Tag Archives: presence

When This Is All Over

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When I believe my thoughts I am anxious.
When I connect with reality, I am at peace.

I have known this for a long time,
and now more than ever it holds true.
It is so humbling to admit that all of my training
couldn’t prepare me for this reality.
Yoga is fun and neat when you’re sitting in a room
with 30 people, learning how to teach people yoga
in a thriving studio on a normal day.
No one prepared me for a Pandemic.
No one told me how it would feel
when I couldn’t see my students anymore.
No one explained what it would be like
to go into a store and find empty shelves.
No one described the despair I’d feel
contemplating bringing my children up
during a widespread economic collapse.
After so many years of encouraging my students to breathe,
I find myself holding my breath.
After teaching my students how to stay present,
I find myself feeling anxious about the future.
After guiding my students into deep relaxation,
I feel anxiety alive in my body.
I remember that this will one day be a memory.
When this is all over,
I’d like to be able to tell the story about how I realized
I could just fully relax,
how I spent my time creating wonderful things
and then the Pandemic was over,
and I could look back on the quarantine
feeling proud that I stayed strong…
I guess I better start breathing
and staying present,
just like I’ve been teaching all these years.

Simple Present

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Afternoon,
the sky a light silver-gray,
oak leaves orange brown,
maple leaves red,
bald cypress defiantly remaining green.
Crows muttering to one another,
and a tender breeze stirring
what was inanimate
into graceful gestures of surrender and flow.
How could I possibly regret my past
given that it brought me such
a shockingly beautiful
and stunningly simple
present?

What Do I Need?

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If I suddenly dis-identified myself with my pain,
how would I show up in the moment?
If I no longer believed the stories told to me
or the labels I’ve been branded with,
who would I be, right now?
If I could no longer see myself
as the victim of my past circumstances,
how would I relate to this present experience?
I keep praying. I keep saying aloud,
I’m ready to let go of the past.
I’m ready to feel beyond my pain.
I ready to know who I really am.

And yet the old story persists.
What do I need to do to be free?

Listening to Grace

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Just when I thought all was lost,
just when I felt defeated
and it looked like all my efforts were in vain,
Grace sweeps in and shows me
that all is well, and to just keep going.
When I’ve been looking through eyes
that cannot see clearly,
it’s time for a new way of seeing.
I cannot anticipate the magic of my future
looking through the lens of my past experiences.
My conditioned mind screams in terror;
it wants to know and understand and be in control.
Grace says, “Shhhh, shhhhhh, just breathe. Get still.”
When I listen to Grace, all is well.
I should keep listening to Grace.

Life is Asking All of Us

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Choosing clarity over comfort
and service over self-indulgence,
knowing that short-term pleasure
eats into long term success…
I think about what makes a leader a leader.
Beyond the roles we play
and the hats we don,
what is our true identity?
The moment we breathe slowly and deeply
we enter into the field of presence
that was never given
and can never be taken away.
I look up to anyone
who can enter this field
and show me how to arrive there
without tricks or gimmicks,
without bypassing or denial.
If I cannot find such a one to lead me,
I must become a leader myself.
And in today’s world, rife with chaos,
fraught with trauma,
I think that this is precisely
what Life is asking all of us to do.

If You’re Wondering

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If you’re wondering how long it will take,
how it will happen,
when you’ll feel strong enough,
healed enough,
ready enough…
stop wondering.
This isn’t a fill in the blank test.
This is your life.
There are no proper answers.
There is only you, opening as awareness
to what is alive in this moment.
Can you soften and relax
into the possibility
that you were led precisely here
because there was something
you could learn
from this living, breathing moment?
Live. Breathe.
Love this moment.
This moment is your life.