Well, this is the first time that I have actually quoted one of my own songs in a blog, but I really felt that it was a propos for this week's thoughts. As some of you know, even though I'm a yoga teacher, meditate and all of that jazz, I tend to have a lot of things on my plate at one time. Part of that is because I really like doing a lot of different things, and the other part is because I suffer from an affliction that is sweeping the nation: FOMO. If you are not familiar with this term, it simply means: Fear Of Missing Out. I've had it for as long as I can remember, and unfortunately, it's only getting worse. Rather, it was getting worse, until I decided to get my head out of an unspeakable part of my body and realize that I'm actually not missing anything. 

In Buddhism, the Four Noble Truths explore the notion of suffering, and the first Truth is that there is indeed suffering. This we know; we experience it on a day to day basis for the most part. What I found interesting what that most of the time, I am the one that creates this suffering. Not all the time, of course, but a lot of the time. When Nana got really sick and I was taking care of her, she was suffering, and I suffered as a consequence, observing her being in pain, and coming to terms with the fact that she is probably going to die soon (note: she is still hanging in and doesn't seem quite ready to go). So in that sense, I guess that I reacted to a situation that induces a sense of suffering. 

That being said, I notice that recently I've been creating my own ways to suffer; not sure why I do it. It's not like suffering feels good or anything like that. No, I think it's more a habit. My friends who know me well can attest to the fact that my extreme case of FOMO  has left me exhausted and discontent at times. For example, last week I got to race on a Super Yacht named "Gloria" for 3 days. This was not just any old boat: this was Pete Townsend's boat. Yes, THE Pete Townsend of The Who, and he was actually on board for those 3 days. Due to a gig I had planned on the Sunday, I couldn't sail the final day of the race, which kind of sucked, because Sunday was the only day with actual wind. I had really wanted to race, bring my ukulele to play with Carmen (my new friend here in Antigua who plays the tenor uke too and we are playing a weekly gig in a jazz band), and sail. I honoured my engagement with the gig, which turned out that they didn't want me to play that Sunday anyway because it was SuperBowl. I got to the gig, found out they didn't want me to play, and was furious with the fact that I didn't sail. When I heard about how fabulous the sailing was that day, I was distraught. When I heard that Pete gave Carmen a private ukulele master class on board, I was beside myself: Why didn't I go too? Look what I missed? 

I realized that my sense of FOMO was really not allowing me to be present; in conversations with friends, with teaching yoga, with reading my book etc. etc. And so, I decided a few days ago to cure myself of FOMO once and for all. Cold turkey. No tricks or hypnosis, just a decision to end my suffering. How about paying attention to the fact that I actually sailed for 3 days with Pete (who mentioned that he would play with me at some point....we'll see what happens) and got to meet amazing people on board (the crew) and afterwards at all the festivities that took place. I also realized that I was beginning to get a little nuts here trying to cram every moment with activity: sailing, yoga, teaching yoga and pilates, biking, hiking, writing, playing music. Yes, all good things, but I was starting to run myself a little ragged. I mean, who wants to be rushing and racing around to get to a yoga and meditation class? 

And so, I listened to one of my tunes from my first album called "Slow it Down", which I actually wrote on a sailboat years ago with my friend Shannon. I contemplated not doing anything for a few days in order to get back to balance. Now, years later, I kind of inspired myself to chill out and not do too much just for a few days. I'm not on a boat right now (my roomate Munju is now, in Guadaloupe and I avoided FOMO gracefully), but I am here and now. Really, the only place to be. If you fancy a listen to "Slow it Down" have a listen here: Slow_It_Down.mp3

I'd love to hear from you so please drop me a line with regards to the Question below. Eternal gratitude for you coming along on the journey with me. 

Much love and light,

Question for You: When have you suffered from FOMO and how did you deal with it? Are you cured? 

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