“Well the future’s got me worried such awful thoughts.
My head’s a carousel of pictures the spinning never stops.”
-Won’t admit the song lyric
I have been having a very hard time living in the present lately. As a teacher I dedicate so much time to opening my student’s minds to the possibilities of living in the now… Being exactly who you should be at this exact moment. I engage them in practices of drawing all awareness to the mind, body, and breathe as it is at the present. I am always telling them that the struggles of the day are being presented to them for purpose and meaning. And yet I’m all over here not living in the present at all. As a matter of fact, I am anywhere but the here and now. And for this I feel like I am yogi sham currently. *sigh
I am not sure if this post is just a stream of consciousness, if it is me asking for advice from others, or just a way to bring the concept of living in the present up for discussion. Maybe all three. Yeah, definitely all three.
As a parent I have found it increasingly hard to live for the moment. I am now living constantly for the future. Every day I have to make a decision that will not completely f*ck my child up for the rest of her life, and then on top of that I have to make GOOD decisions that will positively affect her future well being. Here is a short list of things that come across my brain every day/hour/minute: Am I reading enough to my child? How am I going to teach her to read? Does she know enough words for her age group? When am I supposed to potty train her? Do I need to be on a list for preschool? What if I don’t want to live in Atlanta in 4 years? What will I be doing in 4 years? Should I get a different job? Am I providing enough? Am I providing anything? Should she be drinking more milk? Her bones can’t be brittle. What is she going to be when she grows up? Do I need to start prepping her now? Shes 1…no need yet, right?? How can I make sure she isn’t a bully…or get bullied? Why is she fascinated with my iPad? That can’t be healthy. On and on and on.
And let’s not even get started on thinking about the past. The absolute worst purgatory your brain can be in is stuck in the past. These are things that we literally cannot change, and to dwell upon and reconsider is my definition of misery. However, here come those thoughts as well. I should not have done this…why didn’t I do that…ugh.
Now when I lay to savasana I actively try to turn my brain off, and chances are it is still on full power. This was never an issue in the past. I am struggling to find that head space that allows me emptiness in order to find clarity. I need to find that present moment. Where the hell is it?? It is an interesting internal struggle these days.
So I turn this to my fellow yogis, teachers, parents, and gurus…are there any tricks? What am I missing? Will I get my mind back right? Struggling minds need to know!
Michelle Young, E-RYT and PRYT is a yoga teacher, business owner, mother, and lover of life. She is also part of the My Yoga Scene family, co-editing and blogging about her love of yoga and the journey of motherhood. She has been teaching in the Atlanta area since 2008 in the disciplines of Hot, Vinyasa, Hatha, and Prenatal yoga. Michelle owns and teaches at Lime Tree Yoga in the Old Fourth Ward, and is the private instructor for the Atlanta Hawks. She combines her love of yoga and travel by leading yoga retreats around the globe. You can reach Michelle at email@example.com or at firstname.lastname@example.org
I think in the ebb and flow of life, sometimes things are easier, sometimes harder. At the deepest root of all things, know that just being YOU is ENOUGH. You’re a wonderful human and your best will be sufficient. Even when you have days that it feels your “best” isn’t enough (see the four agreements!), it will have to be. And it’s ok. As yogis, WE most of all, have to reach out and say: I need some reassurance! Especially when we are the ones holding this space for others all the time. We deserve to have space held for US as well. Hang in there, lady. You are strong, and GOOD, and this challenging time will pass (hopefully sooner than later!) xoxo
Absolutely don’t let the outside world’s societal expectations or deadlines predict your thoughts. Stay the course and make mini plans that are acceptable in your mind and how your daughter is receptive to your efforts.
I totally understand your questioning of living in the now…my mind is in the future with thoughts of starting a family….is it right for us at our age…will I be a good mom…can I give up my career or should I..the list goes on. This is the monkey mind playing it’s swift little tricks. You can control the vritti’s!
Oh Michelle….hang tight….I promise you the future will come and baby girl will be just fine. No kid went to 2nd grade in a diaper, i-pads are interesting because they have pics and noises, bullying always happens and I know your little one will handle it like a champ…because she is a strong & independent fire cracker like her mom. Lastly, the past always creeps up on everyone….more so with becoming a mother or aging. It is natural and will never go away even for the best fellow yogis….I am just a mom so my advice may be half assed but there it is. Call me or any of your fellow mom friends anytime and you will feel normal instantly!! Love & Miss You…xxoo
we all have moments of ” Am I doing every single thing possible to be successful in every way possible job parenting friendship etc ” And if I’m not then what?? Am I a huge failure??? UGH. Don’t let the outside world be the judge of how you measure your own success. Relax (easier said) Give your self a moment to enjoy your successes!! you know what they are. Don’t let the panic and hype of hurry up and race thru the day the week the month ….. Predict your days.
Love your candor! I hear you sister! Looking to our kids– fur kids included has been a source for getting real to the present tense, for me anyhow. Whenever I get amped into distraction, I get a reality check from them as for their short experience, they teach so much about how to be in the now.
You’re doing a great job, Mama! At least you are aware of this. Its starts here. xx
Well said my friend, well said…