Why would you want to be anywhere but here? Now, thinking of it, the only place I desire to be is right here, right now. But for so long, I struggled with shame or regret about my past and impatience about my future. I wasn't able to stay present because it was too uncomfortable. I was so caught up in the should’s that I was never actually where I was. I was constantly judging and guilting myself out of the wisdom and perspective that comes from the place of presence.
I should have done this, I shouldn’t have said that. The smallest mundane details became enormous obsessions and the major life choices became belittled. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing with my life and I had no inner or outer compass to guide me. It was like I was in a perpetual state of motion but instead of actually moving I was just floating in place without any purpose.
Recently, I was having a beautiful conversation with my friend Rachel about our yoga practice, about how what we need and how we practice (everything from the style of yoga to the regularity of our practice) is always changing because whenever we make it to our mat it is the right time, no matter how long we’ve been away from our practice. There is wisdom in showing up everyday and there is wisdom in walking away. Sometimes we walk away for a long time because of injury or ignorance, and other times we do so consciously. And the same can be said of life. Sometimes we show up rearing and ready to get in the game, our energy on high and our hearts engaged in the play. But other times, we need to rest or walk away and take a break in order to reboot and redirect ourselves.
The trick is, just like with our yoga practice, to trust instead of judge these times when they come along.
During my talk with Rachel, we also got onto the topic of evolution. How our own evolutions are so sacred and truly guided, if only we have the eyes and perspective to see the journey that way. And so looking back over the past 10 years of what I think of my most authentically formative and frustrating years, I see can how every situation set me up to become who I am and where I am today.
Nothing is lost on me. None of the relationships, none of the choices, none of the opportunities or lack thereof, none of the right or wrong turns. Even the annoying slump years of trying to figure it all out and my most recent stage of stillness, which I've dubbed the magic nine month "restation-gestation" ... it all lines up ... and ironically, all the times I felt like I was fucking up or wandering around, I was actually right on track.
I know this now only because I can see where I've come from. I'm now deeply confident where I'm at in life and keep uncovering more and more of the authentic woman I am by taking the "good" hand in hand with the "bad" and appreciation for the certain just as much as the uncertain. I’ve healed many of my shadows and I’ve learned grace from the sacred medicine they have offered me. I’ve progressed and regressed. I’ve taken flight and fallen. I’ve met beautiful people who have simultaneously held me up and torn me down to my most bare bones. I’ve become who I am and I am grateful for every moment and every experience that has carried me to this place.
The big theme of this life is, how do can I stay present while I’m in pain? How can I stay present when it’s uncertain, even if I know it’s the right thing to do? How can I stay here, when my heart hurts or my body hurts or my soul doesn’t feel comfortable?
The answer I've learned for myself is ...
I can stay here because I know that it won't always be this way ... and that these moments of uncertainty or discomfort are typically the ones that lead me to the most magic.
People who are truly and authentically happy don’t have perfect lives. It isn’t that everything goes right for them. It’s that they walk through the fire of pain, through the flames of purification and they come out on the other end grateful for the meaning, growth and PERSPECTIVE it has given them.
It's all about perspective, babe. It's about choosing to see your challenges as gifts. It's knowing that beauty lies just behind the breakdown if you are only patient and willing enough to see it that way. It's that true meaning in life comes from experiencing moments as they unfold in real time and learning to staying present in order to fully absorb the essence and and value of what is happening for you in the here and now.
So my question to you is ... how can you stay present to the wisdom and magic that this moment has to offer you?