Don’t Rush Ahead
On day ten of my personal yoga challenge, I took Bikram Yoga with Thom Taylor at Yogani in Tampa. As we got to savasana, I heard him tell us to begin to come back into our bodies.
And then I stopped listening. I was wiggling my toes, stretching, rolling over to my right side.
And then, as I got to my right side, I realize had had actually only JUUUUUUST told us to stretch long and then to hug our knees into our chest.
I had rushed ahead. I had already been making my way up to a seated position.
I had stopped listening. I had left the present moment.
I had assumed I knew what was to come.
I had left the NOW and tried to rush into the moment ahead. Tried to assume and predict where we were next going without listening and paying attention to where we actually were. Well, that smacked me back into reality!
When I was four or so I joined swim team. I was a GOOD little swimmer.
In one of our first meets, I was ready to win! I dove of the starting block and kicked and kicked and swam like there was no tomorrow.
I heard whistles blowing, but didn’t know what they meant, so I swam faster. And faster.
But then a rope came down in front of me.
So I swam over it.
And another rope.
I swam over that.
Finally my coach jumped in the water. I kept swimming. She reached out and stopped me, grabbing me in her arms.
I stopped swimming.
I started sobbing. I had been about to win!! Why was the race stopped?
Apparently, one of the swimmers had had a false-start. But I had not been told about false starts yet, so I had just kept on going. I didn’t try to investigate when the whistle blew, when the ropes came down, even when the coach came in the water. I was so intent on victory–so intent on swimming my heart out.
I ended up persevering and trying again–going back to the starting block and learning about getting back up when you fall down. But that’s a lesson for another day. Today’s emphasis is on the signs that we try to ignore. On the difference between our perceived vision for the future and our planned outcomes and the actual moments in reality.
I missed the signs of the present moment because I thought I knew what was going to happen. Because I’d planned my future the way I had wanted it to go and then doggedly pursued my vision–regardless of what was actually happening around me.
That single-minded pursuit plagued my savasana this week. And has caused me to wonder…how often do we make assumptions in our future? Do we so purposefully go after our plan, our goal, our vision in our head…that we miss what is actually happening around us? That we miss out on the actual now? And, as a result, perhaps miss out on something amazing that could turn our whole “plan” on its head?
It’s okay to think about the future. It’s good to plan and to ponder and to dream about what you want. But there comes the moment where you have to just throw it all out the window and really experience where you are.
We always say that we can only control ourselves. But we must be cautious that we do not try to over-control. That we do not try to focus on the OUTCOME so much that we miss out on the little things that could take our lives to new heights. The little things that, if we notice them and live in the present moment, have the opportunity to take our plan and spin it upside down. And then find the ability to be okay with that, to accept the change, and find fluidity and joy in the here and now.
And know that things are never quite as they seem. That life can always change. That no matter how well you think you may know exactly what the future will bring, what the next moment will be, what someone is going to say….YOU DON’T KNOW!!!
Let go the future (within reason.) Let go assumptions. Let go!
Let in the unknown. Take in your surroundings. Listen. See. Feel. Experience.
You may find your future more beautiful than you could ever have predicted.