Over the past few months i have found myself rocking my littlest guy, Leo for a good 10 min beyond him nursing and falling asleep. This is a huge shift for me. Normally when my kids and babies fall asleep, literally as soon as their eye lids shut, I race against the clock to get as much stuff done as possible before they wake up again. Because my time is so limited i also find myself rushing in everything including my yoga practice, but lately i have been lingering more. At the top of the inhale in upward facing dog, I pause instead of rushing into downward facing dog. In the challenging poses i stay, regardless of completing 5 deep breaths.
I had a realization, what the Oprah fanatics call an aha moment or what the yogi’s call enlightenment, and yes that is all enlightenment is; those moments when we are made to see. If you are looking for something in the dark, turn on the light. Many of us aspire to do great things with our lives and end up lost, burnt out, strung out and frustrated in the process. We get caught up in the results, we become blinded by the glimmer of the trophy. We become goal seeking astronauts, blasting off with one thing in mind, the goal. So many times in our lives we get lost in the process but the process is life. When we blast through our life at rocket speed towards our goals; our ideas of what we think will make us happier and whole “er” We continually rush around searching for something meaning full, trying to do more, make more, achieve more, however the magic lies in the process. The process lies in the moments: The good, the beautiful, the bad, and the awkward.
I see this in my clients on the yoga mat, in the gym and in their lives. The need to get somewhere as fast as possible and please understand, the only way i can recognize this in other people is because I am guilty of this as well.
You cant get to awesome without going through all right, you don’t get to bless you without fuck you. Everybody wants to do the flashy, fun arm balances in class, yet very few people are willing to do the “boring” work required. The years of patience, discipline and persistence required to create breakthroughs in the postures as opposed to injuries. The extra time spent when the postures get a little challenging, the ability to stay when you want to run, the ability to get seasoned by the fire of dicipline. Everybody wants the “perfect” body and they are willing to go to all extremes, including cutting them selves open to achieve it, yet nobody is willing to do the uncomfortable and extremely challenging internal work required to find inner peace and happiness, as if a six pack and big boobs can really make any of us happy.
Everybody wants the prize, but very few people want to face the demons on the path; fear, shame, guilt etc. We cant selectively numb, side step and avoid experiences. When we try to race through or skip over the uncomfortable, boring or awkward moments we also miss out on the beautiful moments as well. Life is nothing more than a series of moments and when you try to skip over the process you miss out on life.
Instead of racing through life trying to get shit done, blasting through your workout just to get through it, cutting out carbs and sugars to lose weight only to pump your body full of artificial chemicals, or jumping into a headstand, Linger.
When you linger, you slow down. You stay long enough to recognize that you are exactly where you need to be. We learn to be comfortable and accepting of the uncomfortable. We begin to feel okay with stillness. When we linger in the moment we can actually “see” how we are. Once we can see how we are we also begin to see that the only thing standing in our way of being happier is ourselves; our limited ideas and perceptions of what happiness actually is. The moment is our teacher. We often get so busy in our day to day lives that we actually lose ourselves. We buy into a crazy society’s standards, we conform, contort and mold ourselves to fit this form. We tie our happiness to these standards and because this happiness is an externally imposed idea, it becomes impossible to achieve. The secret to happiness is not a bigger house, more money in the bank or bigger boobs. The secret to happiness is to learn to linger longer, get quiet and realize that you have everything you need, you are enough and life is beautiful.