Having studied Yoga for 15 years, I’ve heard and read these two words “HERE NOW”, hundreds of times and even more. They represent a huge part of the philosophy of yoga if not its entirety if we have to summarize what the discipline of yoga is.
But it’s only recently that they took their full meaning. And even now, I wonder if they took their full meaning or if I understand them just better and in 5 years down the road I will have another epiphany that will make them even more relevant.
It’s always very interesting to me how we intellectually understand things or concepts but to fully inhabit them in our body and heart is another story. Very often, we are quick to judge and we think we know but, do we really? Did we really feel in our cells, in our gut, in our heart the concept talked about or the situation the person goes thru?
My husband and I did some rounds of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) a few years ago to try to get pregnant which unfortunately were not successful. That is a story for another blog and I’ll definitely share my journey at some point if it can help anyone.
While going thru the process, most people were understanding with me but even when they were, I could sense they couldn’t fully comprehend what I was going thru. Some people have more compassion skills than others so their comments and support were very comforting and helpful but I also heard some comments that were flat hurtful.
How can they be hurtful when they were actually trying to comfort me?
Because they didn’t experience it; in their mind, in their thoughts, in their body, in their heart. So as much as they were trying, they in fact couldn’t relate at all.
I’ve learned many things from that period that I’ll share at another time but one of them was if you haven’t gone thru something, it’s really hard to relate. You can have empathy and compassion and I think I have some if I judge at how often streets scenes (happy or sad) or movies, documentaries (happy or sad) touch my heart and make me cry. But if you haven’t experienced the same situation, it’s really hard to understand and yet most of us think we know.
How often are we quick to judge especially when it comes down to race or sexual issues. But have we really put ourselves in the person’s shoes?
One of my dear students whom I love so much suddenly lost her husband. My heart was deeply aching and still is aching for her loss. We cried together, we talked and I did what I could to comfort her. Even if I could have a sense of what she might feel and go thru I can’t even start to imagine the reality of everyday life because I’ve never experienced such a situation.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying because I haven’t lived such a situation, I shouldn’t try to relate and do my best to be of service I’m just saying that I will never completely comprehend what she goes thru when I haven’t lived it. And of course, to complicate things we all experience things differently.
I’m sorry to talk about these heavy subjects but they are part of life and should be talked about more often so we can be better equipped to deal with them.
Coming back to “Here Now”. You may think: what? as a yoga teacher, she never experienced being “Here Now”??!!
Of course, I have. I actually do very often during my day, and especially when: I meditate (although some sessions are tougher than others) and when I teach (I have to be fully present with my students).
But it’s just a little part of what “Here Now” means. Yes, I’m able to be “Here Now” for some parts of my day and I guess it’s better than never but what about the rest of time?
The rest of the time, most likely like you, I have my doubts, my anxieties, my fears taking advantage of my not being “Here Now”.
What I realized as I was listening to a podcast on the subject, is that I may have some stress, some anxieties, about a specific situation happening in my life right now but what about “HERE NOW”?
Well, if I take a good honest look, “Here Now” I’m actually fine. Maybe I’m taking a yoga class or I’m having a meal with a friend or I’m relaxing at home. And my mind wants to take me away from that moment when in fact I’m absolutely okay.
To me this is a big realization for most of the time I’m doing really good and I have a beautiful life. My mind wants to go another route sometimes and convince me otherwise; that I would be better off if I had a child or if I was more financially secure… but “Here Now”, at this precise moment, I’m fine: I’m healthy, I have students who love me, I love my job, I’m a French girl leaving in NYC (just in that sentence I feel so privileged), I have a husband who loves me, the list is actually long. Longer than the list of my doubts and anxieties but somehow, sometimes the latter list seems bottomless.
So every time I feel that my mind wants to spin out of control I come back to these words “HERE NOW”. I let them penetrate me and I want to experience them fully. They help me to recenter, to reground, to see the bigger picture which is beautiful rather than the negative situation I’m focusing on.
And maybe in 10, 20, 30 years I’ll be able to be “HERE NOW” all the time and finally inhabit that concept completely.
It’s definitely a process and I’m thankful to be part of it.
As always, thank you for reading.