By Mary Boutieller
As I sit here listening to the wind blowing outside, I find myself filled with easy gratitude —for the breeze, for the plants and trees just outside my door, for friends, my husband and family, for the untold hundreds of things I take for granted or don’t notice with enough consistency, and for this very moment. How often do we miss these moments while thinking of or doing other things? Recently, I watched a YouTube clip by Kyle Cease, and he talked about how he makes every minute matter. In other words, he does his best to stay in the present. (He’s an interesting guy—kind of funny, kind of serious…check him out.)
So as I sit here contemplating the direction of this little article, I’m doing my best to stay in the present moment, to let my thoughts swirl from one idea to another, waiting for my fingers to start moving, then pausing, then moving again. Imagine if we could do that on a more regular basis. What would it feel like if we allowed our conversations to come into being naturally, if we sat comfortably in each others’ presence, if we moved into our yoga poses by feeling what our bodies need and if, instead of complaining about the weather, we noticed the subtle and beautiful changes of the seasons. What if we really just paused—to take a breath, to say what’s on our mind, to hug someone, or to give that same someone or something our fullest attention?
Someone said that we are not “human doings;” we are human beings and, yet, it can be a struggle to just be—to not always have a goal or an end in sight. I tend to be a multi-tasker (and we know that doesn’t really work well), yet I find that when I focus on one thing at a time, I feel much calmer. We all know this, right? Yet we push and pull, reach and tug at ourselves, our bodies, our relationships, because it can be uncomfortable to just be inside our own skin. I talked with a friend the other day about getting a relaxing massage and we both kind of laughed because it’s pretty rare for me to get a massage just to relax…There are things to accomplish, even during a massage. Can you hear the craziness here? Even as I said this, I thought that a relaxing massage, bath, walk, talk…is probably exactly what I need most of the time. Who should be the one to give us permission to take care of ourselves, if not us?
Over that past few months, I have let go of some of the obligations that weren’t bringing me joy. I started feeling too busy, too confined to a self-imposed schedule, saying yes when my heart was saying no, feeling tired and drained. It wasn’t super easy—ego can have a pretty persuasive voice. Interestingly, for each thing I let go of, my breath got a little easier and I was able to relax a little more. Some of the tension left and I started sleeping better. With more space in my life, I was able to take nice walks, enjoy a hot bath, play a little more, hang out with my honey, read—all things that nurture me.
What’s amazing to me is that we already know this! We know what we need—we can hear the voice of our hearts! It may be obvious or it may be subtle, but surely it’s there. What is it that you already know? All we have to do is listen and then decide if you can “be” in that place.
Yoga teacher Ganga White said, “Yoga is more about learning and refining a lifelong process than merely reaching goals.” Living fully in this life, moment by moment— allowing more of what we need, letting go of what no longer serves us, finding joy in the simple things, appreciating everything—this is how we refine our “lifelong process.”
I’ll leave you with this poem by Donna Faulds:
“Just for now, without asking how, let yourself sink into stillness.
Just for now, lay down the weight you so patiently bear upon your shoulders.
Feel the earth receive you and the infinite expanse of sky grow even wider as your awareness reaches up to meet it.
Just for now, allow a wave of breath to enliven your experience.
Breathe out whatever blocks you from the truth.
Just for now, be boundless, free, with awakened energy tingling in your hands and feet.
Drink in the possibility of being who and what you really are—so fully alive that the world looks different, newly born and vibrant, just for now.”
With love and light, may we be all that we can be.
Mary Boutieller is a Registered Yoga Teacher through Yoga Alliance. She has been teaching yoga since 2005. Her work experience includes 22 years as a firefighter/paramedic and 10 years as a Licensed Massage Therapist. Mary’s knowledge and experience give her a well-rounded understanding of anatomy, alignment, health and movement in the body. She is passionate about the benefits of yoga and the ability to heal at all levels through awareness, compassion, and a willingness to explore. She can be reached at: SimplyogaOm@gmail.com.