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
I love how it doesn’t matter how much
I’ve attempted to stay present but failed miserably…
I love that no matter how many times my mind
hijacked my consciousness with thoughts of the past
or thoughts of the future,
the present always holds me.
I always am here.
I always am now.
My work is to know this deeply,
integrating awareness of the present moment
through bodily sensations,
through the intention to be of service.
I see the perfection of my journey,
how all experiences led me to this moment.
All I can feel now…
When faced with imminent homelessness
and being met with obstacle after obstacle
to securing a home for myself and my kids—
what real choice is there?
I can choose to be present and experience peace,
or I can choose to focus on the future
and feel terror.
The choice seems so easy, doesn’t it?
Just stay present. Just choose peace.
But then there is the reality of being human,
having been trained to avoid the present moment
for most of my life.
Yes, even as a yoga teacher,
even with my daily meditation practice
(over seven years now of daily meditation)
I still find it extraordinarily difficult
just to remain present.
There are so many ways I’ve learned
to just not be here. To just not feel.
I see that my body has been terrified for a long time,
perhaps since childhood…
perhaps I carry the terror of ancestors
struggling to survive,
a terror encoded in my genes
that no amount of therapy could cure.
My task becomes a reconditioning
of this body-mind,
to retrain my nervous system to udnerstand
that in this moment, I am safe.
In this moment, all is well.
Until I am able to gain more footing
on this path of peace,
I’ll need to be content with the space
between peace and terror,
and reconcile the one who is afraid
with the one who soothes, reassures, calms and holds.
God, let me find the One within me
that knows just what to do and what to say
to always bring me back home to the ground of being,
this moment where PEACE IS within me,
despite the chaos the swirls around on the outside.
Sometimes I resent having to do so much work
to wake up, to improve, to become better…
Like everyone else, I just want to be happy, healthy,
have a good life, be at peace.
Then it occurs to me
that the work will enable me to create these things
and claim them as mine.
If the good life were handed to me on a silver platter,
could I accept it?
Would I see myself as worthy?
I’m so grateful for the infinitely generous present moment.
No matter how many times my mind goes back to the past
or rushes headlong into the future,
this beautiful present moment
always waits for me right here, right now,
with wide open arms.
Standing here, looking forward
I can hope, I feel strong,
I know I can make it through this.
I feel angry, I feel hurt,
I feel betrayed,
I am filled with grief.
Standing here, right here
in this present moment,
I am aware of the swirls of thought
and my tendency to look back
and to look forward.
Standing here, opening my eyes,
I see what choices I have.
I sit down.
I close my eyes.
I breathe in and out, slowly.
This moment is all I ever have.
This moment is all I ever need to know.
We’re always at the beginning,
so let’s get started.
There is nothing to finish,
there is no end,
only this moment,
waiting for us to start
and start again.
And this is the beauty of it,
the spaciousness of always beginning.
There is no pressure to be a master,
no perfection to aspire towards
when perfection is all there ever is.
The imperfections are part of the perfection,
just as night is contained in day
and sadness in joy.
There is nothing you can lack;
here at the beginning
you sense the enormity
of your wide open potential
streaming from your innocent heart
beating, always now,
at the beginning.
Settling into this moment,
remembering that balance is key.
Work and play
Effort and rest
Day and night…
Like the waves of the ocean
rising and falling,
everything in the perfect time.
Softening the belief
that this moment
should be other
than what it is,
seeing it for what it is,
responding, rather than reacting,
doing what needs to be done.
This calm acceptance isn’t complacency,
it is clarity, power, and strength.
Settle into this moment,
do what needs to be done,
then return to being.