A year or so ago, I was talking with a friend over lunch about daily life and the pressure we felt. We both realized that the stress and unhappiness we endured was often of our own making. Always pushing ahead, planning the next event that would make us enjoy life, we were in fact forcing decisions where there was none to be made, whilst missing out on life.
I’ve been reading Keith McGuinnes’ blog Pilgrimage to Nowhere, a young man’s life journey around the world which has evolved into “a journey into the Self”. While in Bali in 2009, he was already planning the next part of his trip when he stopped and realized that he was actually missing out on what was surrounding him Now. And so, he wrote: “I just need to balance movement and stillness, ensuring when I do move, it is because I am ready to move on, not because I need the distraction” (Freedom of Choice Post).
In Yoga, the Sanskrit term Asana is often translated as “pose” or “posture” but it means so much more. Its more literal translation is “to take a seat” which can be more rightfully interpreted as “being present in one’s body, being just here, just now, in the present moment” (Stephens, 2009). Perhaps what I find most inspiring about practicing Yoga, is this stillness through movement: the steadiness of the mind allowing full body-mind awareness, between and through every breath and posture. At the beginning of each practice, we accept to surrender ourselves completely, allowing this moment to fully be ours.
We are too often condemned for not taking action, for not moving fast enough when often times, the change is already occurring and all that is left to do is accepting it. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in making the right decision in order to succeed in all life’s situations because if we don’t, we’ve lost and failed. Really? But what if we had actually learned something…
Building on the first step of Acceptance, comes trust in ourselves and in life. By trying to learn and grow from our experience, instead of being disappointed in the outcome of our own decision, we surrender our trust in life. Having understood and included acceptance as a stepping stone, we can then move forward because we understand and we trust ourselves a little bit more, bringing us ever closer to happiness. Enjoy the day, enjoy today.