Posted on December 20 2017
In these last few days of the year, life can feel like a reckoning. You might look at what you have (and haven’t) done and feel like you've come up short. Or, you might just be exhausted by holiday madness and feel like you don’t have enough time to recoup your energy. Or, maybe it was a great year: you changed jobs, started or deepened a relationship, took that dream vacation, or got your yoga teacher certification. But you still feel stressed to do more. It’s great to have a plan and to want to accomplish things in your life. What’s not so great is to get so pressured by stress that you stop living in the moment. To have time, you have to make time.
While it’s tempting to tell yourself, “I only have 15 minutes — I can’t do anything,” try this “in the moment” exercise. The next time you begin your practice, bring a stopwatch or clock. Come into Phalakasana (High Plank Pose) and hold for 30 seconds. As you release the pose, register how many thoughts and sensations you experienced as you held your body in that position. Chances are, your mind was able to process some very intense thoughts about your physical and mental state. It’s doubtful you “looked away,” mentally, physically or spiritually during that half-minute. Now, think about how many half-minutes you have in your day.
Keeping that intent should help you realize just how much time you really do have in your life. Remember, that session on your mat was a matter of seconds, and when do you not have 30 seconds in a day, even when you’re rushed? Every second, you make thousands of choices — sit or stand, talk or listen, act or react. Every second, you have the opportunity to write a new story about your life experience. Think about a life lived as intensely as those 30 seconds in Plank Pose! And consider how profoundly you can change your life minute to minute, day by day. That is the real power of the warrior—becoming a person of action within each breath—moving, growing, fully engaging in life. Time takes on a different meaning when you open up all of your senses and drink in the present.
As you plan our your goals for the upcoming new year, think about how you want this year’s last seconds to play out. Don’t lose sight of the now, even when you feel like time is going by at warp speed. Slow down, focus, and celebrate this treasure trove of experience. Happy New Year!