The Mindless Life: If you fall off the path…

Via Rachel Steele
on Aug 28, 2009
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This picture was taken either minutes before or minutes after I puked on Blackberry. I think. As in, I think I remember puking on my Blackberry, but let’s face it, if you’re drunk enough to puke on your Blackberry, your memory is not going to be up to par. (Time to get an Iphone?) I used to be mindful. I swear. But these days, I buy bottled water, and I do Pilates instead of Yoga. As they say in A Mighty Wind, “Whaaaa Happened?”.

I don’t know. I have some excuses though. I moved to New York City, and I often can’t find places to refill my Nalgene. I haven’t found a Yoga studio I jibe with and can afford, so I’m more likely to hit up a Spin Class or Pilates at the gym. But if the road to hell is paved with good intentions, it’s also paved with excuses. The other day in Spinning, in order to motivate the group, our instructor told the class to imagine pedaling in someone’s face that had pissed us off. Yeah, a few people’s images came to mind, but really? How un-yogic can you get? Is that even a word? It’s hard to open your heart when your hunched over a Spin bike though, let me tell you…

So at the risk of writing this article and losing all my credibility at elephant (since comparing meditation to watching Twilight only increased my street cred), I think it’s worth examining my mindless life and asking myself, maybe not what happened, but how do I get it back on track? As I’m writing this, a song came on my Itunes. It is What It Is by Boulder favorites The String Cheese Incident. So yeah, it is what it is. It can’t be anything else, right? I’ve never been a huge “it all happens for a reason” fan, but a fellow yoga teacher once said to me that it’s not what’s meant to be per se, but it’s what is happening and not what’s not happening. You dig? I do. So what is happening, is that I’m not being very mindful. I’m a year out of college, struggling to make it in the film industry, and yeah, I puked on my Blackberry. Who hasn’t? Okay, everyone reading this. But it’s cyclical. If I think of time in a Western sense, a linear sense, than ideally, I’m always progressing forward in my development and becoming more mindful each day. But time doesn’t work like that. Did I think I was going to start practicing Yoga and become a better person all the time forever and ever?  Yes, yes I did. Because that actually happened at first. But in Vedic and Eastern thought time is cyclical. Our lives go through cycles, not clear trajectories. So what can I do?

I can try to be more mindful by accepting that it’s a process. As my Yoga Teacher Trace Sahaja Bonner would say, “It’s not bad, it’s maybe un-optimum.” Now there’s a good word. If I examine my life honestly, it’s not just getting a little too (okay way too) drunk last weekend. I wish I were writing more, eating less meat, reading less gossip blogs, maybe cultivating a little more brahamacharya…. yeah? But that’s okay. It’s not if I continue to drink vodka like it’s going out of style (but hey, maybe for me, it should be?). There are choices I’m happy with: moving to New York to follow my dreams, visiting museums, spending time with my family instead of going on Phish tour, putting my blood, sweat, and tears into film production internships. Yeah, the blood and tears because I’m clumsy and film equipment is heavy, but I have a lot to be proud of too…and some things, well you know.

Maybe you can relate. Maybe you can’t. Either way, If we didn’t consciously put ourselves back on the path sometimes, it wouldn’t be so mindful, now would it? Stay tuned…


About Rachel Steele

Rachel Steele originally hails from Charleston, SC, but schlepped all the way to Boulder to play in the mountains and study at the University of Colorado. She graduated with a degree in in Political Geography in 2008 and then briefly traveled in India and was certified as a yoga teacher in 2009 at Holy Cow Yoga Studio. She has since returned to her mother's ancestral home of Brooklyn, NY and is proud to call the Williamsburg area home. Despite what her mother recently said, she doesn't think she's become a hipster. She does wears many hats, including a fedora with a pin of Lindsey Lohan on it, but the one that is most important to her is that of a feminist filmmaker. She also loves live music, enjoys cooking, and is happiest when rabble rousing. She does miss Colorado, but feels very connected to her college home when writing for elephant. Her personal blog can be found at and on imdb.


3 Responses to “The Mindless Life: If you fall off the path…”

  1. Go to Jivamukti, Om Yoga (ad on left) or Virayoga, I've checked 'em all out and they're amazing! Great to see you blogging again, you troublemaker!

  2. Eddie says:

    Very relieved to have read this

  3. […] without thinking. And the exorbitant amount of waste that gets generated as a result of this mindless […]