Getting Past The Fake On The Path To Self Actualization

I was heading to my yoga class the other day, and on my way I realized my watch and the clock in the car were a full TEN minutes apart. This meant that if my watch was right I might be late – in which case I wondered if I should even bother going to class. I decided to go ahead anyway and when I arrived, say several people covertly dashing from their cars, which meant my watch was right. The sight of them all racing sent a reflexive primal release of adrenaline – Okay-okay, where’s my yoga mat… should I grab my purse or leave it in the trunk? Take it… duh. And okay, well, where ..? I headed for the studio like a restrained dart, careful not to appear desperate— it just wouldn’t be yogi-like.

And then out of nowhere, in sudden revolt, I stopped dead in my tracks and blurted out “I refuse-to rush-into a YO-GA class!” Which came out more like a declaration (and a surprise) rather than a blurt. A gal who had just come up on my heels slowed her pace slightly and whispered sweetly as she crept by, “You’re exactly right,” then purposefully slipped in front of me so she could get in the door first.

Thank God for Savasana – by then I had all but forgotten about the stampede, but chalking it up to another of life’s current conundrums just wasn’t going to cut it.

Life Without Fake?

I’ve recently discovered a new kind of fake. One that is hard to decipher. Once upon a time the cons were the cons, the preppies, the junkies, the snobs, the geeks, the jocks, the bullies, the hussies, and so on. You could spot these personas a mile away. Now the ego has gotten so divisive, and with the help of high tech it can hide behind a cacophony of smoke and mirrors galore.

Suddenly it’s a free-for-all. We’ve let it get to the point that, for many of us, as long as we say the right thing, it doesn’t matter what our behavior is. It does not matter that people are not who they say they are, as long as they get what they want. It’s become “the way it is.” We say we want to help, but what we don’t say is that we want to help ourselves. My current fantasy (not sexy but hey) is wondering what it, life, us, would be like in the absence of fake?

My guess is being in survival mode according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs drives most of us and is responsible for what compels most of our unconscious fake behavior. Apparently what the last fifty years has taught us is that fake is the new real; when we have the rent paid then comes safety; if we have any energy left over from playing the game of satisfying our psychological needs and if we are among the eccentric few who make time, the last is self-actualization. Peak, or what I prefer to call spiritual experiences, are reserved for folks who apparently have time on their hands or just don’t get it the necessity for all the rest.

Looking Inside Yourself

The bummer is that spirit is EXACTLY what we need right now. It’s our survival, old-brain, unconscious, dog-eat-dog, survival-of-the-fittest mentality that is killing us, or at least it’s trying to kill our spirit. So how do we deal? Take a deep, audible breath—ujjayi, kapalabhati, whatever—and for one precious moment, slow down. Look inside. (Oh, yeah, Great Relationships Begin Within, right?) Shift the focus.

I would rather spend my day in self-inquiry, any time, than be trampled by a rabid wanna-be yogini. Looks like that pyramid is doing a shirshasana—let’s flip it other-side up. Who knows, maybe Maslow was dyslexic?


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