Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Lose Yourself

You know those moments where the stars align, the universe opens, and you just loose yourself? Sometimes it can happen in nature—on a hike, witnessing the perfect sunset. Sometimes it can happen in a conversation with a loved one. And sometimes, like last night, it can happen at a rock concert.
I went to see a band I’ve loved for a long time, and they played a song that has been a favorite of mine. The music began to surround me and all of a sudden I felt myself opening to the moment. I was totally and fully present in my life—right here and now. We often talk about “losing ourselves” in the moment, but that loss of self is actually self-realization. It is total awareness. And it’s what I find every single day that I teach.
It is a gift and a blessing to have the knowledge that you are right where you need to be in this life. I know when I teach, when I’m with the children, that there is nowhere else in the world I should be, and no one else I should be with. It’s the deepest, purest kind of presence—it’s knowing that the moment is exactly as it should be.
There are times in our lives where we cannot be where we need to be, not in the way I just mentioned. Duty calls. Money needs to be made. People need to be fed. Hearts need to be healed. Life is a journey and not every moment will be one we relish. The trick, then, is to let the moments that DO feel divine, that open us up, to act as reminders. Feeling present is not dependent on circumstance, but instead on attitude. It’s a choice. Am I going to love what I do, and give my all to it? Or am I going to suffer through my day? And as we move with that attitude, the attitude of grace, we begin to get clearer and clearer about what we want in our life—how to follow our heart to the path where our circumstances match our internal landscape, our attitude.
It’s not always easy. There are days when it feels like being present is no more than a pipe dream—like picking up in the middle of the afternoon on a Tuesday and deciding to go to Paris. Sometimes we need to do those things, to live spontaneously. Sometimes our life is calling us to just hop a plane. But other times, most times, we are just called to pause. To be present. To appreciate. And to know you are on your way. Even if you are not in Paris, if you’re not a rock star up on that stage, you are on the path. Simply by being, you are on the path.
Do I think that band woke up one day and had a bestselling, platinum album? Absolutely not. Were there tough days, years of being starving artists? Of course. But they hung in because they knew they were on the path. And the path delivered them where they needed to go.
I think the thing we often don’t realize is that the very core of life is a process. There is no “there,” there is just becoming. We are all works in progress. The children remind me of this constantly. They remind me to not think about some day far off in time where “it will all be worth it,” because it’s worth it right now. The worth is in the moment. It’s in getting on a seven year old’s level and watching him smile. It’s in playing a warm-up game with a five-year old girl and seeing the pride on her face as she picks up a club. Real success is honoring the path. It’s understanding that happiness does not come from reaching the mountaintop, but from enjoying the climb. It’s in living every moment—washing dishes, cleaning the bathroom, running, cooking, working-- like you’re playing to a sold-out stadium.
Lose yourself in a moment today. Trust me, you just may find something else.
Play and love,

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