Monday, January 23, 2012

You Can't Rush Now

Its Monday night, so in typical Monday night fashion I left my apartment around 5:30PM and drove to Woodstock, GA for my Monday night yoga class. Its a Bikram class - or "hot yoga" - and I love that this is my Monday night ritual. "Hot" means you sweat (a ton!) so its my detox from the weekend (although since I havent been drinking I might need a new word), and I always leave class feeling more cleansed than when I came in.

The studio is in a new part of town in Woodstock. Its hip and fun, and very city-centric. The yoga space itself is very white, earthy and zen. Being in this space makes me happy, so NO MATTER WHAT has happened on Monday, being in this space is sure to put a smile on my face. I am going to leave happier than when I entered. Which is not a bad way to spend Monday evening, is it?

The practice of "hot yoga" always puts in my thoughts in orbit. I am not one of those people who has learned to meditate (although perhaps I should), so for me trying to hold a pose for 90 seconds is about as meditative as I get. I often find that in focusing on the movements of my body, my mind is freed up to go elsewhere -- and it usually does. As sweat pours from my body, my thoughts are on their own mission. Tonight was no different.

Jeff, tonight's instructor, always focuses on being present, or being in the "now". Focus on what is happening 'now' he always tells us. In each class Jeff teaches there are 26-postures. And after having done about 100 classes, I know each one of them by heart, and where my body more or less maxes out in each. Somedays I surprise myself by going a bit further, somedays I do less than I hope. There is still one pose that after 2+ years of Bikram, I still can't do. But I get closer to doing it all the time, and it makes me feel so good as I inch closer to completion, and I know one day I will get there. (tonight was a really good night for that one!) But as Jeff say, 'right now' this is where you are, so this is where you should be.

As my thoughts continued to wander -- right off the yoga mat and into the world where I interact with more than just 26-postures -- it dawned on me that yoga emulates life. Learning to be okay with the fact that I have one posture that still gives me issue, is the same as learning to be okay with the fact that in life there are some places I am not ready to be. Now. So as Jeff says, I shouldn't be there. I am not ready yet.

Wanting to be there (now) won't make it happen any faster. As most likely, in trying to rush the process I will end up missing a few things that I will have to go back and learn (which means I haven't really allowed the process to happen), or I will injure something that will need to heal and that will be a further set-back.

I am where I am. I must learn to be okay with that.

In having this thought, I ventured backwards in my life (yes, I realize that is the antithesis of 'now') to a point I was trying to rush things... or actually, to change previous decisions because I was disgruntled with where I am now. "Had I decided differently, I would be in a totally different place!" I would blast myself. Which may be true, but at the time I made my decision on what 'I know now'. And the only thing wrong with that, is allowing myself to feel guilty for what I didn't know... which doesn't make any sense! How can I hold myself hostage for something I didn't know at the time? That's not fair.

As humans, we simply are where we are. Some a bit ahead in some categories, some a bit behind in others. But its not a race, as we are not competing with anyone other than ourselves. Its just us, being here. Now. Maybe a bit ahead of yesterday, maybe a bit behind, but we are still here.

As a result, the goal is to focus on our own practice, where we are, and celebrate the victories that come with being in that space. There are people that will come along and want us to speed up, but maybe we are not there yet. (if they are to be someone significant, they will wait, if not, then they are not what we need). There are people that will want us to hold us down (and the vice versa from above can be said). There will be people on our same level that won't share our own personal 'now', and that is okay too.

What we need, always comes. If allow it. If we believe in it. If we forgive ourselves for not being where we might have preferred to be. If we love ourselves to know that 'here' is good for now. We will always get to where we want to go if we allow ourselves to get there.

That comes from a bunch of 'nows' that were allowed. That comes from constantly being 'here', wherever that might be. Allowing our own process to pursue. As it does, now.

If we are all on this Earth to lead our best life, then we have to start by being present. For life is happening 'now', today, right this minute. Its up to each of us to be everything we can right 'now', regardless where those are around us, regardless of where other's want us to be. If we focus on 'now', focus on where we are, then just like Monday night yoga as we move from one pose to the next, at some point we change, and without much anticipation, frustration, or worry, suddenly we are right where we want want to be. In the 'now' that fits us best.

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