Many years ago the book of this same name was published by Jon Kabat-Zinn, introducing many people to the world of Meditation and mindfulness. The concept is simple: be in the moment, wherever and whenever that is.
You cannot escape yourself no matter how hard you may try. Sometimes the holiday season can bring up old issues and patterns that we may think we have resolved or worked through. So we get busy to keep our mind focused on other things. And the hectic pace of traveling, visiting, gift purchasing and all the rest of the things that come with the holidays can keep us in a pattern of "checking out" rather than dropping in.
Make time for your yoga and meditation practice. You need it more when you are busier and things are crazier!
Here is a mantra you can use anywhere because you can say it to yourself or out loud. Use it at the store check-out line, in the car, with your family, and any other time you feel yourself not being connected to the present moment:
"SA TA NA MA"
Use your thumbs to press into each finger as you say it:
Thumb to index finger: SA (meaning the beginning, totality of everything)
Thumb to middle finger: TA (meaning life, existence and that which manifests)
Thumb to ring finger: NA (meaning death, change and transformation)
Thumb to pinky finger: MA (meaning rebirth, resurrection and joy)
For those who have more time, add the Central Channel breathing technique, where you inhale through the crown of the head and into the core, then exhale from the core to the earth below us. Then inhale up from the earth to our core, and exhale up through the crown of the head. Perform Central Channel Breath while adding the Mula Bandha or Root Lock, tightening the muscles at the pelvic floor (ask your yoga teacher for a more complete explanation next time you are in class).
These techniques will keep you dropped down into your body to experience all the wonderful moments that life has to offer.
And there you are!
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"What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."
- Oliver Wendell Holmes
This quote can be found on page 101 of Wherever You Go, There You Are. I thought I had this book, but I had to find it on my bookshelf because I read it over twenty years ago. You tend to keep the good ones and refer to them from time to time. Unfortunately, I've been a little busy since then and hadn't done so. But, the first thing that I hi lighted from the book is "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally," page 4. Oops. How many of us can say that we live this way? Were you with me until "non-judgmentally" came up?
Living mindfully and being fully present is something that we all continually work on. On the yoga mat we focus on our breath and our body's position to keep us there. But what do we focus on when out there living our life? It is easy to get caught up in the external activities that keep us disconnected. We focus on the people around us, the situations that either occurred, will occur, or we project could occur and constantly move about our day sort of disconnected. I find that so many people keep busy to not have to be mindful enough to work through the difficulties. Then, when the proverbial shit hits the fan, we go into react mode.
Did you realize that one of the benefits of staying present - living in the moment - is that you live in a Creatorship mode? That means that we are connected with the Divine source, Universal Oneness, and when in that mode, we are able to truly create anything. But when we are checked out and reactive, well, that is the fear-based living that keeps us in that suffering pattern.
By now you all realize that I only talk about things I have personal experience with. This is not any different. Just like me putting Wherever You Go, There You Are on the shelf for twenty years, I have a pattern of keeping myself so busy that I am sometimes just spinning my wheels and quite often just running from the issues that I am not ready to work on. One of my favorite escapes is traveling. I've been to some remote places in the world. I've traveled to Asia, Africa, South America and throughout Europe, Canada and the US. And I love it. I love to travel so much because of so many reasons. But I have to be careful that my knee-jerk reaction to problems is not to get on a jet plane and out of Dodge. Of course, I want to sometimes. But you know what? Wherever I go...there I am...there is no escape. And eventually, I have to sit still, be, and do the work.
For the grateful month of November, consider this theme no matter where you are.
In Love & Light,