Desire is the root of my suffering. I know this and yet- I want. I want.
So while I get frustrated when things don’t turn out the way I hoped, it’s an opportunity for me to be present. Spending too much time in the future means I’m not here in the now.
I will work on wanting less and paying attention more. That way I can let things be as they are.
2015 is my year of living mindfully. I am here. Now.
This morning I tried to stay in the present moment for as long as I could. It was unbelievable how quickly I started to float to the past and future. Jon Kabat-Zinn defines mindfulness as paying attention on purpose to the present moment without judgement. Turns out I was being mindful even as I acknowledged that my mind wander, because I was aware of the wandering. Unfortunately, I’ve still got to work on the judgement. It’s all too easy to beat myself up for not doing something ‘right’.
Today I will ease up on judging myself and others. We are all just doing the best we can.
2015 is my year of living mindfully. I am here.
Knock on the sky and listen to the sound.
– Zen saying
I think our local meteorologists might want to think about doing this. The past few days on the East Coast have been covered with threats of snow more than actual flakes on the ground. Now it seems that a blizzard is on the way.
We’ll see. It doesn’t matter though. I love the night before snow. The sky has a red glow.
Even though it was chilly I sat outside tonight so I could spend some time looking up.
A pre-snow meditation. As a kid I really enjoyed the night before a big storm. Looking back I was really present in those moments. Not waiting for the storm, but enjoying the cloud-filled sky.
2015 is my year of living mindfully.
My hips flexors woke me up this morning.
Oooh weeeeee were they sore.
It’s a good thing. It’s hard for me to get into parts of my hips. But yesterday at Jivamukti Jersey City, Austin’s class went deep in my hips even though it didn’t seem like it at the time. I think it’s because I was letting go.
In the midst of change I can get
a little down right stubborn.
But as the asana practice took us into the hips I found myself thinking about my previous relationships. Nothing specific. Just a feeling. Instead of ignoring it or distracting myself, I decided to go deeper. Typically when I fold my hip flexors clench. But yesterday there was none of that. I don’t know if it has to do with some recent changes in my life. But the more I let go of things and situations that don’t serve me, the more my body opens up to the present.
My hips don’t lie.
2015 is my year of living mindfully. Are you here, now?
I have a confession. It’s more than two weeks into January and I haven’t fallen off my year of meditation bandwagon. That’s not the confession. The fact that I’m shocked is the confession. I mean, I don’t have it any more figured out than anyone else. But last year I did notice that when I was in the moment, things we peaceful because I was not trying to be somewhere else.
Only good can come from this. Prior to living a yoga life I often used to say to myself, no good can come from this. What a difference living in the present makes. This morning I got up extra early to do my asana practice and meditation before taking sneaking in a class at my studio. Busy Friday.
As I delve deeper into trauma-senstive yoga and yoga therapy this kind of self-care seemed like a necessary part of my own journey. Naturally, these are tools that I will pass onto my students.
Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction or MBSR is a mindfulness-based program designed initially to assist people with pain and a range of conditions and life issues that were difficult to treat in a hospital setting developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center, which uses a combination of mindfulness meditation, body awareness/scanning and yoga to help people be more present. Recently, it’s been the subject of clinical trials and lot of research.
If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered the benefits of mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can:
help relieve stress
treat heart disease
lower blood pressure
reduce chronic pain
alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties
My home asana practice is a work in progress. And this is fine. I’m still a new practitioner, yet…I was giving myself a lot of shit about it. Lately, as I’ve been working on living in this moment. I realize that the more I let things be as they are, the more I can change them. Yesterday I watched Breath of the Gods- again. BotG is a documnetary about the modern history of yoga. I actually find it to be spotty and long winded but there are little aha moments I have whenever I watch it. Yesterday, I was struck to try a new kind of home practice. Usually I meditate first thing in the morning. But today I thought I’d sit for a minute, practice and then meditate. I’m going to do this home practice for a few weeks and see how I like it. It’s not fancy, but I guess neither am I- so…
My Morning Practice
- downward facing dog 5 breaths
- 10 sun salutes.
- downward facing for 50 breaths,
- paschi 50 breaths,
- cobra 15 breaths,
- fish pose lotus 10 breaths
- half-seated spinal twist 10 breaths each side
- ankle-to-knee 10 breaths each side
- shoulder stand 20 breaths
- headstand 20 breaths
- corpse pose
Meditation 20 minutes
And that as they say, is that.
2015 is the year of living mindfully. Are you in the moment?
It’s easy to get into a trap with judging the people closest to us. We do it out of love. Think they should be living a different life, look a different way, say different things. Just be different than they are in the present moment.
And maybe our loved ones aren’t doing what we think is best for them- but our lives are only ours to live. When we judge people and think they are making bad choices, we take away from our own present moment. This ultimately causes the judger more suffering.
We can’t control others. We can love our families, friends, lovers, partners- our tribe unconditionally. Through releasing the idea of expectations over others can we begin to move toward our own sense of enlightenment.
It’s tough- but when we begin to accept things as they are- everything changes.
2015 is the year of living mindfully.
Are you in the moment?