“Each morning, we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.” – Jack Kornfield
Now that you have a full week of practicing coming into presence under your belt, regardless of how things have gone so far, this week offers an abundance of brand new opportunities to re-commit yourself to your practice – every day, every moment.
Whenever we take on the challenge of forging new pathways, releasing old habits, and re-wiring past patterns – of moving, thinking, reacting, and being – it’s not atypical to initially encounter resistance and doubt. Likewise, when we first begin the practice of choosing presence, it can feel surprising and even disheartening to discover just how NOT present we actually are! Take heart, dear friend – these discoveries are proof you are on the right path, and that your practice is already working as intended!
Through the tools of movement, breath, and meditation, we come to understand that presence is something we can interact with directly – and through it, we can cultivate a new relationship with our awareness of life itself. Suddenly, awareness – and life along with it – is no longer this passive thing that happens TO us; Rather, awareness is active, alert, curious, spacious, and free. And thankfully, we have the ability to be active participants in it! How we utilize our awareness to experience the experience of our life is entirely up to us. Pretty incredible, right?
You know what they say, though: “With great power comes great responsibility”. Does knowing better mean we always do better? Of course not! That’s why our challenge is 40 days, and not 4! It takes time, concerted effort, focused attention, and heartfelt intention to create impactful, lasting change. Rome was not built in a day, after all!
Be patient, dear friend. Be kind and compassionate with yourself as you journey onward this week. Yes, you’ll have setbacks; Yes, you’ll have days you fall back into your old ways or forget to prioritize what matters; Yes, you’ll miss practices and spend entire meditations thinking about your grocery list. You’re only human! Trust the process. Pause. Breathe. Feel all the feels. Stay with. Remember: Every single day – truly, every moment of every single day (precisely because you ARE human) you have CHOICE. No matter how far you may stumble off the path, you can choose to turn back. You have what you need to begin again. And again and again. Not tomorrow, not some hypothetical “later” – NOW.
The magic of this practice happens in the process. In the mundane, day to day, moment to moment CHOICES we make to BE in our practice. On our mat and off of it. Without forcing, without grasping, without clinging – but through a natural, organic softening in – this practice gives us access to BEING ourselves fully. To being YOU fully.
Through this process, as naturally as the lotus flower unfurls it’s beautiful petals, rather than defining our “self” by the myriad thoughts swimming around in our head, or whatever slew of emotions or sensations may be in our space, or by the external circumstances we are experiencing in the moment, we gradually reveal the “self” within that’s always been there – the eternal self that transcends all these changeable, impermanent things. Layer by layer, petal by petal, breath by breath – we are in a process of becoming.
Use what you have, right where you are, right now. What you do today is what matters most. Make it count, yogi!
~ Resources for Practice ~
It’s said the two surest and quickest ways of overcoming fear, stress, or anger are curiosity and love. Begin your day with this loving kindness meditation as a way of grounding yourself in love and compassion.
Short on time? It only takes a minute to create space for presence in your day! Try this quickie meditation as a way of grounding your awareness into the present moment – the place where peace resides.
This short practice is the perfect way to get your body moving mindfully at the start of your day, and will transition beautifully into any of the seated meditations above. Give it a try!
Colure is a mostly-vegan yoga teacher, mom, wife, graphic designer, self-proclaimed nerd, and proud Co-Founder of Five Peaks Power Yoga. When she’s not at the studio teaching or practicing yoga, she can be found relaxing in her favorite local coffee shop, or adventuring around the greater DC region with her family.