We long for the profound experiences; the ones where there is silence, stillness, a feeling of smallness within a universe so vast yet at the same time with so much which is connected. The day when we sat on an empty beach and watched the waves, when we watched the sun set and the sky turn from blue to shades of pink and orange. Or the time we climbed a mountain or looked out across a cityscape, when we were alone without the distraction of technology or tasks. Why is it that when everything begins to get a little too much or too intense or we cannot accept another cold, windy day, that it is these moments which we crave? The challenge lies in the cultivation of this sense of being at peace, of not wanting, wishing or desiring the past or the future without having to take an aeroplane or leave our home to find it. Whilst it is good memories and anticipation for what will be that can often transform our mood, becoming reliant, too lost or attached to these thoughts is perilous as we begin to lose touch with that and those surrounding us and right in-front of our gaze.
We loved that holiday because we sat and watched the water, the movement of the waves, nature in its most honest state. It feels so distant right now yet the waves are still here, we just have to look a little closer. Look up, check the weather in the sky and not on our smartphones, hug – hug people, hug trees (I dare you), walk barefoot, say hello, take time to be still, to move our bodies and to watch and observe.
Yoga is a practice of quieting the mind, of delving deeper, of accepting the here and the now, and yet even this can often revert into an activity on a list of daily tasks, a means to achieve physical perfection or an exercise in self deprecation. We have to remind ourselves to always come back to the breath, to the present, without hoping for the same energy levels as yesterday or desiring the next advanced asana. Our practice is different everyday but each time it is a reflection of where we are supposed to be. Through this we can begin to listen, to allow what is and notice when this ability to be present translates off the mat. Actually, everything we really need is right in-front of our eyes.
Right now, as another grey day unfolds and the responsibilities of life require much of our time, being present is more onerous to attain. Sometimes it is easy and sometimes it is hard. There is sunshine and there is rain but we need both for the flowers to grow 😉
© Hannah Laura Lee