One hand in the past.
One hand in the future.
Most of us (the heart, the mind) in the present.
Libby, my yoga teacher said this not too long ago while we were in Warrior II pose. For those of you not familiar with the pose, your arms are extended with one hand ahead of you and one behind. (Don’t worry, I’ll illustrate it for you in a minute.) And even though I’d done Warrior II a jillion times before, I’d never heard Libby interpret it quite like that before, and that night it really resonated with me.
I have spent large chunks of my life not so much in the present. I live in my head a lot: I’m a daydreamer, and a processor. I love anticipation. If something fun were coming up, I would wait impatiently for it to get here already. I also can be a fretter, and sometimes dwell on what just happened, both negatively and positively. I’ve been known to mull over a past conversation for way too long, analyzing what I said, what you said, what I should have said, how I wished I’d said it. I also might replay a particularly special time over and over again, trying to be in that moment.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what I just described, in moderation. But there have been times in my life when the dwelling in the past or twitching about waiting for what was yet to be were overshadowing what was actually happening right here, right now. (Cue Jesus Jones.) What struck me during my yoga class was that I don’t really do a whole lot of any of either anymore. I’m much more in the present than I ever have been; it’s very strange, but good. I’m not used to getting into bed at night and not fretting over something or wishing for something to come, or daydreaming into a different place. I get in bed, and I go to sleep; what’s up with that? I can only assume that it’s because I really like where I am right now. For the last 8 or 10 months, I’ve been pretty content. It’s not as though I never worry about things anymore, or eagerly look forward to fun with friends, but everything is more balanced.
I am more balanced.
I am Warrior II.
And for those of you not familiar with the yoga pose, I tried and tried and tried to find a picture to show you, but I feel very strongly about not misusing someone else’s images, and I couldn’t find anything. So I drew you a picture. For those of you who don’t know me well, this is kind of astonishing. Let’s begin with my complete lack of artistic talent, then add in the fact that I’m left-handed but mouse with my right hand, and I think you’ll agree that this is a mind-blowing accomplishment. And is cracking my shit up. Really, the entire reason for the post is so I can show you my awesome stick figure yoga illustration. 🙂
She looks just like me, don’t you think?