I LOVE SUMMER!!! I could go on forever on the pleasures of this beautiful season- the perfect weather, the long days in the sun, a smile on every strangers’ face, and for me-as an educator-my summers off! It is my time to “just be” or to live fully, long days with nothing to do and everything to do, vacations, pool time, get-togethers, starlit night strolls, and the list goes on and on. As I soak up every second of my favorite time of the year, and try to fully live in the present, I know the end of my beloved season is approaching. This glorious time, like everything in life, brings about different emotions at every given moment. Like a pendulum, my mind swings back and forth of being present in the moment yet pondering the changes that are ahead. To cope, I find I have been seeking yoga and meditation more and more.
Change is a natural part of life and if we look inward we are always transitioning from one emotional state to another. However, I find change difficult when I am trying so hard to be in the present moment. August comes so quickly, and as the month rapidly passes, my mind keeps thinking of the colder weather that is approaching, but then my inner voice says “no, focus on right now and enjoy!” I am so thankful I am able to find peace from meditation and yoga. I can close my eyes, and with one single “Om” be present in the present. Though I find that in yoga, as in life, the practice constantly changes. From the thoughts and feelings we bring to our mat, to the various poses that we transition in and out of. Being balanced in Tree Pose on your left leg does not guarantee you will be on your right. Warrior pose may be invigorating one day, and challenging the next. Each pose is a new experience, as each day is a new journey. And like yoga, I am always transitioning in and out of the positions of life. Yet, I want to fully live in the moment with gratitude. I seek the practice of yoga and meditation to help me cope with change yet teach me to be present in the moment. I find this dichotomy to be fascinating- to be present with gratitude yet to calmly transition from one moment to the next.
I like to think of transitioning as getting rid of the old and getting ready for the new. As wonderful as August is, I know it is a time to start shedding my lazy summer days and preparing to be productive and efficient for my job. However, how do I stay in the moment, appreciate the moment, and yet prepare for the future? This is such a paradox for me. Thankfully, though, when I struggle with these conflicting thoughts, I find my comfort with yoga and with an “Om”.
As I say good-bye to my beloved summer and hello to the colder seasons that are ahead, I continue to be challenged with just living in the present. Last week, I came across a beautiful quote by one of my favorite authors, Maya Angelou, which said…
“If you must look back, do so forgivingly. If you must look forward, do so prayerfully. However, the wisest thing you can do is be present in the present…Gratefully.”
I am trying Maya, I am really trying… ☺