There are times in my life when I spontaneously take a low, deep breath and sigh it out. If I do this, it means I have emerged from a lengthy escapade in La La Land.La La Land can be loads of fun because I can go deep inside my own head. I have an easier time being alone. I use breaks in my day to think about basketball, politics, math, relationships, and other entertaining, miscellaneous things.
I am a frequent visitor of La La Land. My mind drifts away out of habit, and it’s a habit I’d like to break. I can get so deep inside my head snapping back feels like waking up. I need a second to remember where I am. In this subconscious state, the diaphragm shortens its movement, constricting the flow of precious oxygen and removal of CO2 from my body. I am literally suffocating. This is why I gasp for air when I emerge.
It’s not Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD); if I need to focus on something I can do it. And although I find intellectual value in sorting out my thoughts, that is not why I zone out either. It stems from my urge to always try to feel comfortable.
Maybe it’s all about perspective. If you really stop and think right now about where you are and what you’re doing, would you be able to handle the reality? Does reality sometimes seem bleak, boring, and lonely? If so, why would you ever leave La La Land? Is it enough to be alive and in the moment? I suppose it should be enough, but it takes time and practice to fully appreciate every mundane moment, so I slip into the realm of my thoughts.
When I practice yoga, I try to keep my focus somewhere between my upper lip and the tip of my nose where air moves in and out. My mind will persistently try to wander off. The goal is not to wipe my mind of any thoughts whatsoever; that’s impossible. The challenge is to simply acknowledge each useless thought and say to it, “Thank you, but you need to leave”, then carry on with my practice, quieting my mind, and making room for thoughtful intention.
It’s a constant pull between fading out and being aware. It will always be this way. The biggest step I took was to find preference towards being in the moment and noticing what there is to notice. La La Land is cool, but a purposeful, conscious life can be very fulfilling. Yoga is the power behind my mindfulness and awareness.