Today I feel like having a little bit of a rant. And then suggesting something to follow that I hope will help…
Because we are rarely told to appreciate where we are at these days, we frequently don’t feel like we’re enough. Success, love, happiness – it’s all over there. We are taught to celebrate the big wins, not the small moments in life. To catch bigger fish, land better deals. To try harder. To work harder. We are always working on something; ourselves, our relationships, our bodies, our diets, the list goes on. The idea seems to be that to be where we are, the horror, can not be enough.
In karate, the coloured belt system was only introduced to the West. It was recognized as a motivator, that we thirsted for a sense of mark and achievement that they did not need in Japan, where prior you were either simply white belt, or black belt. Rank, hierarchy and so forth was not seen as important as it seems here.
This is the general orientation of the Western mind. Fast forward to the present and whatever success we have, seems to be broadcast from every platform. As such I’m always reluctant to discuss ‘stages of consciousness’ through the Vedic lens with students, as we all seem to just get so hung up on it. As if there’s some ladder in which we can climb rung by rung to be more deeply conscious. And it robs of just being able to be where we are.
My old worries that I might not ‘expand my consciousness enough’, and that if I didn’t do enough yoga, something awful might happen. That if I didn’t quit sugar, balance my hormones, see enough practitioners, do the right amount of manifesting, that shit might hit the fan. None of these things are right or wrong, but our intention behind them can be.
Specifically, I think social media is fueling this. What happens when our social lives become mostly social media, used as a yard stick for our own life. I know what’s not fun, and it’s seeing how much apparent fun everyone else is having while you’re alone somewhere. When our own insecurities are being constantly nudged and poked, every few hours, we aren’t content human beings.
I would like to suggest, that if something doesn’t bring you inspiration but makes you envious or feel less than, stop inviting it into your life. Whether that be a social media account, conversations, people, storylines. Just pause it for awhile and see how you feel, and if you can feel more present.
So when we say ‘Be Here Now’ as a reference to being in the present moment, I would like to layer in that it means so much more than being mindful. It also means to be where we are in life…
To be exactly where we are with our relationships and friendships.
Just here, in our careers.
To be only where we are in our parenting.
To be just precisely so on our spiritual paths, however far off the path and lost in the jungle we may be.
To simply be with our humanity. To be ALL here.
To continue to be mindful and put in the work, but stop striving so hard.
To be conscious and aware, but not grasp. To be kind and encouraging, and let go of the envy.
To be in the grit, but let go of pettiness.
To recognize our own humanity, our own emotions, our own challenges and respect them in others. And to be just exactly where we are, and nowhere else…