I've been Westworlded


Anybody else watching the new HBO show Westworld? It’s set in the not too distant future in a Wild West theme park inhabited by very lifelike robots. Humans visit the park for various reasons, some to sightsee with their families, some to play out darker cowperson fantasies.

The robots had me hooked from the beginning. Frequently their minds are erased, and their lives are rebooted. Sometimes they’re simply needed to play a different role in a different storyline in the park. Other times, their narrative ends with their death. After a trip to the robot mechanic for repairs and a brainwash, they’re sent back out on the stage to replay the events of their life, from the top. But get this, the mind eraser isn’t always 100% effective, and a memory from their past life might remain tucked away, usually visiting them in their dreams. Dun-dun-duuuuun!

Cut to two weeks ago. I’m in the car listening to the inspiring stories of three women, and a theme emerges across all of them… curiosity. Curiosity is essential to creativity, to courage, to connection, to everything. So somewhere between Charlotte and Brooklyn, I vow to live more curiously. Almost instantaneously, a voice says, “But curiosity killed the cat.” Whoa. What was that?

I put the brakes on (not literally) and paused the audiobook. In the silence, I waited for the voice to speak again. “Curiosity is dangerous.” Oooh. OK, this is real. I’ve been Westworlded. This idea, this fear of curiosity, while small and quiet, still resides inside me. Years of yoga practice, yoga training, therapy and life did not completely erase it.

Yoga, therapy and life did teach me that one of our essential human needs is to be heard. And so that’s what I did. I listened to that part of myself.  “I hear you. Thank you for your protection. Thank you for trying your best. You have served us well. We have more friends to provide support now. We have more tools to use. Now it is your time to rest. We’ll take it from here.”

I gave Rory, asleep in the seat next to me, a rub, pressed play, and continued home.