START HERE. NOW

I have very often in life had an ideal of the things I WILL do when some other time comes. Once I get past this deadline, I will get 8 hours of sleep a night. After the holidays, I will get in shape. Next year, I’ll take that trip, lose ten pounds, stay in better touch with my family.

Sometimes, we make our goals just lofty enough that we can put them off until we’re ready. Always waiting until some other time to do the things we really want to do. Always betting on the future… But what about this moment?

Yes, you’re reading this article but in another moment that will be gone and then what? What is it that you are waiting until a better moment to do that you could actually do right now?

I have always had a total social phobia when it comes to picking up a phone and calling people. The amount of mental aerobics I’ve performed to get my self out of a phone call is nothing less than ingenious. There’s nearly a science to figuring out why any given moment is the wrong moment. For instance, generally before 10am and after 8pm someone could be sleeping. Not to mention how inappropriate it would be to call during a meal, which pretty much clears any time between 11am and 2pm or 4pm and 8pm. I am a master. And yet when I do throw caution to the wind, pick up the phone and call people (like my 91-year-old grandfather) they actually don’t care if I interrupted their life, in fact they’re generally just really glad I reached out.

That’s kind of what the idea of meditating can be like for some people. There can be a perception of what meditation is supposed to be, where and how long. We have this idea that we have to commit to this concrete vision of sitting and with that comes the excuses as to why now may not be he best time. Maybe it’ll be better if I wait until I’ve put the kids to bed. Until after the workday is over. Until I’ve got a better cushion. Until my mind is clear…my life is settled…until I really don’t need to meditate anymore.

But just like when I reach out to a long lost friend, it doesn’t matter where I am or how much time I have, if I just make the effort to sit for even one minute and attempt to silence my mind I tend to be really glad I reached out.

By starting here, now, in this moment with the time you do have… By bringing yourself back to the present and focusing the mind on what is here…By just giving up the would haves and the should haves and could haves…in this moment the benefits of meditation are already right here.

So read this line and then let your eyes slip into soft focus away from the page, feel yourself sitting comfortably, sitz bones engaged into the floor, spine tall. Focus on your breath for the next minute and START HERE. NOW…


Melissa

Melissa is a Kripalu certified yoga instructor in the New York City area.