Friday, May 20, 2011

My intention today is to be free.

Even when there is nothing incredibly difficult or high-pressure going on in my life, my mind always seems to find something to chase after, to worry about, to obsess over, to latch onto and try to hang on for dear life. Today, for example, was anything but stressful. I simply went for a short, painless run and enjoyed a luxurious few hours with my boyfriend. We didn't even argue, not even one bicker! That is an accomplishment for us, so I was extremely grateful for that. Then, I got to go to one of my favorite places in the world, Discovery Yoga, where I am responsible for managing the office on Friday afternoons before the Vinyasa class. Oh, and I also get to take the class for free! Again, nothing stressful- exactly the opposite actually.

After my boyfriend went to work and once I hopped onto my bike and began pedaling to the studio, my mind was attacked. Whatever you want to call it- the ego, the "devil" (as my mom calls it), the smaller self, the mind chatter, etc... It came pouring into my brain and took ahold of my being. I know for a fact I shouldn't be worrying about anything. I am healthy. My family and friends are wonderful. I am blessed with fabulous parents, I just graduated from college, and I am in love. Sure I have problems, bad days, negative thoughts, just like the rest of our species.  But, in general, I know I have it good. All is well in my life.

But, my mind often likes to take me away from the present, from my physical self, from now. Even on easy days like this Friday. My mind makes simple tasks seem huge. It's like it doesn't know how to relax. It's not like I was having any dreadful thoughts on this particular day. They were simple: What groceries do I need? When am I going to get those damn dishes done? When do I need to get up tomorrow for work? What should I pack for lunch? When should I go for a run tomorrow? But my mind makes all of these every-day tasks seem so huge. Then, it tries to reach for next week. And next month, and next year. Sometimes, like today, I let my mind run around freely. I let it take me every which way- pushed and pulled in each direction. But not for long.

This afternoon, I rolled out my mat and sat on the cushion, I just observed my "monkey mind" as many of my yoga teachers often call it. After I was done believing that any of the worries it actually thinks I have are relevant or useful to me in this moment, I smiled to myself. All I have is now. I am free now and free always. Obsessing over things to be done and what may happen tomorrow, next week, next month, next year, years from now, will do me no good right now. In fact, all it will do is take me away from the present- where true joy is found. That is not free- that is being mentally chained to nonexistent problems.

Once we finished our 3-part yogic breath, Kelley, my teacher, told us to pick our intention for the practice today. I usually pick the first word that comes flashing into my consciousness. And today... Guess what it was?



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