How often are you planning, fixing, arranging, getting ready? Do you put things off until all the conditions are just right? That is, will you buy new pants when you lose 5 pounds, invite people over once you get new furniture, go back to school as soon as you complete the next project at work? I was thinking about this a lot this weekend. Over the past several months, we have been “getting the yard ready for summer”. Seth, along with Zoe as his ready assistant, spent 3 weekends stripping, sanding, and repainting the deck. I oversaw some landscaping, and even did a little planting of my own. The pool was balanced, scrubbed and rebalanced. Frank mowed the lawn and brushed the pool and blew leaves off the deck. Is it perfect now? No. Does it still need a lot of “work”? Yes. Will it ever really, truly be ready? Um, no. But…Is it a pretty sweet setting surrounded by trees and the sounds of birds and gorgeous butterflies fluttering around? Hells yes!
Sooooo….yesterday was a hot and humid Texas pre-summer day. I thought it would be a great idea to get into the pool for a bit; first time this season. The sun was bright, and the water was cool, but not too cool. It was THE day. Sounds easy, right. Find bathing suit and towels. Open door. Go outside and get in the pool. But…on the way to the pool, I decided to water a few plants on the deck. The hose didn’t work, it seems it wasn’t hooked up anymore. Seth said “Get in the pool!” I started to make my way down the path, but then remembered something else I needed to do so I went back in the house. A few minutes later I was on my way back to the pool. Then I noticed some debris and other junk that needed to be put away and headed that way. Seth said “Get in the pool!” I mentioned a few other things I saw that needed doing, and noticed even more other things that weren’t yet perfect and even began to speak of possible future projects. Seth said, ” Just get in the pool!!”
Guess what? I got in the pool. I lowered myself gingerly (transitioning from land to water has always been a challenge for me) into a float and drifted in. And then guess what? It was glorious! Strong sun, cool water, and (unless I chose otherwise to create one) not a care in the world, at least for 30 minutes or so. It was great. I was relaxed. I felt the coolness of the water and the warmth of the sun. I truly enjoyed the environment that we (mostly Seth) created and let myself just be in it and stay in those moments. Looking around I let myself appreciate the beauty of nature all around me, and remembered why all the work was done. Not simply to create work, have something to keep us busy. It was to create this moment and many others. Today I am still returning to how great that was, and after teaching my 4 classes today I remembered to go for a pool float, for just a little while, instead of rushing to the next task when I got home.
So what do we (I) talk about day in and day out in Yoga? Be present. Let go of what came before. Release what is yet to come. Enjoy the moment. This moment. There is nothing else. Nothing needs to happen or change or be just right for the practice of Yoga to begin. Dang it is hard to put it into practice!! I welcome those moments when I really let go and feel present. And I’ll remind myself over and over to stay in this moment.
I love the practice of Yoga. I can truly find those moments of clarity and awareness that I can access by allowing my mind to settle and my body to be moved by my breath and guided by my intuition. I can, at least for a moment, be present and mindful and in it. But what is really interesting and ultimately much more challenging, is taking the practice off the mat, and being in the moment when you are surrounded by distraction (like yard work!). How can we begin to tap into the power of what happens on the mat and take it out into the day with us. That is my true passion. It’s the opposite of the Las Vegas campaign, “What Happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. As for our practice, i like the idea that “What happens on the mat, comes off the mat, out the door of the studio, into your day, and out into the world”. Pretty catchy, huh?
Right here, right now, there is no place I’d rather be.
Right here, right now, watching the world wake up from history.