Think for a few moments about your heart. How it never stops beating; how its intelligence keeps you alive. Think about this most important muscle in your body, and everything you ever learned about it. Spend 30 seconds recalling any amazing facts that this supercomputer between your ears has stored for you on this, its most important partner the life of your body.
Now, at the end of this paragraph, look up from your device and open your focus. Keep your eyes open, unfocused and relaxed. Put your attention on your breath, and feel it gently moving in and out, expanding your lungs close to that precious heart. Keep your eyes unfocused, your attention on your breath, and feel for your heart. Be aware of it, and your gratitude for it’s work.
If you did indeed take a few seconds and did that, did it feel any different? Did your breath and the stillness of an open gaze offer you a bit more than the information your mind kindly served up? Did it dial up the warmth of love you feel for, and perhaps from, your heart? Was the embrace of gratitude any more complete?
For me it always is. I deeply appreciate the wealth of information my mind can offer me from a past Now moment. It often serves as a welcome reminder of the things and ideas to put my awareness on. My mind can also often show me a whole lot of unreleased resistance to a past Now moment in the form of fear in my current one. Which without a quick decision to surrender can easily pull me right out of that Now and into a whole lot of mental analysis of how to change it. Today was one of those days.
I returned home yesterday after an amazing trip to the Midwest for some time with my mom, some big and beautiful horses, (the ones in this pic are only yearlings) and some friends old and new for a workshop on what this blog has been about.
How rapidly the pain in my body all but left was remarkable. Was it the heat and humidity? The time away from a job that no longer serves me? Time with a different focus and purpose? What I ate differently? These were the questions I was left with this morning when I woke up and it was like I had never left. Pain and more pain.
But we drink from a deeper well when we live without resistance to the present moment. Awareness is the amplifier to the sweet sound of morning birdsong, the taste of a ripe mango and the almost magical sight of a rainbow. And when I resist what I am aware of in my Now, that fear pulls the plug on the Wonder Channel and tunes me into the Frustration Network, where I get to analyze the story of struggle instead of gracefully allowing for new possibility.
Information through the past and predictable future of the mind comes in as if on a dial-up connection, while our awareness rooted in the present moment brings it in on fiber optics. Deeper, broader and far more visceral, life in our Now moment carries the energy of limitless possibility into every part of who we are.
Somehow both peaceful and emergent, the magic of an unresisted present moment holds us and heals us. Even in anger, weakness or fatigue, we are fully alive when we surrender into our eternal Now moment. It balances, it soothes, and it inspires.
Allowed enough of our attention, that Now moment reveals what no longer serves, and offers the possibility of what does. It washes away the old and quickens the spirit with the new. It offers us the often unexpected yet always perfect.
I wrote a lot of this last night, after a lovely time walking barefoot on some cool evening grass. I was exhausted, and went to bed without posting it. Today offered the opportunity to weave some of the rough and chafing fabric of fear into this, a written expression of the evolving tapestry that is my life.
So off I go, to surrender the fight, and find what I know awaits in a connection to my body, my breath and my heart in this, a challenging Now moment. It’s always hard when it seems we’ve gone backwards. Good thing love is there, in any direction.
Your breath will take you there. Take it for a ride. Hold on long enough, and it can always take you Home.