Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear,
but around in awareness. –James Thurber
I’ve recently begun a meditation practice… again. It’s my “I know, but”. You know what I am talking about! That thing you KNOW you need to do, but you keep dancing around it. That thing that, every time you commit to doing it, you say “NOW I remember why I used to do this on a regular basis!”. We all have them. And the Universe has a way of gently nudging us toward them when we’ve started to fill our time with other things. So, meditation has been offered to me once again, and I’ve committed to a regular practice.
The Importance of Embracing the In-Between Moments
As part of my commitment, I’ve been re-reading The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. As I was reading, I came across a passage on you guessed it – meditation. Patanjali was instructing on the qualities needed to incorporate a meaningful practice: patience, devotion, and faith (hint: patience isn’t listed first by accident!). He went on to say that we make commitments impatiently and expectantly, thinking that the result we desire should come to us almost immediately. But as we know, things of true meaning don’t come to us like that. We have to come back to them continuously, and channel our heart and mind intentionally into them, really believing that we have within us the means to arrive at the destination we are striving toward.
If eternal bliss; total peace and contentment; were as easy as sitting down to one or two meditation practices, I think the secret would be out by now, and we’d all be in Nirvana. But it’s not; it’s a practice. And most of the things that matter to us in life are just that – a practice!
Life continually presents us with opportunities, and with the right perspective, we notice them, experience them, reflect upon them, and extract the lesson we needed to take another step toward our highest selves. Just like that; not leaping, not sprinting, but by gradual intentional steps.
So wherever this message finds you, will you try something for me?
Allow yourself to stop rushing through, checking the box on things done for a moment, and see if you can create some space for openness and curiosity in your practice (i.e., whatever lies in front of you this very moment). The desired destination may be at the “other end” of your next practice; sometimes, it’s been right in front of us all along.
But we certainly won’t see it if we rush past it in our hurry to “get there”. So when you set out to accomplish all that you were meant to, show up with patience, devotion, and faith. Commit to space in-between. And maybe you’ll find that slowing down actually gets you there faster…