(published Dec 13th through my newsletter)

Last Tuesday evening, just before sunset, a comment on one of my Instagram posts cropped up and annoyed the heck out of me. It was a simple, innocuous comment by a stranger that contained no harm or ill will. But it still pissed me off.

Given my irrational reaction, I knew needed a vibe change.

It’s been a loooong time since I took a yoga class, but I thought I’d try out the local yoga scene here in small-town SoCal.

I found the one studio nearby and happily saw that a gentle candlelight yoga class was starting at 6pm, in two hours. Giddy-up!

As I set off in the 4Runner, an extraordinary sunset was fanning out across the sky. Great splashes of violet and streaks of fuchsia… deep blues with golden touches. The thought arose, “just seeing this one sky was worth quitting my whole life!”

I arrived at the yoga studio shopping strip early so I decided to do what any sane person would do before taking a yoga class… get a slice of carrot cake. The local bakery is known for its excellent carrot cake.

But upon viewing the slices of carrot cake in the display case, I was disappointed to realize that I would have to sacrifice a plastic container in order to eat one.

They did not have any slices they could just put on a plate, and given the fact that I used a styrofoam coffee cup a couple of weeks ago, I felt like using a plastic container was just too many single-use disposable containers within one month.

So I opted for one of the rectangular hunks of walnut cake tucked under a glass lid… resting naked with absolutely no disposable plastic in sight.

Upon sitting at a high stool and eating 80% of the walnut cake, melancholy set in.

I know that the world is up in arms against sugar these days. And I don’t like to rage against the sugar machine along with the masses.

But the cold hard truth is that when I eat a lot of sugar and processed flour, I start to hate myself.

So I put my fork down and shuffled around the corner to sign-in for yoga. The yoga class was $12, which was thrilling. Less than $15 for a yoga class? Whaaaa?

I unrolled my mat and smiled plastically at the wide variety of ages and bodies in the room.

Then as we sunk into meditation, followed by a bunch of gentle yoga movements to sitar tracks, that same old walnut cake sorrow rose up again. I didn’t want to be in a yoga class. I was being reminded of all the yoga classes I’ve ever taken. Of my own yoga teaching. Of my yoga disillusionment.

The teacher was talking about my thoracic spine and my chakras and kept using the word “surrender” and I was like aargheghrhgh I’ve got to start Tai Chi! Or Taekwondo! Or Capoeira! Get me out of this effing yoga class!

Anyway, you know it wasn’t that bad. That was just the walnut cake talking.

While I was driving home I felt really down and pondered on what the problem was. What was beneath this walnut cake/local yoga induced rage?

Then, aha! Technology. The memory surged up of that stranger’s comment on my Instagram post… then I recalled the time that I decided to only go on email and social media for a limit of two hours per day.

It was a couple years ago when I was living in my little apartment in Prospect/Lefferts, beside Prospect Park. By limiting my time on sites where people could reach out to me to just two hours a day, I had carved out my privacy. I couldn’t be suddenly hit with a message or comment that threw me off guard.

So I decided to do the same starting the next day. Only between about 11-1 would I be going online each day. No more random Insta posts ruining glorious dusk in the desert.

And that’s where this newsletter delivers us… and it’s about a lot more than limiting technology use. It’s about self-worth.

Valuing my mood, my energy, my vibe enough to not let random input invade upon it.

When I did that two-hour limit a couple years ago, it struck me how much I could get done in two hours. I didn’t need all day. It made my email and social media use much more clear and efficient.

So this is what’s up in the desert this week. And I hope it serves as inspiration for you if you’re regularly caught in a perpetually flushing toilet of pixels.

 

Ps. If you want to receive notes and news and join upcoming free webinars from me, be sure you’re subscribed to Ariel’s List