If I had a penny for every time I heard “Be Present” in a yoga class.. well, I’d have a booty load of pennies.
Now I love my yogis, they are some of the downright happiest people I know but sometimes the silliest phrases can become a catch phrase in the yoga class. “Blossom your heart” is one example. Well.. I thought I knew more silly phrases but I can’t think of any. I’m sure they’re out there though and I’m sure I’ve used some.
Let’s be honest, some postures when Instagramed look downright weird. Legs hanging in places that don’t look natural. Curves of the spine that look painful. And why would I ever want to try to balance my whole body on one hand?? I love my yogis. I have a love-hate relationship with some of them on the ole’ IG. But one thing they do have right is this whole Be Present thing. And lemme tell ya, it’s hard. Worth the practice, but hard.
I find myself just getting through the days until I can escape away to some adventure. My heart is most at ease and happiest on the road. I feel my creativity sparked and my soul relaxed. Then I come home. It doesn’t feel right and sometimes I get a wee bit depressed.
I’ve started to prepare myself when I’m on the road for the emotional swing when I get home. I busy myself with work. I spend time at the grocery store and plan fun meals. I schedule time with my girls and I’m actively pursuing new friendships. I go on long walks. Heck, I’ve even started running again to lift my endorphins. And do you know what I’ve found? “Home” from the road isn’t that bad.
I caught myself just hangin’ on until the next trip and meanwhile I was missing out on lots of wonderful everyday moments in life. I know I could say lines like “it’s the small moments in life that count!” but I still found myself rushing over them or walking through them depressed. How am I working through that? Well to use an overused, over-Instagramed yogi phrase, I’m working on being present.
Why is this practice so hard? I think first of all, we were created by Someone great so desire great things. Just floating though life seems like such a waste. And I believe that’s because we were created for something grand beyond this life. This is just a precursor for how our bodies, heart and soul we’re intended to be. I often find that my life is a practice. A practice for when I’ll truly be free. Which loops me back around to my original problem – why not just float through life if this is just a stepping stone? Especially because sometimes it’s stinkin’ hard and I just wanna check out.
Good gracious, I could get lost in circles. But here’s my point. I believe we’re created by a great God with the innate desire to be something great, to do something great and to hope for something beyond ourselves.
This restlessness of the everyday life is natural and it goes hand-in-hand with the desire instilled within us to hope for something more.
So how does this fit with the daily grind? Haha, well I’m still working on that. But I can say that it started first, as usual, with a mental shift. I stopped looking at my days ahead through the viewpoint of “daily grind” and I started approaching each day with thankfulness, prayer, and the intent of simply making the most of it. This means working to the best of my ability, AND taking time for rest and play.
I literally schedule 20-30 minutes of pure rest in each of my days. Do I always get to do that? Heck no. Sometimes my rest is the quite car as I’m driving to and from class. But since I’m now treating it with a priority, I’ve scheduled some pretty neato stuff. I’m going to museums more. I’m painting (haha, or plan to). I’m sitting outside and enjoying the clouds. I love clouds…
What’s funny is I had to work though feeling guilty for my rest. “I’m lazy!! I’m wasting time! Valuable time!” We live in a very driven culture and I honestly think that is great. We work hard, we push through, we’re survivors. But I think it’s a lil’ unbalanced, in my life at least, when I start feeling guilty for chiling it out sometimes.
Since I’ve started resting more, I’m able to work harder when needed. But more so, I’ve been able to take in more of the everyday moments. And, simply put, I’m happier.
As always, I have to say, this is still a work in progress. I have good days and bad. But at least the good days are becoming more frequent :)
It’s a practice to be present. It’s practice to rest, work, and enjoy life with awareness. So my friends, I squeeze into my tightest crazy yoga teacher pants and say to you with the most love, “Get it! Let’s practice!!”