You know that feeling you get when it’s alllmost the weekend? Or the day before vacation? You can practically taste it- the fun, the freedom, the seemingly endless span of “me time” ahead? You CANNOT beat that feeling. It’s delicious.
How about that feeling you get when you have a big deadline looming? An exam coming up, a huge bill nearly due, or a dreaded phone call you can no longer avoid? Worst. Feeling. Ever.
Anticipation can be so much more significant than any actual event! The build-up to something great is AMAZING, and the build-up to something unpleasant is HELL.
So…about living in the moment. Let’s do that more, shall we?
If I’m not careful, I find myself missing a lot of moments. This morning, I saw the sun rising and thought about how lucky I was to enjoy something so beautiful. Almost simultaneously, my brain stepped in with a hand held up in my face, and said, “Stop right there, moment! This COULD be wonderful, but it’s not, and I’ll tell you why. You need to lose weight, pay down your debt, get your oil changed, check your email….after all of that is done, you can THINK about enjoying a moment. Until then we have A LOT of things that need to be worried about.”
Not cool, brain.
Lucky for me, I’ve been rehearsing for this very scenario. When in savasana, the final resting pose at the end of yoga practice, the teacher instructs us to let go of trying to control our bodies and our minds. It’s a form of meditation, and a really nice, non-judgy, brain-you-can’t-get-me-down meditation. When thoughts come running through my head, I acknowledge them, and watch them pass by, like cars driving past me on the highway. As much as I feel like I should try to catch up with them, see where they’re going in such a rush- I don’t. I stay in my nice, slow lane.
Granted, it’s easier after yoga; I’m tired and happy, surrounded by zen-ny people, there’s incense and soft music…it’s yogalicious, baby. But those beautiful savasanas are training me to recognize when my brain is trying to get me to drag race with my thoughts, and I’m getting stronger.
Anticipation can be fabulous. Tomorrow is Friday, and I’m excited, and I’m certainly not going to rein that in. But when planning for the future gets in the way of my sunrise, I’ll need to step in. Someday the part of me that reeeeally wants to worry about things- that thinks I can not and should not enjoy my life UNTIL everything is resolved and perfect- that part of me will learn to be quiet. Even without the incense.