Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Living in the Present...

So I am on a yoga kick. If actually three classes can be considered a "kick". I am finding that Yoga while for me is very challenging it is also very forgiving, which I like. But I think my main reason for going back is the fact that I also enjoy the dedication of the instructors and the positive spin the Yoga discipline has on life. I mean who couldn't’t use a little self induced positive MOJO, right? I also sometimes wonder, how much it would cost me to pay one of these gurus for a "wake up service?" Instead of waking up to the annoying buzz of my three dollar alarm clock, I would awake to a calm tranquil voice, "wake up you svelte little Goddess, the sun is bright, you are alive and the world in all its connected glory is wonderful. You are going to accomplish great things today."

A common theme among all of these classes thus far is the theory of “living in the present.” But this isn't the first time I have heard this concept. Yes, I read, actually started, The Secret . Much to the chagrin of my girlfriends I was totally picking up what that book was putting down. They had me hook, line and sinker. Until one day I read an excerpt in the book about a lady that would use her positive mojo/ her “Secret” to provide her with a front row parking space every time she entered a parking lot. WHAT? A parking space? Seriously, if you knew "The Secret" would you really use that secret to locate a front row freakin parking space? That is like using Wonder Women's truth lasso on Mother Theresa, what a big ass waste of time. So suffice it to say that I never actually learned "The Secret" because I never actually finished "the book." A front row parking space… give me a break. I mean I am not opposed to a little bragging "Constanza style” if I do come across a kick ass spot and yes I may do a little jig in the parking lot while nodding my head to those in the lot that weren't so lucky. But I am surely not going to use my "positive vibe making abilities" to bring me a front row space. I still have that book, but I think it is being used to prop up a shelf somewhere.

So I started yesterday, trying to actively "live in the present." This can work for some tasks but definitely not for others. For instance, I was folding laundry last night trying to figure out a way that folding laundry could one of those enjoyable moments (other than finding a $10 bill in the dryer). How I could embrace this "present". I smelled the clean laundry, that was nice and it was warm to the touch...but I couldn't get past the fact that I WAS FOLDING UNDERWEAR!!! After racking my brain for the positive, the only plus I could come up with was that the Cheese family was fortunate to own underwear otherwise we would all be a stinky mess walking around the streets commando. And if you know anything about little girls...they can be even smellier than little boys (it’s a wiping thing). So that was good right?

That took about 4 minutes and before I knew it I could name about ten other things that I would rather be doing than matching white socks and folding underwear. So at about 5 minutes into my mundane task I checked out of the present and started thinking of the future. My haircut appointment planned for this Friday, the start of college football this weekend and a upcoming road trip. Unfortunately, the same thing happened when I unloaded the dishwasher and again when cleaning the bathroom counters of the many globs of toothpaste. These "moments" pretty much sucked. Yes, having the strength scrub off the toothpaste is nice, but finding someone else to wipe the counters for me, I wish I could spent my present time doing that.

But I can't help but think that somewhere along the way I may have missed the point. So while I try to find it... here is a quote that was shared with me at recent a yoga class (again love those guys). You may recognize it as it is part of the eulogy by Obama for the late Senator Kennedy.

"We cannot know for certain how long we have here. We cannot foresee the trials or misfortunes that will test us along the way. We cannot know God's plan for us.

"What we can do is to live out our lives as best we can with purpose, and love, and joy. We can use each day to show those who are closest to us how much we care about them, and treat others with the kindness and respect that we wish for ourselves. We can learn from our mistakes and grow from our failures. And we can strive at all costs to make a better world, so that someday, if we are blessed with the chance to look back on our time here, we can know that we spent it well; that we made a difference; that our fleeting presence had a lasting impact on the lives of other human beings."

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