Sometimes in life, all that we desire and yearn for can seem so far away.
Perhaps it is this—we have yet to become aware and awakened.
The gift of presence is the present moment.
The other week, my yoga community celebrated “International Day of Yoga.” I decided to drag my weary bones to my local park, which was broadcasting a two-day free yoga program because of COVID-19.
I was one of two other participants, and to be honest, I really went for the kirtan music, as I am currently writing and creating yoga music.
The day forecast rain, but I still went because I live in the prairies and the prairies are like the ocean—things can change quickly.
I sat far from the instructor and other students.
My mind wandered at the start, back to the love that my heart yearned for. I started thinking of my previous love interest—the one who I had walked away from, because I knew it was leading to heartbreak.
My mind kept reminding me of those sweet moments between us, of his face, of his voice, and of the dream that I had created.
I told my mind to settle. This rarely works, but today it did.
I settled into my breath, the energy of the park, the atmosphere, and the pending rain.
I fell into the meditation of my own heartbeat and sound as it connected with the world, and the instructor’s voice was gone. This was bliss.
Toward the end, I came back with a memory of a childhood trip in which I drove my family to a hidden canyon by accident.
This is how creativity comes to me—upon waking, or after an experience or connection to nature, I am flooded. I wanted to rush back home to write, however, the rain came and what followed would be entwined in the richness of the experience and story.
I pushed aside the urge to write and came back to the park as the rain fell.
We gathered under the tarp to sing and chant as the rain came down in torrents.
A beautiful moment and experience.
I looked around at the new faces and I was reminded that I am where I need to be.
Music again filled my heart and I was transported. This would carry me home drenched, and floating, and high on music and the rain.
Our hearts, if open, have the ability to love and show love to many people. If our minds are open we have the ability to learn, grow, process, and connect on an intellectual level.
There is the meeting of minds and the meeting of hearts.
There is a connection between the two, which is important. Perhaps we are all on a slightly different place on the path in this life journey. Why, and how, and when we connect with each other is sometimes a mystery.
My analytical brain often kicks into gear and wants to make sense of the story, while my creative, intuitive heart will sigh and say, “Not everything needs to make sense. Sometimes feeling your way through is the process and path.”
What did my journey with my family to a hidden canyon and my day in the park meditating have to do with each other?
There is a connection between what we desire, where we are, and where we are going. The suffering arises when we are not present or mindful.
I was delighted that this memory presented this gift and I am happy to share it with you, so you too can see the humor and the connection with destination, obsession, and happiness.
The story takes me back in time.
When I was 16, I went on holiday to America with my family. I took a turn at the wheel while others slept, and I drove to a scary, magnificent, hidden canyon.
It was completely off the grid. My parents woke when we arrived and I sighed heavily as everyone was upset. We climbed out of the car and into a tiny tour information booth to figure out where I had taken us.
The tour guide was puzzled, “You are in the most beautiful place—this place is almost a secret and you are angry?”
I looked at the guide with sympathy, smiled, and shrugged. My family looked at me with disdain and frustration as they all climbed back into the minivan.
You see, it didn’t matter that where we ended up was beautiful for it wasn’t the plan—the journey we had planned— and as a result, everyone was angry.
My family failed to see the beauty of this glorious canyon. I took us on a two-hour detour, and this did both amaze and frighten me at the same time. I was just amazed that I was able to drive the entire way, as I was terrified of heights and winding roads.
We didn’t spend too much time enjoying the scenery that day, and I recall looking back at the beauty as we climbed the hill terrain back to our original path. As I watched the canyon slowly disappear, I exhaled slowly and told myself, “You did it. You drove to the canyon all by yourself!”
At the end of my meditation, this story replayed in my mind like a movie. It’s funny that we humans struggle to enjoy things, because we are consumed with where we are going. This mind-movie story reminded me of some important lessons.
These lessons can be applied to relationships and other life experiences.
There is a term used to explain this phenomenon where people are focused on what is to come. This is called “destination addiction.”
It is the belief that we will be happy if we meet and arrive at a particular place or find that certain person. This happiness is always in the future and is thus, in what is to come, not what is right now.
I reflected on my past experiences. It seemed to me that the best moments that I have experienced in life happened when I was living in the moment.
Today, I told my analytical brain to make friends with my intuitive heart, and that it is okay to enjoy this moment in the rain and put aside the list of things that I need to do.
It is alright that my mind thinks of love and the challenge of loving difficult things and people.
It is alright to not be able to make sense of things—for most things and most people are miraculous and unexplained.
Life is a journey and we can laugh and enjoy the uncertainty that it brings. And we can take comfort both in the sun and the rain.
If we slow down and enjoy the journey, we just might catch some incredible sights and sounds, not to mention new friends along the way.
Love and life are always unfolding.
This has become my life mantra.