Here & Now: Being present in your journey

  • By admin
  • 1 January, 2017
  • Comments Off on Here & Now: Being present in your journey

This morning on my yoga mat, quads burning and breath irregular because I haven’t done a yoga routine since I accidentally walked into a studio thinking it was an antique shop and happened to be wearing lycra, I thought to myself, “In a few weeks, I’ll be able to do this without taking a break.”

This translated into “For fuck’s sake you got soft.”

And then into “You really ate too many cookies.”

Which then just becomes a rolling mantra of “Shame. Shame. Shame. You fatty sloth. Thank god the yoga lady in the video cannot see your pathetic excuse of a Downward Dog.”

I break this cycle by reaching out, like a kid on a merry-go-round, and launching myself toward The Place I am going to then desperately clinging to it.

“I might suck now, but I won’t suck in three weeks.”

There is this phenomenon that when we decide we want to arrive at a specific place, we spend all our time imagining ourselves in that place. Science tells us that even just thinking about being in the place stimulates a nearly identical biochemical response to actually being there. It is like creating your own virtual emotional reality.

And it wastes the most important part of The Place. Getting there.
DesertDownDog

Often we want to go to The Place because we are uncomfortable where we are. (The Place can be anything you are trying to achieve – being a healthy eater, drinking a gallon of water a day, becoming a yogi, running a marathon, getting fit.) We embrace this idea that we have not arrived until we get to The Place.

“When I am twenty pounds less…”

“When eating clean comes naturally for me…”

“When I have a regular gym routine…”

“When I am caught up on my bills…”
All of these statements create major issues, beginning with an inability to accept and be comfortable with where we are Right Now.  Any journey worth taking is not going to be brief, and as we know from the ceaseless trickle of memes about climbing to mountain tops instead of falling there, The Journey is The Place. 

I was in the desert on this day last year. I don’t know what it is about the desert, but the barren land and the fact that the here and now are the only thing around bring me into the moment effortlessly. I climbed up on this very dangerously high rock in a pair of worn out Ugg boots before anyone was stirring, and thought “This is where I am right now.”

I also thought “How the hell am I going to get back down.”

But then I remembered I could worry about that later. Right there, right then, I just needed to be present. Feel the cool desert morning air. Breathe the scent of sand and stone and sage. Ponder how time moves there in millennia. Try to slow myself down to the pace of the desert. Observe the pulse and rhythm of my body.

Many of us will find ourselves on new journeys to new places right now. Some of us are already in the midst of them. And most of us are on several journeys at the time. Consider this your gentle reminder to honor the process by being in it. Wherever you want to go, the Journey is how you get there, so embrace it.

Take a deep breath. Remind yourself that right Now you are right Here. And that’s wonderful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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