Yesterday and tomorrow bleed into today and everything that matters is washed away the present moment is diluted and drowned the heavy veil of time always in the foreground Today could stand alone or float with frosted wings above the swell of swinging hands, searching for tiny somethings eventually all levees break and all that's left is to let go trust the flood of forward motion to take care of everything on its own Flowing water can't be contained, the cool caress feels nice stand in the stream of experience, knowing it won't happen twice preventing storms is not your place, they have their purpose too the heavy rains feed the soil and someday so will you
It's time to stop and rest by the hushed rustling rhythm of blades of grass alongside the stream To let this soft cascade of breath carry away all the sharp edges of this life and tickle the small hairs on my bare neck There will be plenty of time to worry and plan but right now it is spring and I am in love these are the moments I've prayed for So hush this racing heart and mind surrender to the sensation of warm water slowly submerging supple limbs in thick bliss There is no where else I have to be this is it, stop holding your breath pause beneath the open sky of affection These tender moments can take away the pain let yourself have this mindful medicine that future you've been hurrying to is here It's okay to enjoy it
How fantastic it is to witness with half envious, hungry eyes what it means to be fully present the magnetism it provides What a lilting, cashmere comfort to stand beneath a sturdy bough the safety provided by selfless shade the power of wielding the here and now The natural night that lifts the tide a confidence that winks at fear soothing weight of flower scented air a place to rest and lean against good cheer The overwhelming gravity of those rare auras that envelope all others in energizing light an encouraging warmth that opens up blossoms offering a certainty everything will be alright
My Innocent Friends
With animals it's so easy I never have to say a word they don't ask for explanations for the parts of me that are broken they don't hold me up to the image of who I was yesterday, last week, last year we are here together now, and I am loved for whoever I have to be today Their innocent, trusting, glossy eyes tap the glass of my most tender places they are the mirror of the best parts of me gleaming emblems of unconditional positive regard They are the guiding light to perfect peace humble teachers of how to be grateful reminders of the way life was supposed to be with the simple joy of full-bodied presence I stay far away from anyone who says they don't like animals god only knows what goes on beneath the skin of someone like that
Here With You
The fruit is ripe upon the vine pulling downward toward the earth heavy with sweet juice and soft flesh It's time to taste the warm embrace of mother nature in every mouthful eternity contained within each moment Hesitation has not yet found you consumed by the blessing of here and now savoring the feeling of heavenly fullness Innocent acceptance of all that is unbothered by the clock's steady cadence the perfect gift of pulsating presence
The Gift of Giving In
Sore fingertips, small red stains smeared across the fabric of my psyche thousands of tiny, pin-prick punctures trying to stitch gentleness in between the sudden trembling of a quick temper Shh, shh, shushing a sweltering soul don't waste these final moments with fury violent shouts for justice and change have dwindled into whispers for self surrender the somber effort of retreating inward Giving up is a final gift for myself now it's time to just sit down and learn to savor these last glimpses of blue sky to let myself have a few more brief moments to enjoy, to smile, to simply breathe Momentous effort of wrestling my willfulness to stay focused on this unfamiliar intention of unclenching my jaw, relaxing my face softening my muscles, as I practice letting go teaching myself to be present with this fleeting peace Soon enough I will have no choice but to fight and scream and suffer for now I will work on collecting all the small joys that are left for me here creating memory tonics for what's to come
The Devil’s Mill
There was a time when the world moved slow with the rounded loveliness of hiccupping days that dripped gently into the deep, reflective pool of life When rushing into the future was a sign of ill intent not the industrious, enviable attitude of an elite individual only a madman would pass up the daily spectacle of the setting sun The wind through the reeds served its own ends and it was an honor just to be a witness to this earth as she twirled and unfurled a routine of majestic mysteries Time is the tyrant that has torn us from true living a construct of man that manifests in ceaseless obligations a slight of hand that has convinced us it is objective and concrete A clock will not tell you that this moment is eternal the liquid nature of the kaleidoscope of now if forever transforming and becoming something new The radio static of the collective mind has gotten so loud it's all but drown out the music of the present moment for us all life has become the distant background noise of greater misery But the shackles of time can still be cast off it's not too late to emerge again into snow white infinity the devil's mill that man has set in motion can also be stopped
I have to remind myself how grateful I once was for everything I now take for granted when I first got this job I thought it was better than anything I could have imagined I can't forget a higher salary doesn't replace the rare human decency I've been given the days I used to long for community have been gathered dust in distant memory How elated I was at first, to have my own home with a leafy green yard on a lonely street to be able to walk to the waters that have always carried me Somehow it seems like finding ways to suffer now will spare me a future filled with pain but present pleasures cannot be postponed and stashed away for another day I won't allow fear to rob me of the moments already filled with soft comforts and simple joy the days ahead cannot diminish the delight of where I am right now
The healing hum that reverberates through all the small, silent moments can become buried beneath the louder frequencies of frustration and forward motion The panicked pace of ungrounded grasping the breath that's stolen while being swept off your feet it can feel like dying to slow down, to surrender momentum in favor of savoring the soft rustling outside your window Finding peace can be counterintuitive stop flipping over rocks and just pause to feel the cool stone against your skin and hear the whispering stream gurgle past It's hard to accept that happiness is here when we've wasted so much time searching learning to laugh at ourselves like when we've been seeking the object that's been in our hand the whole time It's the simple things that will save us if we can sit with the fear that they won't be enough in the end they will
Tips If You Struggle with Staying Present
I’ve noticed that a lot of people, including myself, that have tried breathing exercises or mindfulness practices come away from them feeling as though they don’t work. For a while it was a mystery to me why some yoga classes or meditations felt so much more healing than others. I realized that the practices that weren’t able to recenter me were more like going through the motions rather than truly being present. I may have been meditating but my mind was wandering and/or my breath was short and shallow the entire time. Sometimes the internal experience does not mirror the outward manifestation of mindfulness practices.
Some days you’ll find you are just not able to focus as easily as other days. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t try breath work or yoga or that these practices don’t provide any benefit. One thing I’ve found that helps me stay in the moment if I find myself struggling is imagining I’m writing a story. When the mind is very busy, stopping all together can feel impossible. Instead, try to describe the tiny sensations, sights, sounds, feelings that are happening around you that you normally wouldn’t pay attention to.
For example, say you are taking a quiet moment to connect with the earth. Rather than merely trying to force your mind into focusing on the breath, start writing a mental story as if you are trying to explain everything you are experiencing in that moment to someone else. Are your feet in the grass? What does that feel like? Where is the sun in the sky? Is there a breeze blowing? What sounds are there around you? Be as descriptive as possible. If you find it hard to keep your mind on this task as well, you can even bring a notebook and physically write it out on a sheet of paper.
When you start to put seemingly bland or uneventful moments into words, you realize just how much is actually going on even in stillness that you might not have noticed before. I always find this practice very soothing and pleasurable. Even if it feels like you have no time or your mind couldn’t possibly stop racing, set a timer for just 1-5 minutes. It doesn’t take long for your to settle the mind and body. You may even find you enjoy it so much that you make a little more time than you thought you’d be able to devote to this little mental, emotional, spiritual break. And if not, be grateful that you at least gave yourself one minute to rest. You deserve it.