Yoga, Breath, Light, Love
I took the liberty of re-posting this post from Leo Babauta, profound write and life observer at http://zenhabits.net/sit/.
It particularly resonates with me right now as I work hard to balance my life that consists of 14 hours days and the holiday season.
In fact, as I write/share this blog, I am sitting at the check in desk at my yoga studio while a beautiful class is being taught by the oh so talented Lois Parker Carmona and I am thinking, “I should be taking the class”. But alas, I first had to stop at the bank, the post office and Home Depot for studio supplies.
And so…here I sit, checking another task off my list…posting to my blog…but listening closer to Lois’s verbal cues, breathing deeper and catching some peace from her students who look absolutely beautiful on their mats during this 8:00 am All Level Vinyasa Flow Class. So beautiful are they that I have just decided to stay and take Lois’s next class! Thank you Leo!!
Post written by Leo Babauta.
Have you ever felt that we are rushing through life, that we get so caught
up in busy-ness that life is passing us almost without notice?
I get this feeling all the time.
The antidote is simple: sitting and watching.
Take a minute out of your busy day to sit with me, and talk. Take a moment
to imagine being in the middle of traffic youre driving, stressed out by
the high amount of traffic, trying to get somewhere before youre late,
angry at other drivers who are rude or idiotic, completely focused on
making your way through this jungle of metal on a ribbon of asphalt. Now
youve gotten to the end, phew, you made it, wonderful, and youre only a few
minutes late but did you notice the scenery you passed along the way? Did
you talk to any of the other people along your path? Did you enjoy the ride?
No, probably not. You were so caught up in getting there, in the details of
navigating, in the stress of driving, that you didnt have time to notice
your surroundings, the people nearby, or the wonderful journey. This is how
we are in life.
Now imagine that you pulled over, and got out of the car, and found a
grassy spot to sit. And you watched the other cars zoom by. And you watched
the grass blown gently by the wind, and the birds making a flocking pattern
overhead, and the clouds lazily watching you back.
Sit and watch.
We dont do this, because its useless to do something that isnt productive,
that doesnt improve our lives. But as Alan Watts wrote in The Way of Zen:
As muddy water is best cleared by leaving it alone, it could be argued that
those who sit quietly and do nothing are making one of the best possible
contributions to a world in turmoil.
Its interesting, too, what we see when we sit and watch. We will notice
others rushing, and worried, and angry, and in them see a mirror of
ourselves. We will notice children laughing (or crying) with their parents,
and remember what were missing when we rush to improve our lives.
More interesting is what you see when you sit and watch yourself. You learn
to step outside yourself, and act as an observer. You see your thoughts,
and learn more about yourself than you ever could if you were rushing to
take action. You see your self-doubts, and self-criticism, and wonder where
they came from (a bad incident in childhood, perhaps?) and wonder if you
are smart enough to let them go. You see your rationalizations, and realize
that they are bullshit, and learn to let those go too. You see your fears,
and realize what hold they have over you, and realize that you can make
them powerless, by just sitting and watching them, not taking action on
By sitting and watching, you come to know yourself.
You learn the most valuable lessons about life, by sitting and watching.
And as we know from the observer effect in physics, by watching, we change
what we watch.
Take a few minutes today, to sit and watch. It might change your life.