There’s been lots of talk these days about bubbles.

Not the liquid/air combinations that float away but the kinds we live in.

I myself have lived in my fair share of bubbles.

Frankly it’s shocking how many bubble dwellers are reacting incredulously to the realization that they live in a bubble.

First you have to know you’re in a bubble

Bubbles are wonderful because you get to live in a place where people mostly share the same values.

They’re not so great because you falsely begin to believe the rest of the world lives just like you.

And that is so far from the truth.

I never really considered Cleveland, Ohio a bubble — in fact I grew up in a rather conservative family in the middle of a rather liberal town. When the time came to choose a college, despite the fact that Ohio offers many wonderful experiences and options, I had no interest in staying in the state. There was something deep within me that needed to get out and explore.

I ended up in Boulder, CO, perhaps the bubbliest of liberal bubbles. But there’s something funny about Boulder that most people don’t understand until you live there awhile. The liberal hippy vibe people mostly associate with Boulder is a loud minority. Boulder is actually a very, very wealthy place where I strongly suspect there are a lot more conservative types then one would think. At the very least there are a lot of independents that, like much of America, probably lean more liberal on social issues and more conservative on economic issues.

Interestingly, when it was time for me to leave Boulder, there was this deep inner knowing that guided me away from the bubble. There was an awareness that Boulder is actually a pretty unrealistic place in that the rest of the world does not live like that. Because I had prior life experience in a much different place, it was time to move on and turn the page to a new way of understanding the world around me.

Get out of the bubble

The subsequent travels that eventually landed me in DC (another incredibly incubated bubble), showed me more diverse parts of the States. My travels helped me understand when I was living in a bubble and when what I was witnessing was “unrealistic” to the experiences of the rest of the world.

When I’ve heard so many people comment on how shocked they are that the rest of the country thinks so differently then them, I’m shocked at how bubblified people’s understanding has become.

I’m extremely fortunate to have the opportunity to travel all over the country and the world. Not everyone gets that opportunity.

But even for the people in good old Avon Lake, OH, you don’t have to go far to see poverty and a whole different way of living. You don’t have to go more then a couples hours outside of Boulder to get a whole different experience and way of life. Heck, Colorado Springs is COMPLETELY different ideologically.

And you really don’t have to go far away from Washington DC to get a totally new perspective.

Shed your sugarcoats

Wake up America. Open your eyes and look at what’s directly in front of you.

Yoga is not a sugarcoating practice. This practice asks you to see everything just as it is. It doesn’t ask you to make excuses or justifications, rather it asks you to tear all of those walls down to see the truth. The truth is not pretty all the time. This is why yoga is hard.

To practice yoga is not to escape into your bubble of yoga-pants wearing, superfood-eating, smoothie-making, essential-oil hawking, OM-chanting, mala-wearing secret society. To practice yoga is to be in that space, love it, AND get out to see what other spaces have to offer.

Otherwise you’ve become the modern equivalent of a loin-cloth wearing mendicant living in a cave removed from the rest of the world.