It seems as the last post really struck a chord with many readers. The question of balancing so many things at once and still managing to enjoy ourselves is undoubtedly a challenging one to answer. Yet, Yoga and other countless spiritual traditions answer this question in a downright straightforward way: Be Present. Absorb this moment and thus find contentment in its uniqueness and beauty.
Straightforward, yes. Easy to achieve? Yes and no.
Yes in that all we need to do is allow ourselves to truly BE in the moment. Of course the yoga mat is the perfect place to practice this. So is a quiet spot by an atlar, out in nature, etc. When “conditions are perfect” it actually isn’t hard to truly be present with all that is. But how much of the day is actually spent on the mat, by the altar, or alone in the woods? HMMMM……now we can see why being in the moment is harder than it looks.
If we run through a typical day in our mind we will probably find a few of those peaceful moments scattered amongst the day’s errands, child care, career duties, and household responsibilities. The key is to remind ourselves that conditions do NOT have to be perfect in order to find peace in the now. In other words, when we are doing the dishes let’s try to be doing them with our mind and body, rather than going through the motions while our mind is at Starbucks or on a shopping spree. There is serenity in feeling the warmth of the water, the smell of the soap, the meditation of being completely involved in one single thing instead of thousands. The same can be done with any activity that pops up in our day, and if we embrace it while it is happening instead of wishing we were someplace else the situation will be much less drab. Not to mention, we will probably be much more productive as all our energy and intention will be committed to the NOW. Think about it…..have you ever missed your exit on the highway or burned yourself in the kitchen when you were totally present? I usually do those things when I am daydreaming about India, my future beach house, or surfing, but NEVER when I am fully conscious of the now. Practicing presence has helped me to enjoy my “fun time” more because I am more deeply in it, instead of my mind being at work, updating my website, and the like.
Yes, this is easier in theory than it is in practice. The good news is that the mind is like a muscle. It must be trained to be stronger and more controlled. Practice it, just like you would practice your yoga poses. When you need some motivation juice, here is what I recommend:
-The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle
-Living with Joy, by Sanaya Roman
-Meditate, meditate meditate!!!!!!!!!!
-I would LOVE to start a meditation group. Please contact me if you are interested and we will find a mutually agreeable date and time.
-Just get on your mat and do some YOGA. Even a little bit will go a long way, mentally speaking.