It’s Time to Reboot!

Over the last two weeks, my yoga practice and work-outs have taken a hit and I’ve been beating my head against the wall trying to figure out what my problem is (besides my assortment of injuries). Why do I feel a disconnect between mind and body? For those of you who lead an active lifestyle, you know how I feel;  you know how frustrating it is when you’re on a roll, hitting the gym regularly, practicing yoga a couple of times a week – or doing whatever it is that helps you ditch the stress of everyday life, and then one day, it all comes to a grinding halt and you’re left listening to that little voice inside your head that just won’t quit. Mine says things like:

Go to the gym! You look huge today!

You should do some yoga!

Go power walking – it’s nice out and you didn’t go the gym/yoga/ box – whatever.

Stop being lazy! You won’t achieve your goal if you don’t work out!

Turd alert! (this is when I’m feeling particularly turd-like)

I could go on but you get the point. That voice not only guilt-trips me all day long, but it also zones in on every self-perceived flaw that I think I have and picks away at them like a scab. My more reasonable side occasionally steps in to remind that annoying voice that I’ve got a knee injury and two tendinitis, and “why don’t you just SHUT UP already” but the annoying voice persists.

So, I’ve been feeling blocked – like my mind and body are at odds with one another. My mind wants one thing and my body constantly tells it to piss off. The fact that I’ve been in a fair amount of pain probably doesn’t help soften my body’s attitude toward me, nor do the work-outs that I’ve been doing regardless of said pain. But hey – I can’t let the annoying voice win, right? After all, society expects me to be perfect.

Because I want to get to the root of the problem and eventually move past it, I’ve been giving this a lot of thought and I came to the conclusion that I’m not dealing with a lack of motivation or desire. I want to work out, and I’m desperate to step onto my mat for more then 20 darn minutes. And, it’s important to me keep cultivating that Zenitude I’ve been working so hard to achieve – so, what’s the problem? Ah-HA! Light bulb moment.

My ‘blockage’ goes hand-in-hand with the feeling of being overwhelmed at everything I “have” to do: gym, yoga, hot yoga, power walk, eat properly, don’t eat, lose weight, gain weight – work, work, work because it’s peak season, stress, don’t stress, run around to this place and that place. Somehow, I always find myself double-booked because I don’t keep track of what I’ve got going on, which further adds to my stress. It never ends – and I know it’s not just me. Men and women in today’s society simply feel overwhelmed – like there aren’t enough hours in a day to do what needs to get done. So at what point do we say STOP? When do we switch ourselves off and make time for ourselves? When do we reboot?

Thinking about all if this lead me to the realization that I’m always ‘on.’ My brain never stops; even when I’m ‘sleeping’, I’m thinking about work crap or feeling anxious that I’ve lost my Zen. When I get on my mat, I’m thinking about the pervert next door or Stomping Tom upstairs (I will pay good money to the person who invents the OFF switch for my brain, let me tell you!) . I feel like I’m ‘on’ 24/7. I have a laptop that never shuts down, a BlackBerry that never gets turned off, a personal cell phone that beeps with every incoming text message, a constant influx of emails flying through cyberspace, Tweets, Stumbles, Diggs, Facebook. Like so many people today, I’m almost always connected, reachable, which means that there’s always something interfering with my energy flow. And that, ladies and gents, is what’s creating my mind/body disconnect. What’s the solution? Well for me, it means turning off the laptop and ignoring the BB once I’m done with work at 5pm. I work to live, not the other way around. It also means that I need to keep working on how to effectively disassociate myself from all of the daily crap so that I can empty my mind and focus on achieving that mind/body connection. At some point, you have to step back and breathe. Recharge. Reboot.

What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and/or disconnected?


Stalked by Technology

FacebookTwitter… This blog…

They are all a means to promote social voyeurism and encourage some form of narcissism. Everybody look at me, I’m going to the bathroom! YAY ME! Woohoo! Can you HEAR me? Actually, it would be more accurate to ask if anyone READ me, but I digress.

I’m sick today!

I did my LAUNDRY!

Look how many friends I have!

Wow, this truly is fascinating stuff! But, as fascinating as it might be to some, I’m certain that my Facebook/Twitter friends and followers prefer to read updates that are a little less mainstream – like… ‘I’m going to do some naked mud wrestling tonight!

Sure, I’ve been guilty of posting mundane updates, for no other reason other then the fact that I was bored at the time, but, for the most part it’s never really been about getting attention. In fact, a friend once asked me why I bothered posting Facebook updates if I didn’t want people commenting on them to begin with. I mean after all, Facebook IS a social network isn’t it? Isn’t the inherent purpose of Facebook to interact with other people? Friends and strangers alike? At the time, I complained about the uselessness of some of the things that I read on walls and in news feeds. You know those people who just can’t control their urge to comment on absolutely every single post, even those that warrant no response? The ones who clutter your wall just so they can get the last word in? And those who start conversations on your wall, that you’re not even a part of? So annoying. My biggest complaint  relative to such comments leads me to believe that perhaps I’m not meant to socialize using this interweb technique. Perhaps I should stick to the old-fashioned way of communicating – the one where face-to-face meetings were the norm and the internet was just a way to send emails or to look at porn. As it stands now, I admit that I use Facebook to promote my blog and to raise funds for my upcoming breast cancer run. Sometimes I post an update but I inadvertently find myself asking why I bother, and promptly delete it. In any case, those same people that I mentioned above don’t feel the need to comment when asked for important things like sponsorship or donations, even though it’s for a good cause. Go figure.  Anyway, while I agree that Facebook is a great way to stay connected and to do some networking, I have to ask myself if it’s the best way to truly connect. What do you think? Has technology made us lose that loving feeling?

This brings me to my next point:

Mobile devices, Oh how I loathe thee! I have a cell phone that I never use, and I am constantly scolded for being unreachable. Why? Because I never answer it. Besides putting my phone on vibrate so I don’t hear it, and screening my calls, I often forget that I own a cell phone, which results in a dead battery. Oops.

As luck would have it, in January of 2009, I was informed that the former president of my division had put in a request for me. I held my breath as my boss gave me the news: I was going to be the not-so-proud owner of… a BlackBerry.  CRAP. Boy did I try to get out of it – I don’t think anyone has ever fought so hard to avoid getting a free phone. For three months, I successfully dodged the BlackBerry bullet. My former boss wasn’t really pushing it on me, but alas, she wasn’t making the decision. I kept telling her I wouldn’t use it, and she kept telling me that was fine, but I was still getting it. Then one day, I got the dreaded call from IT:

“Hi Ann…”

“I don’t want it dude!”

“OK. But I just finished configuring your new BlackBerry…”

“I told you I don’t want it.”

“But it’s brand new! And you have to take it.”

“I’m not using it – give it to someone else. I’m sure there are plenty of gadget freaks out there who will take it!”

I still got it. Oh well.

My point in all of this is the following: When did it become a necessity to be connected at ALL times? When did we decide that it was OK to be reachable during every waking (and sometimes sleeping) hour? Personally, I prefer emailing my friends to messaging them on Facebook. I prefer meeting up in person over impersonal conversations via BBM. I want my friends to tell me when something big happens in their lives – not discover it in my news feed a week later. I want to enjoy a dinner out with friends, without having to see a row of iPhones and BlackBerrys sitting face up on the table, and everyone frantically checking these so that they don’t miss a call, a text or an IM. Get over it!

Sure, technology is great and offers a lot of benefits and opportunities to connect (were it not for the Internet, I would have no blog!), but sometimes we need to pull the plug and reboot ourselves. No?

What do you guys think? Can you go a day without your Smartphone?