As Kanye says, sometimes “ya need to pump your breaks and drive slow homie.”
Take pause to truly feel… to pay attention to what is occurring within and without you. What happens when we don’t pay attention? Our plants wilt… children cry out… things fall in the cracks… our bodies ache… The busyness or ’business’ of our lives is harming our planet and us. We say, “take care” but are we really doing just that? When is the last time you took a moment on your walk to work, to get lunch, to the bus, in the middle of your yoga practice, run, or bike ride… to just hangout with yourself in stillness, allowing your muscles and mind to relax and just be.
We’ve all experienced those moments when we become lost in thought; we have zoned out, tuned out, and are far off in a waking dream. While we may not be completely connected to the present moment during these times, at least we have eventually found ourselves in our ‘lostness’ as we come back to our senses. Coming back to the present moment – regaining the connection to the senses of our body– the vehicle that ties us to this world.
When we rush and push it too hard, we move past the point of feeling. Often in yoga we become fixated on the aesthetics of the pose, trying to go as deep as, or even deeper than, our neighbour. The ego takes the reigns and we forget to listen, and feel, to what’s happening within. However, think of the last time you took a moment to be still in Tadasana after an intense and demanding sequence… Do you recall feeling all those shimmering sensations coursing through your body? There is such beauty in taking pause to tune inwards and feel the effects of our actions, to feel the integration of the work.
Of course, maintaining presence on the mat is only a practice for maintaining presence in every other aspect of our lives. During a workshop with Eoin Finn, he posed the question, “What magical thing in Nature did you see today?” Answers varied from a beautiful rainbow, to seeing the sun cascading through the trees, to watching the clouds roll over the mountains. There is beauty everywhere… we just need to remember to stop and take notice. Pause for a moment ofNature Appreciation, as Eoin calls it… even if it’s in an urban setting surrounded by the hammering of construction and honking horns.
Appreciate your own true nature and the nature around you. Slowing down gives us the chance to fully steep ourselves in whatever it is life is presenting to us, a chance to give attention to that which matters most – the right here; the right now.
Drive slow, homies.
Chelsea Lee (Diane’s daughter who inspired her to do Yoga)