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November 29, 2019

Social BE MEdia -How to stop caring!

Social media gurus tell you how be famous in 1 easy step! Be Me!

What if you don’t want to be a writer, I have absolutely no interest in being a writer, I am a yoga teacher, I love being a yoga teacher. But for sometime I have listened to and attended social media workshops online or in person to try to gain some idea why this is supposed to be important. It is not because I wish to become more famous but to understand a mindset that I missed out on somewhere along the line.

During the last top secert webinar promising willing listeners how to become famous overnight. I suddenly realised something important, that I had noticed on a retreat eariler in the year. To do what you love you are constantly being told you need to something else first….. like if you want to teach yoga for example.

Then you need to write a book about yoga, or make an online course, or find businesses to create giveaways with or do marketing.

Does it not seem possible we are missing the point? What if all you wanted was to actually teach yoga to the people around you! Well then I guess you would not be looking at these webinars etc.

But I don’t think it as simple as that, I think what is happening is dissatisfaction epidemic. We are constantly being told by the social world that we need to be more than the thing we started out wanting to be. And there is another MORE we should all be chasing, but what that is, still isn’t clear, is it money? Followers? Likes? Views?

“From dopamine’s point of view, having things is uninteresting. It’s only getting things that matters. If you live under a bridge, dopamine makes you want a tent. If you live in a tent, dopamine makes you want a house.”

Daniel Z. Lieberman, The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race

“What is the purpose of any of this!” I ask, as someone who has had to catch myself repeatedly getting catch up in the tide of trying to be more than I want to be. At one point on a playdate with my son I was discussing how I would find the time to run more aboard retreats a year, the ethical problems with flights etc, and still do the other local UK ones.

If you live in the most expensive mansion in the world, dopamine makes you want a castle on the moon. Dopamine has no standard for good, and seeks no finish line. The dopamine circuits in the brain can be stimulated only by the possibility of whatever is shiny and new, never mind how perfect things are at the moment. The dopamine motto is “More.”

Daniel Z. Lieberman, The Molecule of More: How a Single Chemical in Your Brain Drives Love, Sex, and Creativity—and Will Determine the Fate of the Human Race

When my friend looked at me and said “why do more?” and for a second I thought this was a stupid question. She could mean this one of two ways,: your so rich why would you work? but given she is my friend we can discredit that one. So I tried to answer with my reasons.

Why of course it is about creating beautiful soul changing events, inspiring action, and attacting different people who may not have come on the UK ones, a little bit about staying in gourgous places, maybe somewhere at the back of mind, to make money.

But I was worried about the kids missing me and my other classes getting annoyed as I would have looked too inconsistent and my husband maybe just deciding solo parenting was getting to be a bore, and finding a new wife.

And then I got it.

I am already a mum and yoga teacher, friend, wife, retreat chef, and music festival chair and volunteer. And yet I find I am being told to be successful as a yoga teacher/mum/whatever, I need to write a book, run more retreats, create online content daily, make social media posts, collect emails, etc.

It reminds me of a quote I have often used in my classes.

“There is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything, is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of our activism neutralizes our work for peace. It destroys our own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander

But what if I just want to spend it feeling guilty about not having time to save the planet or make the kids vegan sunshine burgers from scratch (which they will look at and refuse to eat) and to not do the yoga session I promised myself because I got stuck putting laundry away. This pressure is more hassle from within yet I am fully aware it is not real. It is a construct of our time, I do not need to change everything or I will die of badness and guilt.

I believe that teaching, reading, and writing all have to do with searching. Each involves searching for Wholeness through dialogue and experience.

Mark Nepo This excerpt is from his book, Drinking from the River of Light, published this fall by Sounds True.

I need to remember WHAT and WHY.

What do I do?

I teach Yoga.

Why do I do it?

I want to make others drop the digital devices and connect with themselves. Remember what it is like to be with others on a very basic and grounding level. And to get back into their bodies and live in the space around them. The earth needs our engagement with it. Plus if we all have some fun while we do it that is no bad thing either.

If you can ask yourself what you want to do and why? And the answer doesn’t include spending more time at your computer, then don’t. Get out into the world and start doing what you love, want to, and ignore the feeling that you are missing something if you don’t have as many followers/likes/views.

Just be and do what you started out wanting to do and maybe forget about being the go to person for such and such.

Life is short and it is for living, not other thinking or wasting time computing. So from now on I will just be out there running naked and free between yoga mats

At the heart of it, learning is really seeing, while writing is really internalizing what is seen through the life of our expression. And teaching is asking questions about what is seen and taken to heart—in an effort that if honestly entered usually leads to seeing further and taking in more.

Mark Nepo This excerpt is from his book, Drinking from the River of Light, published this fall by Sounds True.

Nova Milesko is a Senior YAP with 15 years running Teacher trainings and she runs retreats in the New Forest and around Europe. To find out more email her on [email protected] or check out

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