Larry caught this photo of me lying on my back, studying Ayurveda. My yoga mat beneath me ready for me whenever I choose. A cup of chai just finished. My hair let down. Smiling. The luxury of time….
The Luxury of Time
In yoga today, I was reminded that everything is as it is perceived. We were in a simple posture with immense hip-opening potential (that’s a nice way to say it wasn’t comfortable at all). We were situating ourselves into this rather pretzel-esque asana when Uma, my teacher said, “Get comfortable now…. As if you were going to be here for three hours. Be here and relax. Learn to relax. You don’t have to go anywhere else to relax. Learn how to relax right here. You have no where to go. You have the luxury of time to just be here and relax. Be grateful for this luxury and breathe into the resistance.”
Hhhhmmmm…. Her voice sounded familiar. Not because I had her before, but because I had heard this message before… yet last time it was a quiet whisper that I couldn’t even hear until later, when I got quiet and I remembered.
Remembering: When I first moved to Oregon, I had this vision of how it was going to be. How I was going to be. I had visions of gardening, and cooking, and being a “good housewife”. Truth is, when I got here, I was exhausted from working two jobs while pummeling through my masters degree on the evenings and weekends. I was depressed because of the weather, and I was struggling in this new life. And so I didn’t garden. I didn’t cook. I wasn’t much of a housewife at all. More like I was a blob. And so, I spent most of the first year wanting to be somewhere other than I was. In different skin somehow. In a different position. Much like wanting to be in a different asana this morning. And, truth was, I spent a lot of energy devoted to being depressed and wishing things were different. I didn’t “get comfortable” I didn’t “relax”. I didn’t “learn how to relax” at all. And I didn’t settle into the reality that I had “no where to go.”
What if I would have dedicated my exhales to relaxing? And my inhales to gratitude? What if I would have allowed the cool, rainy winter to envelope me and support my body’s need to slow down? What if I had embraced my new home in a foreign land and allowed the couch and warm baths, and quiet afternoons alone to enrapture me and heal me? What if I had said to myself, “you can relax now. You can heal now. There is no where for you to go. Healing is right here. Relaxation is right here. Get comfortable now. You have the luxury of time to just be here and to relax. Be grateful for this luxury and breathe into the resistance.”
It’s all how we perceive these innate challenges of the human experience. It isn’t “real” that we are afraid, or worried, or uncertain, or lost. Instead, what is real are the facts, and what we do with the facts… a difficult conversation, a tough day at work, a challenge with your child, a loss of something important to you… what we do with the facts is where we make our choices. This is where we have the potential to relax if we choose it… to be grateful, if we choose gratitude. To learn how to relax, right here, without any other place to go.
We are human. We’ll put a slant on whatever comes our way. It’s the function of the mind. Choose a slant that serves you. Choose to see gratitude. To see space. To recognize the opening. To see time as a luxury, even as one…. Rich……full…….. timeless…….. breath.
Close your eyes and inhale, saying to yourself, “I fill with gratitude”
Exhale and say to yourself, “I relax right here”
We have no where to go.