This weekend I had the opportunity to receive a training on Restorative Yoga (a type of Yoga that specializes on slowing the nervous system down to create optimum health). On the second day of the three day training, there was a guest speaker who began his session by stating the importance of being in the present moment. He suggested that by being in the moment to moment fully present, we can be better partners, parents, professionals, athletes, teachers, etc... after eloquently finishing his statement, the speaker took a silent pause accompanied by a few deep breaths and then, he addressed us again by asking the following question; "(...) if you are not here, then, where are you?". The room stayed in silence and stillness. He took another deep breath and continued with his presentation. It has been two days, since I listened to him speak, and that question is still running around my mind.
"What a beautiful way to bring mindfulness into a room" I thought. We are used to being told to be in the present, but very rarely we are asked "where are you?". I noticed that there is something very powerful about not being told what to do but rather, being asked to reflect on what we are doing. The truth is, we cannot be physically in two different places at the same time, we can only be where our bodies are. But our mind has this tendency to leave the body in the present and travel to the future and the past, creating a sense of separation between the mind and the body. This sense of separation creates an incredible amount of suffering, stress, and anxiety.
Imagine if you were asked to be separated from your body or, from a part of your body. Wouldn't you be sad, upset, angry, and scared? Wouldn't you fight to stay with your body and all of its parts? I know, I would. So, I wonder, why is it that we so often engage in separating from the body by creating mental scenarios that bring discomfort and negativity?
Being where the body is, help us dissolve that separation between mind and body. And by doing so, we are inevitably repairing the suffering and anxiety that are created by attempting to be in two places at once. So, let me ask you, where are you right now? are you listening to the t.v. or, texting someone while reading this?
Notice how often you attempt to leave the body to travel to the future or, the past. And notice as well, what kind of emotions come out as a result of that activity.
I invite you to ask yourself throughout the day "if I am not here, then, where am I" and whenever possible, bring to that question awareness of what is happening both, outside and inside of you. And if you find that there is a gap or, a disconnect between your mind and body, make the choice to be where the body is, closing that gap. And then, observe again what happens inside and outside of you.
If you do try it, I would love to hear about your observations, so don't be shy and send me a note!
From my heart to yours, namaste.