Mindfulness is simply being aware of what is happening right now without wishing it were different., enjoying the pleasant without holding on when it changes (which it will), being with the unpleasant without fearing it will always be this way (which it won’t).
Time flies by quickly. We cannot stop it. Every moment changes. Sometimes it seems like life is speeding up, and at other times it may seem like it is going way too slow.
Sometimes I wish that I could stop time or go back and do something differently. But this will never happen. Accepting the passage of time, accepting that changes happen that are beyond my control, are part of living graciously and appreciating all that life has to offer.
We may have the illusion that we are in control, but in reality we are part of a bigger whole that is way beyond our control. Yes, some things are mostly predictable like what time I get up in the morning, how long it takes to get from point A to point B, what time I will have dinner, who I will see during the day. And yet even these most basic things might change unexpectedly. I sleep through my alarm, I get caught in a traffic accident, I run into an old friend and eat later than expected, a business appointment is canceled or a friend gets sick.
And then the big unexpected events occur: a surprise pregnancy, an unexpected death, a sudden illness, being offered the ideal job, meeting the love of your life, winning the lottery! The unexpected may come in the form of a gift or a challenge. It is up to us to make the best of it by living each moment to its fullest.
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
There is so much richness in life that we can easily miss by being caught up in distractions or by living life as if everything were predictable. But even the smallest snowflake, or the sunlight filtering through the trees, or the songs of the birds, or the freshness of rain-washed air on your skin are all part of the miracle of life that can easily go unnoticed.
Time does not stop. Seize the moment. Find your passion. Live life with mindfulness and awareness. Believe you can do what you love. Find that delicate balance that completes the wholeness of our being. Appreciate the little things that are always around us and bring such richness and diversity to life.
Yoga teaches us to be mindful. It teaches us to pay attention to our breath leading our movements. It teaches us to be aware of how opposite actions come together to create stability and freedom in our bodies and minds. It makes us aware of parts of our bodies that have been neglected or forgotten. It teaches us how to clear our minds so we can “see” more clearly. Yoga is not just about sweating and getting a good workout. Meditation, asana, lifestyle, attitudes, focusing inward, quieting our minds are all part of our yoga practice.
Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only this moment, sparkling like a star in our hand – and melting like a snowflake.
Life is like the blink of an eye in relation to eternity, to the eons of time that have come before us and that will continue beyond us. Open your eyes, open your mind, open your heart to its brilliance.
The amazing photos in this blog are from the work of Martin Hill.