This moment is a summation of every single second leading up to this point. Every breath, every blink, every movement, every touch, every word spoken or heard, every failure and success, every gain and every loss, and every other cliche dichotomy.
“Fear knocked at the door, faith answered, and fear disappeared” – Baron Baptiste
Inspirations for these posts come to me in a mighty rushing wind. Sometimes it will take my breath away, cause me to shiver, or even wake me up from my sleep. This particular entry came to me during a backbend in a yoga class.
“I’m complete, & I’m growing. There’s not an arrival, and there’s no destination.” – Emily Unwin
My arms shaking and legs quivering as I attempt to push myself away from the ground into a “yogi wheel”. This is a very vulnerable position as my hips and chest are completely open. It requires strength, flexibility, and balance of both mind and body.
Here is the description according to “Journey into Power” by Baron Baptiste:
“Wheel is one of the most powerful poses in yoga practice. The entire front side of the body unfolds into a magnificent blossom. The muscles in the back of the legs and shoulders are especially strengthen and conditioned. This is one of the very best poses to open and release the tightness and tension in the upper back, chest, shoulders, and hip flexors. Your breathing apparatus is opened which greatly increases the oxygen flow to your blood. You are also bringing love and life into your spine. On a deeper level, wheel inspires a sense of physical freedom, youthfulness, lightness, and joy. It can create tremendous emotional release”.
Palms and feet grounded to the floor yet pushing away. Legs squeezed together yet creating resistance. Pulling the elbows in towards the ears and in line with the shoulders. Inner thighs turned towards the ceiling. Dropping the shoulder blades down the back. Activating every muscle. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale. Release. Repeat.
It tests a yogi’s ability to balance effort with ease, yet…
Every moment has prepared me and created for me this moment.
Every yoga class, every yogi book, every volleyball game in high school, every stretch before soccer games, every mile I have run, every meal I have eaten, every minute of sleep.
But also every smile, cry, laugh, frustration, shame, connection, loss, heartbreak, victory.
“Feel your potential – to be happy and fulfilled and alive. Trust…There is always room to dream more, imagine differently, act intentionally. You are never stuck.” – Ruby Chandler
This moment is a summation of every experience that has gone before me. Sometimes we consider our past as one of our limitations or one of our barriers to success. On the contrary, our pasts have brought us to this moment. It has created this opportunity in this moment to choose our destiny.
Side note: I am not naive to the fact that our pasts sometimes do innately create barriers. People who have torn their ACL may have to give up a beloved sport. People who have been a victim of interpersonal violence may have a hard time with trust in a new relationship. We also have systemic barriers. People of different races experience a myriad of social barriers, such as increased risk of incarceration and several chronic diseases. Women experience lack of opportunity in the workforce and are more likely to be misdiagnosed in the healthcare system. These are not the barriers I am referring to although in an attempt to not minimize these, I wanted to mention them.
“Change is uncomfortable. And when you feel as if you’ve got to quit, that is probably the point at which you are looking right into the possibility of changing at some level…If you can stay with it in those difficult moments, you will grab the brass rings of transformation” – Baron Baptiste
So what am I going to choose? What are you going to choose? In this moment, this blank slate, this opportunity. Will I choose freedom or will I bind myself to my perceptions of my limitations? Will I move forward or will I surrender to complacency? Will I do the hard thing which may be the right thing? Will I love?
The challenge in my yoga studio‘s Gratitude Workbook is to picture myself and my life in 10 years….scary, right? It challenged me to think…Is what I am doing in this moment creating my destiny of what I want in 10 years? Do my choices and actions reflect my dreams for the future? If not, what am I waiting for? My future is at my fingertips. Literally, my future is one second away.
But 11 year-old me looks NOTHING like the 21 year-old me today. I didn’t know what I wanted. What I wanted when I was 11 is NOT what I want right now. Prime example: I always dreamed of being a doctor and thought I would be married by 23-25. Not saying it could not happen, but my degree is in public health and marriage is the last thing on my mind right now. So, how do I create my destiny right now? What if my wants and dreams change? Aren’t I suppose to stay present?
Exactly. Living in the present is surrendering to both my past and my future self.
I recognize my past.
My past is what brought me to this moment. I have no control over what has been done to me or what I have experienced. I DO have control over my reaction. This moment is an opportunity to respond. I can respond with love for myself and others through extending grace where it is needed. I can challenge the barriers that confine me by taking a chance and pushing my limit. As weird as it may sound, recognizing your past requires you to be present. You must analyze your present need in order to respond to your past. If you need forgiveness from your past, use this moment to forgive yourself. If you need healing, take this moment to create healing. If you need connection, connect with someone.
I recognize the potential of my future.
My future is up to me. This may seem like an overwhelming burden or a lot of pressure, especially in college. From the moment children can talk, people ask “what do you want to be when you grow up?” Recognizing the potential of my future begins by giving up expectations. Expectations bind me by setting a limit on my potential. The future begins in the present, so I must remain there. Recognizing my future is simply a challenge for me to take the present as an opportunity to move forward. It allows me to change if I want – dye my hair, text someone on my mind, change my major. It gives me the confidence to live relentlessly.
And I hang in the balance, which is called the present.
In this moment, you and I are exactly where we need to be. And we are equipped with everything we need to make the most out of this opportunity. In both the mundane and the extraordinary moments. Every moment has led up to this one, so what are we going to do with it? I don’t know about you, but I am going to fly! I am going to run with everything I got towards my dreams. I am going to live relentless.