Thursday, July 26, 2012

Being Present

“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
– Omar Khayyám

     With July rushing by, I have made a pact with myself to be present at some point each day.  Sounds great, right?  But it took me a couple of wasted days to realize that by not defining/understanding what “being present” means to me meant it really wasn’t happening. On top of that several stories of tragedy in our world left me feeling overwhelmed with sadness and stuck with worry and concern.    

     I’ve come to the conclusion that being present will always be a challenge.  When I close my eyes searching for stillness at the end of a yoga practice it often takes most of the time set aside for meditation to just even out my breath.  And sometimes when the opportunity presents itself to really take stock of the beauty of the moment, it seems to sweep by before I really have a chance to appreciate it.

     So I defined it (for myself):

   1)   It’s a surprise.  There’s no planning for a good present moment.  Just knowing this I can be prepared to connect when it arises.
   2)  It’s peaceful: There’s no present moment to be had when the kids are arguing (sigh).
   3)  It’s a sense.  A beautiful sunset, the sound of my kids laughing, or the different notes of a lovely taste.

     This morning on our way to yoga class as I lowered myself into our car I realized that my husband had left the car windows open all night and the rain had left the seats of our car drenched.  As he handed me a beach towel to wipe off the seats he surprised me with the statement, “I love the smell of the island after a rain….can you smell the wet cedar?”  It wasn’t the perfect moment (wet bum and all) but the connection to the beauty of our situation was the perfect reminder to appreciate a deliciously quiet two minute car ride to yoga.  

Photo credit: Lynnae Burns (who captures beauty and presence in her art practice)

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