Come to a comfortable seated position. Allow your sitbones to sink deep into your Herman Miller chair. Let the regional marketing world outside you melt away. Release any tension you might be holding onto — be it a meaningless job, a directionless relationship, or just the constant pressure to feign interest in other people’s affairs. This is YOUR practice. A time to check in with yourself after not having done so in over 11 minutes. You have nowhere to be, but here. Nothing to do, but to savor this moment. Except finish that urgent work thing. And respond to your mother’s passive-aggressive email. Also, the rent — you should probably pay it.
As you begin to open a new browser tab, remember to be cognizant of your IM. Aware — but not engaged. Locate your bookmark, ground the right hand, and gently push down on the index finger. Take a long, deep breath, and begin to scroll down your newsfeed. Relax your eyes and allow them to skim the page, stopping only for the talented cats of vague acquaintances.
Now that you’re warmed up, swoop the mouse to the top of the page. Carefully enter your ex’s name into the search bar. Be mindful not to accidentally post it as a status update, aggravating old injuries. Find your breath as you await the results: long inhale through the nose, and exhale, “Uggggggghhh.”
Feel the sacrum opening as you center your gaze on the newly uploaded photo album. Pause here. Notice your ex’s arms firmly wrapped around some poor man’s Natalie Portman. Feel the heat forming in the belly, moving up to the heart, and exploding into the crown of the head. When you’re ready, click to enlarge, and then slowly roll through the album, one photo at a time. Investigate the root of your tension. Is it the size of her breasts? The fact that he took her to Venice, after repeatedly telling you he had no interest in visiting “a manufactured tourist trap crawling with avian diseases”? Or that he’s lost 20 pounds and seemingly taken up karate?
If you need to pause here, move into a forward fold and draw the knees into the chest. Allow the head to hang between the legs. Close your office door, contract the face muscles, and release. Bring the left hand to your side drawer and reach for the half-eaten cupcake from “Marla’s Office Birthday Bash!”
Come back to your breath. Extend the right hand forward and click through to your profile page. Examine your profile picture. How do you look? Could you be hotter? What about your cover photo? Could it work harder to convey how wonderful your life is without a certain someone whose name rhymes with Yeff? Look within and explore your options; what about the photo of you and the attractive third cousin none of your friends know and could easily be mistaken for your lover?
When you find a pose you’re comfortable with, jump to the bottom of your screen and quickly launch into Photoshop. If there are any modifications you’d like to make to your body, feel free to manipulate it now. Add warmth to your skin by adjusting the exposure. Carefully massage out upper lip hair with the blur tool. Remember: this is about you. And making Yeff wish he had never dumped you via text message from a Roy Rogers in Maryland.
As we begin to wind down, now may be a good time to send that guy from Tuesday’s party a message referencing the thing you have in common. Go deeper by including an obscurely related link. Forget what Sarah said about his rumored homosexuality; only your body can be the judge of that.
Now, move into Stuffed Porch Scarecrow. Lie back in your chair, arms out to the side, feet hip distance apart, legs extended. Take your time, but know you were supposed to dial-in to a conference call three minutes ago. Close your eyes. Quiet your mind. Observe any differences in your body. Was that rash always there? Did your stomach initially feel like it had been doused with lighter fluid and set aflame? Release any expectations you had for the rest of the day, and potentially your life.
There is only now.
Illustration by Madéleine Flores for The Bygone Bureau.