You’re Not Learning to Be Healthier; You’re Learning to Escape

By | March 11, 2019

“I’m retreating to the woods”

It was so white of me. Not that like, going into the woods to touch a tree is an inherently white thing to do, it’s just a thing white people love to talk about doing.

I escaped my house, walked down the little winding path, filled my earbuds with a health and wellness podcast (something spiritual or motivating or entrepreneurial or…honestly is there any difference anymore?) and just sat.

Took a little time, maybe, to meditate.

Heard the birds yapping in the background, the rush of the wind and got grounded for a minute. Got thankful and present and all of that. Only to head back home, get a terrible email and proceed to have a fucking meltdown.

So much for being present.

Okay, okay meditation is a good thing.

Like every other post, I write on here has something about being present. I think that’s really valuable, but I think a lot of the “self-care” craze or whatever that’s happening right now is not about living our entire lives better, but instead, selling us a quick-fix.

You put the MCT oil in the coffee. Go to yoga after work. Meditate before bed. Whatever. All of these little life hacks that are done by supposedly every billionaire on the planet. And if you don’t live exactly like them then you’ll definitely become homeless, right?


The problem with going to yoga is not that it doesn’t help, it just doesn’t dig out the roots. While you’re getting planted on your yoga mat, the stress of the day gets buried under a facade of positivity and peace.

I adore yoga. But you can still be an asshole and do yoga. You can still be stressed out 95% of the time and do yoga. And sloshing down a green smoothie in the morning won’t solve much either.

There’s absolute value to being present. Just as there’s value in getting your gut in check. But I do wonder at what point the green and pink blogs with the white women on yoga mats are going to start feeling like a cover-up. When people look around and realize that by only surrounding themselves with the positive, they’re never going to battle the negative. When the news is so bad that you’re actually just kind of being an asshole by ignoring it for the sake of your “positive vibes only” nonsense.

Life, as I’ve observed from my short-ish time on the planet, isn’t happier with little tools and lifehacks. But when you dig into the dirt, sift through the weeds and start a brand new plant.

That, I think, is true growth.

It’s just, you know, a whole lot harder to sell.

Originally published on The Ascent

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