Dog Shit, the Gita and the Circle of Like

‘There is no reality except the one contained within us. That is why so many people live such an unreal life. They take the images outside them for reality and never allow the world within to assert itself.’ – Hermann Hesse

A while back a social media savvy friend advised me to “like” my own posts because it raised my profile or visibility or something.  At the time I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be more visible and I wasn’t sure I didn’t feel stupid praising my own and every declaration in the media but I gave it a shot anyway and found a certain and unexpected sense of gratification upon clicking “like”. More significantly I felt a sense of closure that appeared to come from feeling appreciated. My approval had more merit than I had realized.

Sweet Emily, my social media guru came by today to help me create a Facebook page for bitchin yoga. I clicked the “like” button when the page went up and nothing happened. Emily said;

“Hmmm, I don’t think you can like yourself”.

What! That is unacceptable.

I had grown accustomed to myself.

I’ve been taking notes and taking note for most of my life, a small notebook usually in my pocket or purse since my teens. My comments have given me immense satisfaction; for no eyes other than mine.

I don’t know why I was recently reminded of a note I made a lifetime ago on a hot day outside my third floor walk- up by the East River in Manhattan.  But it came on the heels of feeling lousy that some pieces I’d posted recently on Elephant Journal hadn’t gotten much attention.

Taking out the garbage on that Manhattan morning I’d been assaulted at the foot of the stairs by wet summer heat and a fly covered sweating baggy of dog shit perched on the lid of the garbage can. New York City law obliged you to clean up after your dog but in that moment I noted that the terrible offence of baking plastic covered dog shit tossed in my way was far worse than something left unadorned on the tired patch of grass beside it.

It was nothing much; a moment, a remark in a worn red leather notebook but I thought it was funny and I enjoyed it. What if I had published that observation and no one got it? Or thought I was insane or weird?  What then of my satisfaction? What of the satisfaction of a lifetime of commentary?

I considered the verses on Karma yoga in the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita, that are an admonition to do the work suited to one’s essential nature without attachment to the results. In a new world where one is measured by virtual visibility and the barometer of one’s importance is called status and determined by numbers it is easy to be uneasy.

Writings and posts liked or commented on gives instant pleasure but liking them oneself gives what Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras describes as santosa or contentment. And contentment absolutely trumps pleasure’s fleeting vanity. It took some experience to understand that in the context of internet interaction but the lesson is learned.

Bitchin yoga declares itself content and contented.  The circle is complete but wide enough to embrace you. Welcome.



Filed under new age enlightenment, yoga, yoga and blogging

13 responses to “Dog Shit, the Gita and the Circle of Like

  1. Thank you. I am happy to be in that Bitchin circle. Your words are wise and welcome, as usual. xxoo

    • And here is a circle of arms around you who is both virtual and realer than real and who was one of the first who showed me that 21st century communication creates relationships undiminished by distance and none the less for being more ether than solid.

  2. bella

    I’m in! Thanks for the welcome. Brilliant writing as always and I am always humbled by your humor, talent and your descriptive wordsmithing. I made that word up I think. Love your stories, insights and commentary on popular culture. You are a combination of Chelsea Handler, Arrianna Huffington, David Sedaris, and Hunter S Thompson and I want to be your agent.

    I was in a mountain bike riding club in California called BITCH (on wheels). Tee shirts read B.I.T.C.H across front and “On Wheels” on back with pic of bike. B.I.T.C.H was spelled out across and vertically under each letter it read. B-Being. I-In. T-Total. C-Control. H-Herself. Being in Total Control of Herself.

    I think bitch and bitchin are complimentary words for women and yoga. We just need to change societies mindset.I mean after all when a woman is referred to as a bitch it is always in a moment of her standing up for who she is, what she believes in and knowing her talents, power and grace can significantly impact the good of humanity. But most of all Bitch really implies a woman who is not afraid to be who she genuinely is. Bitchin Yoga, same thing………keep on keeping it real Hil.

    Hey Hil. You could make up tee shirts that say B.I.T.C.H.I.N on front which stands for ” Being in Total Control of Herself in Nashville” and on back “Rebel Yoga”

    • Well I couldn’t love anything more, EVER, than being compared to Hunter Thompson so thank you for that and for the story of B.I.T.C.H. which I also love more than you can imagine.

      I think that shirt would be pretty fabulous except I’d have to pass on wearing it myself cause I’ve never felt in control of anything for long. But it would be a really good aspiration.

      I am in control, I am in control, I am in control, I am in, I am, I,…………….. That’s more me. Or maybe: B.eing I.n T.otal C.ontrol of H.erself in Yoga.
      Well, also a stretch.

      Thank you for all of this, so very much.

  3. Congratulations on your great new blog site.


    • Thanks Bob,
      Bitchin yoga’s been around for some time but I made a facebook page for it yesterday. I thought you’d be amazed to see me sliding into the 21st century with gusto.:) And you were behind the curtains in this post in a way, as the fellow who got me into blogging, who brought me to Elephant Journal, who encouraged me to not concern myself with popularity there and as the greatest admirer of the Gita that I know.

  4. Jocelyne Bezzi batani

    Congratulation on thé new page and i do agrée
    Enjoy your self thé way we do you

  5. Brent Nichols

    Congrats on the new blog. I’ve enjoyed reading and look forward to more. Keep up the great work.
    Love you always,

    • I love you too, Brent and miss you both. Thanks for staying with me even though you are so far away in Denver. The facebook page was an effort to join the modern world but the blog site here will stay the same. The page will just be a way to send it out. Big love again.

  6. There is now no doubt in my mind that if Krishna were teaching Arjuna today he would tell Arjuna to hit his own like button and send his work into cyberspace without attachment to comments or re-blogs. Thanks, Hilary – I’m going to use this one.

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