Cat From The Mat

You Have Arrived

In the fast-moving pace of our social media-filled world, it’s virtually challenging to exist in the present moment. And yet every time you receive a tweet, Facebook message, text or email, what is being asked of you is the valuable commodity of your PRESENCE.  Has yoga fallen victim to being a fast food commodity or is it still a practice that nourishes you?  That answer depends on how you step on to your mat and into your life.

I tend to operate at an inherently rapid pace, embedded in a participatory life.  A manifestor, I thrive being active, whether weaving a new perspective into a yoga workshop or on-location directing a non-fiction program.  The peril of being a go-getter, however, is that I often do not see the obvious.  When I move at such a fast pace, I become desensitized.  The desire to maximize life and not miss a thing, might be just what prevents quality.    Might you also be speeding through life?

My need to reach to any anticipated destination can often overshadow the journey.  When rushing on my Vespa scooter to go to yoga (to be ironically in the present moment), I miss the signs.  So when I came across this one the other day, I took note.  The sign declares, “Slow down, you have arrived.”  

Can you slow down?  The adage “Live in the present moment” can sound trite.  Of course, you only live in the moment.  How can you be anywhere else?  But the present is also where the past and the future meet.  Imagine that every instant is a moving seam between these two contrary complements, traveling through time.  Negating or whitewashing the past proves to be problematic if you are repeating the same patterns over and over, wondering why you find yourself in the same predicament, yet again.  If you only reside in the unforeseen future, then you get paralyzed by the worry of “what could be” or overwhelmed with “what might happen.”  By straddling both your informed past simultaneously as your envisioned future, then you are tasting the potency of the powerful present.  Life happens here.

But have you “arrived”?  When will you know when you are a success?  If you are always on the move, then perhaps you may never get there.  So where are you going?  The answer to this boils down to both motivating and hindering expectations.  The yoga practice invites you to be “here” and “there” concurrently.  Living the life you want and wanting the life you are living.  We do this by cultivating awareness.  Success is measured by noticing (always with a sense of humor) when you are not aware, rather than beating yourself up when you not presently getting the desired results. That sensitivity comes from slowing down in order to see more, feel more, and be more. 

I admit.  I have a hard time letting go of the past.  I also plan so far in the future for things that might never come to fruition.  When I slow down within my jam-packed schedule and take time to pause, I notice how splintered I have become.  Whether practicing asana, sitting for meditation, or trying to be calm while caught in traffic or in a heated debate, I find refuge in the gaps between my breaths…the bridge between the previous exhale and the next inhale.  This grants me tangible access to the current moment, which can be an elusive and on-going quest.  This is when I stop being stuck…in my past criticism, in my future angst....and am successfully present.

So what’s the rush?  Slow down, arrive, and welcome yourself.  What a relief to have been here the whole time!


Cat From the Mat

May 1, 2013