Monday, December 1, 2014

No Day But Today

“There's only us
There's only this
Forget regret-- or life is yours to miss.
No other road
No other way
No day but today …” 
                                   - Rent

December has arrived, bringing the Christmas Holiday List along with it. I’m sure you can relate. My calendar is dominated by Have To events, including my son’s swim practices, social plans and meets, my daughter’s dance and choir commitments, my husband’s work party and Scout commitments and my own holiday rehearsal, performance and auditions. I think you could create an actual image if you connected the dots on my calendar!

Deep breath ….

Before my heart begins to race though, I want to talk about what I learned in Therapy this past Saturday.

Yes. Therapy. I’ve been attending sessions for over two years now and they have had a tremendous impact on my Anxiety Level, Perspective and Self-Judgment. In fact, through regular attendance – I go 2-3 times per week – I have found a path to acceptance and peace regarding my own personal idiosyncrasies and drama. I mean, what IS Normal nowadays?

My Therapy does Not involve a couch. It’s a group gig. It’s organic and unique session to session. Sometimes it’s even sweaty. I wear cute outfits and do some serious visualization and breathing exercises in preparation and even during my sessions. But my Therapy takes place on a Mat. In a very warm room. On a hardwood floor.

My Therapy is Yoga.

I’ve talked about Yoga before. But something pretty awesome this past Saturday came to my attention. It probably wasn’t something I didn’t know. No, it definitely wasn’t something I didn’t know. But I guess it was something I needed to hear.

There is no Later. There is only Now. And all we need to do is offer Now our very best.

That resonated with me and hit me hard. Especially at this time of the year when we are all rushing about trying to check off lists, get stuff done and buy gifts for “later.” See, I realized if I’m constantly worried about what is next, I’m not making the most of what is Now. And, I just might miss something.

There’s no guaranteed later. There’s no promise that Tomorrow will bring something better. Anyone who has suddenly lost a loved one or faced a surprise illness knows that Tomorrow isn’t necessarily another day where we can take care of things. Tomorrow is uncertain.

In Yoga – as in life – there is this tendency to think ahead. To anticipate the next move or pose. But, frankly, there’s no guarantee that the next pose will offer any less challenge or relief. What comes next may not be easier or more comfortable for us. During class, we make the most of Each Individual Moment in Time as they happen We do our best as we ease into or hold a pose. And when we shake, sweat or struggle, we grow stronger and truly exist in that precise moment. That's what we carry out of class with us at the end.

Our minds try to distract us. My mind is Crazy. I have this “room-mate” in my mind who constantly chatters at me and challenges me and works to distract me. If she were corporal, she would SO not be my friend. She gives me more drama and doubt than any friend should. I try to silence her. To block out her words. But she’s still there nonetheless.

But during Yoga, I’m able to focus instead on the challenge of the Present. I’m able to quiet that voice in my head. I’m able to see the Now and set aside all the bullshit that tries to distract me.

I take Slow Flow Therapy … er, Yoga. In Slow Flow, you don’t memorize poses or sequences – called “Flows.” You stay in your moment and wait for the guidance, wisdom and instruction from your Teacher. And that way, you go deeper within to find strength. In your Now, there is no Later to deal with. Sure you still have stress, fear, sadness, worries, desires, passions and doubts.

But they don’t beat you.

Oh, you may carry them in and out of class – heck, I know I carry them in and out of lots of classes. But as I shake in a pose or wobble in a balance move, I do my best to find calm and serenity – and a strong element of joy as I realize all that I can do right in that moment – even with the baggage. Balancing on one leg in what is known as Airplane (but I term “Angel Pose”), I find strength and acceptance for the unique individual I am. And I honor myself -- foibles and all -- as I stand in the light.

In Yoga this Saturday, Suzanne reminded me that There isn’t a Later. All we have is Now. And that means I need to focus on the Present. Honor myself for my Sparkles, Struggles and Scars. And if there is only now … today … this minute … I need to be myself and love my way.

I used to think that Therapy – Yoga – would “Fix” me. Sure, it’s exercise and that in itself is good for me. But my hours at the Yoga Shelter give me more than a good workout. They empower me to love myself as I am and accept my little craziness and unique view of the world. I find joy in the lessons learned. And I honor the people who come in and out of my life and enjoy our time together as it comes … when it comes … if it comes.

In Yoga, I’ve learned not to fight Gravity, but instead go deeper inside to find my strength. I resist trying to control everything and instead accept the uniqueness of others too. I’ve learned to smile as I shake. I’ve learned that if I lose my balance and fall, I can stand up and try again.

And in Yoga, I’ve learned that Time is fleeting. That This Moment is all we have. There is no Later. So, I intend to make the most of each Moment I have …

And when I start tackling that crazy List and rushing my kids and self around town, I’m going to smile and enjoy every Now I get. I’ll be the woman smiling as I stand in that really long line. I’ll be the woman who stops to buy her Peppermint Mocha even though it will mean a wait. I’ll be the woman singing as I dodge the crazy, desperate shoppers.

I might even be the woman who takes a moment to reach out to you. Because Now is all I get. You may not have time or choose to make time. That's okay. But, I hope you feel a little bit of sparkly energy coming your way to remind you … There’s only us. There’s only this. Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other day.

No day but today...”

                                                                                                                     -- Jenni