I was laying in Savasana in yoga class the other day and I had a breakthrough, an “a-ha” moment. It was completely out of the blue, in fact. I was laying there as I do during every yoga class I have taken over the last MANY years (a lady never reveals her age, lol) doing all of the things I am “supposed” to do at this point in class- relaxing, letting my body melt into the mat, focusing my attention on my breath and not on the external, yada, yada, yada. I am accustomed to this by now having spent many hours in Savasana and daily meditation practices over my lifetime.
However, at one point I wandered my focus to the physical time. I started asking myself, “what time is it?” and worrying that I will be late for what I had to do once I stepped off my mat and was back in the “real world.” My mind went on a spider’s web path from there: “Am I going to make it to work on time? How long have we been in Savasana? What if the time is well passed the time it is supposed to be at this point in class?”
And, it hit me! Literally. It felt as if a light was flashing before my eyes and enveloped my entire body. A wave of calm washed over me and I was immediately relaxed. My inner voice told me to just be. My worrying about the time was not going to make the minutes go by faster or slower- it would still be the same 60 seconds no matter if I was relaxed or if I was stressing about what was coming next; all I had was that exact present moment.
Time is a funny thing. We can spend so much of our day worrying about what is coming next: rushing through our morning coffee to get to work, counting the seconds on the treadmill until we reach that mile, not paying attention to our conversations because we are stressing about how we will answer. In reality, that next moment is not guaranteed. And, when it does arrive, it may not go as we had so carefully “planned” out in our heads. All we have and all we can control is this very moment.
Conversely, we can also spend so much of our energy overthinking and overanalyzing something that happened a minute ago, a day ago, a decade ago. However, can we go back in time and change that situation? Most likely not. Can we alter the course that that decision, conversation, situation has led us to at this present moment? In all reality, that moment is gone. In fact, the sentence I just wrote is already just a memory.
So, why do we spend so much time contemplating something that has not yet happened or fretting about a moment that has already come and gone? Neither of which can be changed. What we can control, however, is right now. This moment. We can make a concerted effort to be here, to be present. When we do that, we are more clear in our thoughts to make decisions which could better serve us than to make decisions based merely on emotions, for example, we have from not being fully aware of our present thoughts.
I have found myself repeatedly throughout the last few days since I had that “breakthrough” coming back to this thought. I am an analyzer, a worrier of what is to come, a counter of “time” during something which I am doing. I have consciously caught myself in these moments and honed myself into being present. I take a deep breath and tell myself that my looking at the clock is not going to make the time pass any faster (or slower for that matter) so, embrace what I am doing and enjoy this moment.
Each time I have let myself breathe and embrace the present moment I have found I am more relaxed and in tune with what I am doing or whom I am in the company of- I am more aware. Aware of myself, aware of my surroundings, aware of my thoughts. This has led to better judgment and overall happiness as I am not stressing about what has passed or what I anticipate to come.