Thursday, March 6, 2014

Standing savasana

Alternatively titled: "Meditating—without having to say you're meditating".

With all that's been going on lately, I've had to institute a new "thing" of sorts to help me get through this particularly stressful time and it's all courtesy of Elizabeth. She posted recently about her acceptance, nay, celebration, of another year of life on this earth, and I commented about my own un-settledness of hitting a milestone a few months ago. The simplicity and truth of her response knocked me over.

She said, "There is only THIS moment".

Of course, right? That's so basic and elemental that we forget. Or at least I do.

Whatever happened yesterday, this morning, or will happen tomorrow or next week, who cares? There's only this moment.

So there was that conk on the head.

Then there was the staccato of other knocks on my head—I've been coming across so very much about mindfulness, meditation, and making time for yourself, that it stopped being noise and began to be something at the top of my mind, all the time. To be fair, I have started to take a few moments here and there to at least be grateful for all that I have, but why don't I meditate?

Because I hate the word. I actually hate the word mindfulness, too. We label things that should come naturally to us, or that should be the norm. Being conscious shouldn't be a thing, it should just be. I rebel against the word, not the act.

But then I realized that I do meditate, I just didn't realize it. You may, too. Do you do yoga? Do you know that blissful minute or two at the end of practice when you're laying still and your body is vibrating and your mind is calm and you're breathing deep? That final savasana? That's meditating.

How did I miss that all these years?

So I've been doing this thing the last few weeks that brings it all together—meditating, mindfulness, mantras, being in the moment, etc., but without all the labels.

Anytime something, or everything, just seems like it's all so very much, or there's a horrendous smell emanating from the subway platform, or I just need a beat to calm myself down, I stand very still, close my eyes, breathe deeply* and say to myself "There is only this moment". If I do it for a few minutes I open my eyes and feel miraculously calm.

Sometimes it takes more effort, like when my list of to-do's or what I need to do to prep dinner or something niggly creeps in, but I shake it off and get back to the point—there's no need to feel X, Y or Z and let it ruin my day, there's only this moment.

I had been mostly doing it on the subway, but now that one major office project is over and I'm working from home full-time / getting-ready-for-the-move and not on mass transit at least once if not twice a day, I've been doing it in the shower, when I'm in the space between turning off the light and falling asleep, and sometimes in the elevator in my building, when there's a particularly annoying person riding with me.

Shockingly, it helps more than I ever thought something "voodoo"-y, "hippy"-ish or "new age"-y ever would.

*When I'm anywhere but on the subway I breathe through my nose, but for any MTA moments, it's all about mouth breathing.

One year ago: Thyroidy


  1. You know when I was in yoga teacher training, I often got frustrated with the fact that I didn't have enough time in a day to practice as much yoga in a day as I wanted to (due to having a 1.5 ft job) ... On top studies, papers, practices etc etc until one day or realized... I can practice yoga all day!!! That's when I started to apply the yogic principles as related to the topics you mention and that truly released me and gave me so much freedom to "practice" it physically, mentally and spiritually whether waiting for the bus or checking the energy I was brining into a meeting room.... It always seems that our minds are what keep us small and when we get these shifts in perspectives, so much is possible. Don't you love that what we need to center and recognize the's all within! We don't have to rely on an external or buy a thing...

    1. So very, very true: "It always seems that our minds are what keep us small and when we get these shifts in perspectives, so much is possible."!

      Here's to many more beautiful shifts for us as we both go through our transitions!

  2. I went to yoga this morn and my mind didn't stop racing for one second throughout the entire class. Nor did it during class yesterday. But this is just what I needed - it's not about 1.5 hours, or 1 hour, or even a half hour - it's about a moment. A moment I can do, even on bad days. Thanks for sharing this. I needed it.

    1. Ooo, I'm sorry for all the mind-racing, dear, but so very glad that this helped a teensy tiny bitty bit. Xx.

      PS. I even like the word 'moment' more than 'hour' or 'session' or 'break' or whathaveyou. It's more manageable in every sense of the word.

  3. i need to practice this act often because my mind is racing ALL TIME TIME.

    1. It helps! And this is from a confirmed naysayer when it comes to all types of "hooey" like this! :)


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