I’m sitting here on a Friday morning, bucket of coffee in hand, wading through emails, bills, phone calls, general odds and ends, all to the tune of our 46 gallon salt water tank that stands behind me, gurgling merrily. The sound of its splashing in rhythmic patterns somehow manages to sooth the setting whenever I’m actually conscious of it. Which brings me to my thought for the day. So often in life, it seems to me, it’s far too easy to drift off into “auto pilot” mode. I catch myself at any given time throughout the average day temporarily “on another planet”, of which I must rocket back from in order to tackle whatever presents itself at hand. Trust me, I’m no space cadet. I believe it is part of human nature, inherently embedded in all brains, be they limited or off the charts intellectually, to wander off into oblivion from time to time. Some people live in that vast utopia oasis. It’s written all over their faces. They have that open, blissful look about them, “not a care in the world” persona. It must be very relaxing to live like that. The only problem is, in being so completely tuned out, they are missing the boat when it comes to the complexity of life and the many layers it offers. However, living on the opposite extreme must be terrifying and exhausting. If you are eternally “awake”, present every moment of every day with no relief from the strenuous job of it, that would be quite a living nightmare. There is a book I truly love called “Wherever You Go, There You Are”. It delves into the idea that we are mostly sleepwalking through life and if we could make a better effort of snapping out of our reverie more often, we could get so much more out of our lives in the moment. In the here and now. To firmly, consciously nudge our minds into the present, instead of living in the past or projecting ourselves into the future. I try to keep myself aware as much as possible, in the thick of things. I think I’m somewhere in the middle when it comes to the scale between out of it and razor’s edge. One helpful tool I’ve gotten tremendous use out of is something I learned in yoga from the get go. Breathing. We do it all the time, we must in order to participate among the living. And yet, because it naturally happens without a need for thought or action, we generally take it for granted, thus depriving ourselves of the amazing benefits conscious breathing can offer us. Now I’m sounding like a hippie guru. I’m not. I just know that if you find yourself in any situation, be it stressful or pleasurable, paying attention to your breath as it pulls inward, filling your lungs, then taking your time and allowing it to release in a long, fully felt exhale can either lower your stress or add a great deal to your happy moment depending on the scenario. I’ve mentioned this briefly in a previous blog regarding yoga, but I thought I’d revisit it here, as it is always good to remind ourselves to step back, look around, take everything in. The light, the color, the texture, the sound, the scent, the mood. How do you feel? And more importantly, are you engaged fully right now? If so, you’ve just managed to capture a point in time I believe will stick with you forever. Congratulations!
Here’s to truly BEING ALIVE!