The Power of Now
These are unbelievably challenging times. None of us have ever gone through something like this before. Losing our jobs, threatened with illness, cut off from our friends, watching our communities and loved ones struggle and not being able to help. Is the current state of your house, your job, and our nation challenging you in ways you've never imagined before? Are you feeling many emotions you don't know what to do with? I certainly am. And they change rapidly and without warning.
I once read that depression happens when you're stuck in the past and anxiety when you're focused on the future. That only leaves right now, in this very moment, where neither can touch us. It takes practice, and a continued commitment, to redirecting yourself to the Now. It is not something that is accomplished once. It is a job that is never done. The sticky past and the nagging future, they both continue to pull us in one direction or the other. So, like brushing our teeth and making our meals, we simply add the task of coming back to the Now to our day. To our every minute.
Because right now, in this very moment, you are well. You have breath in your lungs and clothes on your body. You've eaten and taken care of your bodily needs. You are part of a larger community that is engaged. There are helpers helping. You are loved. Yes, there is much to do. And even more that is out of our control. But we are in control of how we sit in this moment. And even in the midst of chaos (and there is always chaos, just in different forms) you can feel, in this very moment, the stillness and peace that is available to you.
Close your eyes. Take a deep breath - as deep as you can. Hold it for a second. Feel into that stillness. Hear the silence behind the noise. Now let it out all the way. Let every drop of air out of your body. Now do it again - deep, slow breath in, all the way to your toes. Hold. Listen for the silence. Then breath all the way out, pushing the last bit out at the end. Try holding that emptiness for a second. Is this stillness different than the full breath? Now do this three more times. Slowly.
Do you feel how much space you have inside you?
Do you feel like you are back in your body? In the Now?
Did you notice how the thoughts and emotions pulling you here and there were momentarily gone? Focusing on the breath, and on the stillness within it, allows your mind and heart to rest. Allows your spirit to shine.
Can you give yourself the gift - of silence and stillness, of the full expansion of breath,. and of the landing back in your body - whenever you slip into the past or future? Whenever you're feeling overwhelmed, numb, fearful, sad and exhausted? When you're pulled out of the goodness that exists right now in this moment?