In my line of work, the mantra, stay present, is part of the yoga teacher vernacular. Sometimes I like to switch it up and it sounds a little like this:
Stay in the moment.
Feel the space you’re in.
Screw all the outside noise.
Innnnnhale. Exxxxhale. (Try it.)
I might as well blow glitter in my student’s faces and ride off into the purple sunset on my unicorn, right? (I would if I could.)
This concept of being present, as fluffy as it may sound, is one that zen warriors have been trying to ingrain into our brains for thousands of years. If practiced daily, there are incredible benefits to reap from mindfulness. Including happiness and peacefulness.
But there’s one problem. Practicing mindfulness can be really difficult. Am I right?
How many distractions, worries, memories from our past seep into our brains when we are trying to experience some peace of mind even if for just one moment? So many.
Then what’s the point? Well, there’s good news.
Trying counts. Chipping away at all the mental clutter and finding (or trying to find) silence within, pays off.
And here’s why:
Because nothing can be done about the past. Indeed we can alter our relationship with how we deal with it, but what’s done is done. There is no use in lingering in yesterday.
On the flip side, there’s no sense in utilizing energy in obsessively worrying about the future since life is but one giant uncertainty. Granted, a healthy amount of worrying is natural.
These notions can be difficult pills to swallow. I can name three things off the top of my head that instantaneously induce anxiety if I choose to sit and let those worries marinate. Queue the wine pouring into a glass.
Life is far too short to waste on worry and days that have already happened.
We are most reminded that life is fleeting when a tragic event fills our newsfeeds. When a loved one dies. When someone is plucked from their earthly existence. Poof, let the heartbreak set in.
These are the universal moments that electrocute us with life is short reactions and responses. We take to our social media statuses to remind ourselves and others that YOLO is very real.
I suppose this is my version of that – to encourage you to embrace this very moment in time. To live today in the present mode. Fight the urge to dwell in the past and kick excessive worrying to the curb. The latter two have absolutely nothing to offer any of us.
I don’t care how cliché this all sounds because the truth is, we do take life for granted.
So, when you’re walking around, staring at your phone, thumbing your way down some stranger’s Instagram handle (guilty as charged), lookup. Smile at a stranger in real life.
Love big. Forgive often. Cry when you need to. Be kind to you.