Happy Summer, Friends!
I hope you are finding chances to enjoy the season, regardless of the heat (if you’re in my neck of the woods) or other challenges that arise. I hope that you are finding time to embrace what this season has to offer you. On that note…
Picture a dark night. You are driving a car down a road with no street lights toward a destination that is full of light, joy and promise. You can only see two hundred feet ahead of you with the help of your headlights. While you cannot see far, you are still able to behold colorful flowers and plants along the side of the road as you pass them. You stop the car in order to take in the view of some particularly vibrant flowers. Once you exit the car, you realize that the darkness actually allows you to see the stars much more vividly than if you were in the midst of the city lights. After witnessing the beauty of the foliage around you and the night sky, you get back behind the wheel, refreshed, and you continue toward your destination.
As we move through challenges each day on the road to our goals and dreams, sometimes we feel anxious about the fact that we can’t see all the way to the end of the dark road. We may fear that if we slow down we will lose momentum and will miss the chance to fulfill our mission, or arrive at our destination. Maybe it’s a job you are after, or reaching a certain milestone in your education, or maybe you are waiting for an answer to a question that is really important to you. At times, in pursuit of our dreams, we forget how important it is to let ourselves celebrate the here and now. We can develop the illusion that we don’t have permission to relax, or to experience pleasure, or to celebrate, until we have arrived at our destination.
But what if it takes years before you land that job, or before you receive the answer you seek? Does that mean you’re not going to enjoy life for the next several years? Life is NOW. We need to be present, to embrace THIS moment. Joy is here. Peace is now.
Of course, we need to take steps each day that lead toward whatever it is we seek. Maybe you really need that solid job and having it will truly help to reduce your anxiety and will enable you to focus more of your energy on other areas of life that might currently feel neglected. But as we take those steps, let’s celebrate all along the way! Let’s give ourselves permission to take chlid’s pose, to do something we really want, to go out with that friend, to take that mini-vacation, to read that book. Let’s celebrate life every day, in the midst of our daily challenges. Let’s tap into peace, joy and light in the midst of the chaos, hard times and darkness.
During your asana practice, every moment is an opportunity to celebrate life. Notice the ability of the breath to help you find peace right here, right now. The breath offers a foundation: When we breathe fully, we can experience greater joy in every pose. Holding the poses can be challenging. Choose joy! I am happy that I am invigorating and strengthening my body! I am happy that I am able to practice this posture. I am happy that this pose offers me the chance to grow. At other moments, we need to modify the pose. I am happy that I have a space where I am reminded and encouraged to listen to my body and my breath. I am happy that I am connecting with myself today. I am happy that I am practicing being a good listener.
Throughout the rest of your summer, I invite you to celebrate life each day and to take the time to appreciate what each experience offers you.
Here are some tunes to help keep the party going:
“Celebrate Good Times” — Kool and the Gang
“504” — Soul Rebels
I hope to see you soon! Come join me for a class at Area Yoga, or if you are interested in having yoga at your work space, or private lessons, let’s talk!
Off to look at the moon,