Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Being present

Yoga is one of the activities I have enjoyed the most over the past several years. It's so wonderful for the body, mind and spirit, and it's also a nice way to spend time with good friends (as I learned during my prenatal classes and more recently during mom & baby yoga w/ S.) One of the core principles of yoga which I believe is so important is the ability to be present. We so often live in the past (evaluating what has taken place) or in the future (planning all the things we need to do) that we don't spend a lot of time just being conscious, alert and mindful of what's going on right now. While it's important to learn from the past and plan for the future, we are living in the present and will never get back the moment that is happening RIGHT NOW!

Now that I have a beautiful daughter, it's never been more important for me to be present. S is growing and changing so much every day. Sometimes I just gaze at her in awe of her sweetness and innocence, or feel totally in the moment as I rock her to sleep, singing and drinking in her beautiful baby smell. But then other times I catch myself lost in thought while I'm with her. For example, I'll be playing with her while changing her diaper and then something will cross my mind which will monopolize my focus (for example, a blog post I want to write, people I need to call back or how I plan to schedule my time over the day), then all of a sudden I'll come back to the present, see her looking at me expectantly and have no idea how long I was gone for! 1 minute? 3? And what was S thinking or feeling while I was lost in my own mind? Was she worried? Confused? Hurt? I'd inevitably feel a bit sad and guilty in this moment, and tell myself not to let it happen again! But yet it would happen again. When it comes down to it, that's me - I'm a thinker, a reflector, a planner and somewhat of an introvert. It's easy for me to get lost in my own head! I like that I have the ability to do this in general. It allows me to delve deeply into a problem which needs to be solved and block out noise when I need to focus on the task at hand (certainly a boon when I was working!) And it helps what could otherwise be a mundane event (for example, driving somewhere or showering) become more interesting and productive. It's only a real problem when it creeps into other activities which need me to be alert and mindful. Case in point - those beautiful moments with my child that I can never get back!

So today I made a vow to myself. I am going to make a conscious effort to be present when it comes to spending time with S. I'm sure that saying is true - that no one ever looks back on their life and wishes they spent more time cleaning (or planning, or scheduling, etc.) But many people do, unfortunately, look back and regret that they did not spend more good, quality time with their loves ones. I don't want to be one of those people!!

1 comment:

  1. Very good post. Very good observations. I have the same "skill." I actually look forward to semi-long drives (4-5 hours - I DO NOT look forward to 14-22 hour drives) because I can just think.

    I need to be more mindful, too . . .