You Are Either Now Here or Nowhere
A few months ago, I interviewed Lisa Taylor after the Art of Assisting program she facilitated in Toronto, Canada. When I asked her what assisting had done for her own life and teaching, she told me that it gave her "the ability to be present for long periods of time instead of flashes".
I just got home from Tulum, Mexico where I spent a week apprenticing at Level Two with Baron Baptiste.
Now I can say that I fully understand what Lisa was talking about!
Yoga taught me that the past and the future are not real. Yet still, there are times that the lines between reality and fantasy blur. Sometimes, I lose the distinction between what is happening in the moment versus what is replaying in my head from the past. Or I get lost in an elaborate story unraveling in my mind of what will surely happen to me at some point in my life. In these moments, I enter my own little world and step outside of reality, of what is really happening now.The biggest gift my yoga practice has given me is the awareness to notice when I have shifted from living in the now to living in my head. It doesn't necessarily mean that I'm always able to live in the present moment, that's a work in progress, isn't it? What it has given me is the ability to notice when I am lost in thought and the awareness to remind myself that whatever I am thinking might not actually be happening. Assisting last week brought this to a whole new level. I realized that to be truly for others in the program, to really take a stand for them, I had to step outside of myself, my doubts and my fears. I had to come from a place of listening and presence. My week in Tulum was a constant recommitment to being present not only for myself, but for others. I would catch myself wandering and choose to come back. Then again, sometimes just moments later, a little thought would float into my head and sweep me away until I had the awareness to anchor myself back down in the moment. Along with some awesome new connections, amazing energy and countless lessons, I've taken home a new intention in my life: to be truly present for the people around me. Today is shaped by the truth that I am either Now Here or Nowhere. I choose to be here now.
All life happens in the present moment. All we really have is the moment that is right here, right now, in front of us. Any moment that happened in the past is a memory, and any moment that will happen in the future is a fantasy. Memories and fantasies can be very nice, but they lead us nowhere except into the past, which no longer exists, or the future which doesn't exist yet. The past and the future are not places. They are, essentially, nowhere. So you see, you are either now here or nowhere.
- Baron Baptiste