Right here, right now, I am loving this. This is my mantra. This is my prayer. This is my song.
This mantra was given to me by my teacher, friend and soul brother, Tom Kelly of Soul of Yoga in Encinitas. He taught me years ago, and continues to this day, that each and every moment is a gift. If you live in the past or constantly worry about the future, you are completely missing the point of life. Yes, we have all heard this before, but how often do you stop the voice in your head and correct the incessant commentary by exclaiming (out loud if you need to), RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW, I AM LOVING THIS!!!! Try it.
Books have explained, ever since the written word, the need to live in the moment and to cherish each and every experience as it comes. However, we humans feel the need to add commentary to everything in order to give ourselves the illusion of control. In his book The Untethered Soul, Michael Singer calls this voice our inner room-mate. He/she is always there with you stating the obvious, the absurd, or the fabulous little experiences in life. Your room-mate never seems to respect silence, always filling your mind with different emotional states such as guilt, anger, lust, desire, frustration or disappointment. What if you could silence that voice? How would you determine your feelings? Well, you would just feel them. No judgement, no words, no reruns of past experiences, good or bad, filling your head. You would just simply feel the experience. That’s it. No more, no less. It can feel terrible, raw and painful; but then it is over. It can feel ecstatic, incredible, and delicious; but then it’s over.
Our need to hold on to and constantly label our inner emotions creates a conflict with our perceived reality and the actual reality that we are experiencing at any moment. This does not mean that what we feel isn’t real, but often the severity of our negative emotions negatively affects our body’s response. If the majority of your thoughts are not of love but instead of anger, hatred, jealousy, frustration, and sadness, your physical body reverts back to our evolutionary protective mechanism known as flight or fight. A perceived or real event sends a signal to the brain which, in short, puts our body on high alert to protect itself. The hypothalamus, or command center in the brain, sends signals to the adrenal glands and our involuntary body functions go into action. Adrenaline pumps through our bloodstream, our heart beats faster, small airways in our lungs expand to take in more oxygen, thus increasing our breath count. Our blood pressure spikes, our pulse increases, and the heightened levels of adrenaline triggers a release of blood sugar and fats into our blood stream from their stored locations. We stay at this high alert level until the perceived (or real) danger has passed and our para-sympathetic nervous system tells the body to take a break and return to “normal”. Over 50% of Americans live in this stressed state most of their lives. Living like this is the antithesis of drinking from the Holy Grail, or finding the Fountain of Youth.
How do you overcome this constant stream of consciousness disguised as your inner room-mate? First, stop and take three deep breaths. Then maybe take a few more. Focus like a laser on the place in your body your feel the stress or the pain originating. Breath into that space and let the feeling pass through you.
So I ask you, can you find a place within yourself to find peace with what IS. Right here, right now, I am loving this.