For years, I couldn’t understand what my kids saw in playing video games into oblivion, but then — just recently — I discovered Typer Shark. Turns out I was born to type very fast, killing sharks filled with words as they speed across the screen. And the better I got at Typer Shark, the longer the game. Earlier today, when I meant to do yoga, I found myself playing Typer Shark for 40 minutes instead (until, as is inevitable, the sharks got me).
What’s more disturbing is that as I played, I felt this frenzy take me over, wanting to keep going until I could get to the next level. My shoulders tensed, my eyes popped wide, my mouth got dry. What the heck was happening, and why was I still playing when obviously, this wasn’t a great way to relax or do anything of value? Besides, Ken is sure that the more sharks I kill, the more our oceans suffer.
So later today, with just 40 minutes between this and that, I rolled out the yoga mat instead. “You could play a quick game of Typer Shark” the shark-shaped devil in me whispered. “You could breathe yourself into health and nirvana,” the sweet but somewhat exaggerating yoga angel whispered. I let the angel win.
There are millions of diversions and distractions from showing up right where we are, and I’m as prone to rushing away from any given moment to waste my energies as the next person (maybe more so). But sometimes we have to listen to the more expansive angels of our nature rather than the quick-typing sharks, and at least for the last hour, the sharks lived. (Bottom picture: one of my yoga teachers, Gopi, making a very scary face, but hey, that’s yoga too!)