The other week I was practicing next to a guy that was pretty good-lookin' - and in my age group! As I went into a forward fold I looked up at my arms and OMG my skin was sagging off my bones - WTF!!
Yes my friends this is what happens after 50 and menopause. I was desperately looking for ways to "fix" this - "Was there another way I could position my arms? Should I flex? What to do? I used to like my arms. What happened? Will I be single forever because of this?" YUP these were the thoughts that were running through my mind during yoga - it made me giggle! The ego can take us on some pretty "wild rides"!
I know in my heart that I am not this "BODY", I am a "SOUL" (aka Jiva or Atman) at my core - and whoever is drawn to me will be drawn to me because of that. And yet, my EGO (Ahamkara) is constantly there: identifying with the body, the physical reality of "what is" and focusing on the surface value of things. Even though we live in a physical body and I believe our outer reality matters (yes folks, our circumstances do impact us) - I also know what matters so much more is who we are underneath it all - our SOUL identity.
WE ARE NOT THIS BODY and yet WE ARE THIS BODY.
How do we make sense of that? How do we live in these bodies, honor these bodies and yet, create space to connect with the self beyond the body - the self as pure love, timeless, formless and infinite?
BECOME THE WITNESS, THE OBSERVER!
Notice what the ego focuses on and have compassion for ALL OF IT...ALL OF YOU! I notice that lately my EGO is in a lot of FEAR around aging...but it comes and goes...sometimes it is there and sometimes it is not.
The EGO isn't "bad" or "wrong" and we don't need to "fight" it. The key is to learn how to observe it, ride the waves and keep directing our attention to the PRESENT MOMENT so that it doesn't grip you in fear and overtake your JOY.
There are so many ways to drop into the PRESENT MOMENT: my favorite are lighting a candle, taking a deep breath, putting my feet in the earth, stating out loud "I am okay", and hugging my pup.
If you are reading this I know that you already know that BEING PRESENT helps to alleviate suffering. But "KNOWING" something and having a "LIVED EXPERIENCE" of something are two different things.
It's a LIFELONG practice to learn how to be present with the self- meaning not distracting or "checking out" from what it. There will be moments when you succeed and moments when you feel like you are "failing". But what I have found is that over time it gets easier and easier - I think of myself years ago and what a struggle it was to have a Friday night by myself without my kids - I would do anything to distract (drink, scroll, eat, create some drama etc). Now I am able to witness the anxiety that arises and let it pass and I am able to ENJOY MY TIME.
CULTIVATING THE ABILITY TO BE WITH YOURELF FROM A PLACE OF COMPASSION is truly the BEST DAMN THING! It makes your whole life better - esepcially your relationships with others.
So how do you PRACTICE BEING PRESENT?
When you have a daily meditation practice you get really good at noticing and not responding to all the thoughts (aka ego)...and this transfers into your daily life - less stress, more joy, less tension, increased intuition, more peace and better ability to focus your attention on what you want to create.
BUT DON'T TAKE MY WORD FOR IT.....TRY IT FOR YOURSELF! COMMIT TO A 21 DAY MEDITATION PRACTICE AND NOTICE THE IMPACT IN YOUR LIFE!
HOW TO START:
∙Pick a short practice that you will commit to: start with 10 minutes a day!
∙Meditate first thing in the morning-otherwise it may not happen.
∙If you are running late one day and don't have 10 minutes - do 5 minutes or 2 minutes!
∙If you miss a day, don't beat yourself up..."let it go" and start again the next day!
∙If your mind is busy the whole time, no problem -you are still receiving benefits!
∙Pick a meditation you like doing.
∙Start with a guided meditation. CLICK HERE for the meditations on my website!
I can't wait to support you in experiencing the power of a "daily sit".
All my love, Anjali