It was with a mix of dread and gratitude that we prepared to set our clocks back one hour this past Sunday morning–gratitude for the extra hour of sleep and dread at the prospect of losing an hour of daylight each evening. There is something profound and fascinating about setting our clocks back– we are in essence traveling through time, taking a trip one hour into the past and re-living the hour between 1 and 2 AM. Many of us pass the time in sleep, but even so, you are making the trip back in time. In this manner most of us view our time travel as relegated to two trips per year – we spring ahead and fall back. In actuality, we are all veteran time travelers – consistently reliving our past or playing out the future.
Mental time travel can be a healthy exercise. It may provide us with life lessons and help us to make better choices in our current circumstances. At the same time, we sometimes set the dial to past or future events and get ourselves stuck– attached to the past or the future and as a result we are unable to fully experience the present. Whether it’s regret, anticipation or pain, pain being the absence of something pleasurable previously or yet to be experienced, every moment spent there is time away from here, and here is the only place to Be.
So what to do? We can’t buy being present in a bottle, though someone will certainly try to sell that to you. Being present starts with you and your practice, whatever that practice is- asana, meditation or living your yoga off the mat. Each of these practices offers you a means to move more fully into the moment, to focus and at the same time “go with the flow.” Be mindful, pay attention and be vigilant. It’s never too late to get started, in fact, there’s no time like the present.
Don’t let your soul get lonely child
It’s only time, it will go by
Don’t look for love in faces, places
It’s in you, that’s where you’ll find kindness
Be here now
– Ray LaMontagne