Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Over the past few weeks I’ve reconnected to some wonderful reminders from the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle. He hosted a 10-part podcast series last year with Oprah that centered around his beautifully, mindfully written book, “A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose.”
I am continually amazed at how things come into our lives when we are ready for them. The podcast that struck me most recently was the reminder that each time we experience a moment of stress, it usually means that our ego is creating resistance and denying the present moment. Eckhart shares that we all, as human beings, have the same “inner purpose”. This inner purpose is to be ONE with life. Another way to say it is that our inner purpose is to be FULLY connected to the present moment. For when we are living NOW, we are breathing in and out the vitality, joy and ALIVEness that is happening within us and all around us – today, now, at this very moment.
What a beautiful purpose – to simply BE - here - now. So simple, and yet, why does it seem so fleeting, and so darn hard?
As I write this I’m sitting in my car overlooking the lake, while my little dude sleeps in his car seat. He’s been sick all week and this upright position seems to be the only way he can get a good daytime nap. Just an hour or so ago, I was at home, completely frustrated and overwhelmed because I could not get this little guy to nap, and for the life of me I did not want to get in the car and drive around. I tried for hours to get him to sleep in his bed, forcing the situation and finding that the more I resisted the fact that he was not going to nap, the more frustrated and stress I became.
So, I find myself, once again, at the lake, writing in my car. What’s different for me this time, though, is that my frustration was short lived and I felt my personality soften as I became more aware that my ego was trying to control the situation. I am surrendering to “what is” happening in this moment, and not trying to make it be something else.
I see that when we let go of expectations and stop living for the future, we make room and we create space so that our inner purpose can expand. And when our inner purpose, this alignment with the present, simply IS without resistance, then our outer purpose, which is unique to each of us, has a clear path to unfold. I guess that's what it means when we hear, “let the universe provide.”
I’m finding that the more I practice present, conscious, mindful living, the more gratitude I have for those daily happenings that test and challenge me time and time again. Life truly is a series of lessons and I am here to learn.
The lake is glistening in the sunlight and flowing so beautifully right now. I see the water shifting and adapting as the elements around it continually change. My sweet, little boy is deep in REM and breathing clearly for the first time in days. My iced latte taste absolutely divine on this 93 degree in the thick of August kind of day. And I’ve been given this opportunity for self-reflection. I see what could have continued to be a stress-filled, annoying afternoon now as one filled with little blessings.
In this very moment, as I take a full breath in, and notice the vibrancy within me and the vibrancy all around me, I see how my heart is opening up to the true possibilities that come when my inner and outer purpose come together. And so, my yoga practice and the teachings of Eckhart Tolle come to the rescue to help awaken me during nap time.
Your Personal Reflection: Observe what you think about today. Are your thoughts deeply living in the past, or longing for the future? What can you do, today, to awaken to this moment, the place where you are reading these words, where you are breathing your breath, and where you feel feel connected to your purpose.