and its intersection with philosophy and science. This is because I’m always aware of the fractality of existence.

I have long been fascinated by fractal geometry; the beauty, the intricacy, the resemblance so many fractals have to objects in the natural world, like ferns, mountain ranges and tree branches. But recently, as I examined a Julia set (ain’t the Web wonderful) I imagined that I was peering down into a tiny, perfect world. It had islands and continents. There were fjords and oceans. As I zoomed in on one area I realized that the portion I was studying bore very little resemblance to a portion located only a little distance (in pixels) off. Yet is was all part of the result of the same equation, just as every ocean, mountain range or desert is part of the same world.

People are like that. A farmer in China must have a terrible time comprehending the life of a barista in Chicago or of a suicide bomber pretending to fit in (wherever he or she might be) until the bomb is made, the target selected and he or she leaves that visible life to express the inner one emphatically. The views from those locations bear little relationship one to the other yet they are all equally part of this world we all live on.

It took me a few days (or was it weeks, or months) to realize the corollary: My life is like that. And it’s hard to see the connection between the woman fascinated by chaos mathematics and the one who likes to meditate by toning. Between the astrologer and the botanist. Between the yogi and the artist.

But we are all me and a dozen others beside.




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