The greatest gift you've been given is your mind.
We take it for granted. We let toxic things, relationships, news, politics, social media, & other junk flood our psyche. Whereas a lot of us go the gym to exercise our bodies, we clean our homes & material items, we go on vacation to escape the routine, we go vegan & paleo and all sorts of other trending shit to slim down & maximize our energy. But, only recently have we seen the tip of the iceberg in our daily lives with "meditation" & "mental health".
I never knew what meditation really meant. I always pictured sitting cross-legged burning some incense & zenning out under a pear tree like Buddha. But, that's not necessarily what it is. It's about slowing down your mind, tuning in, so you can live a more awake, intentional, and conscious life. Take it from me, I'm someone that struggled with anxiety for 4-some years. I didn't even know there was a medical term for not being able to breathe due to stress & anxiety. I had a mind that constantly dwelled in the future of where I wanted to be & what I wanted to do, disrupting the now. Even when I was present, I was observing everything around me confused by the chaos, routines, & social behaviors. I must've looked like a total space cadet, but that's okay. I ignored painful & pivotal experiences from my past by getting busy & focusing on moving forward, like many of us. But somewhere along the way, I realized the past, present, and future are one... literally all one. Today, right now, as you read this your past, present, and future are playing out all at once. And right now... this is all you've got, for ever & ever.
I slowed down & turned the focus inward.
I turned to yoga for so many reasons. I realized that my mind was separate from my body, but I wanted to bridge the two. Yoga is a practice of mind, body, & soul connection (as cliche as that sounds) through movement, breath, and focus.
I slowed down & turned the focus outward.
Secondly, Mother Earth, the truest & purest teacher of all things. I didn't just go for hikes or stand on mountaintops. I traveled, climbed, sweated, paddled, and listened to my surroundings. In nature there's nothing to accomplish or get to the top of, it's just about tuning in & listening, learning, and harmonizing. It's laughable sometimes to realize how simple & circular things are... I realized that my anxiety, that shortness of breath came when I thought of the world as a place where things are on a chronological time frame. Like, tomorrow & the next day & the next were progressive, forward. But in actuality, everything is revolving, repeating, over and over. Like nature, we grow and we die, and that's a beautiful thing.
Today, I worry that too many of us are out there stuck in the survival game. Make dat money, get that house, be at that level, get that wife/husband like we're checking off some life to-do list. And then, before we know it, it's all over... We're tired, old, sitting on our porch like what the fuck happened? But that checklist doesn't exist. When we scrape for what we think we're supposed to have and do we kill ourselves, each other, bodies, and minds along the way. I'm optimistic about changing that mode of thinking.
Anyway, too heady? Maybe. I've been living in a little studio out on the beach away from distractions & influxes of information. But what I know now more than ever, is to slow down... chill out... listen & learn. There's no place you need to be, except right here right now. The world changes, you change, people change every single day. In one moment, people are falling in love, breaking up, being born, dying, escaping, running, sleeping, making choices, changes, decisions, and from Timbuktu to Tonga we affect each other. Listen to the world around you, take care of your mind & what's coming in and out of your day to day moments. Most importantly, slow down and chill out.