Many years ago, I spent time at an ashram. In one morning circle time, people shared their personal goals. Of course, we were not talking about landing a great job, buying an electric car, or finding the perfect partner. This was about growth from within. Several mentioned they wanted to be living in the present.
Although I had heard the expression “living in the present” many times, I didn’t really understand it. Unless you’re in dreamland or a zombie state, how can you not be living in the present? In a classroom, when the teacher does roll call, everyone says, “present.” So if you’re physically present, are you not living in the present?
Three years ago I moved to the country. Although I’ve lived in multiple places throughout the Americas, I’ve pretty much always been a big city dweller.
I am grateful that I took the leap to leave the urban life and open up The Namaste Getaway. Now, I understand what it means to live in the present. I had no idea that moving to a rural area would deepen that sense of presence.
Timing was also a factor. When I first moved away from the highways and traffic lights and sound pollution, I was working seven days a week. I was driving throughout the county leading yoga classes, workshops, or therapy sessions. The Coronavirus changed all that from one day to the next.
Without a doubt, the pandemic has been horrific. It has been devastating for so many people, industries, institutions, businesses, and entire countries. However, the quarantine and Zoom lifestyle has been a blessing for me. The level of my presence shifted dramatically. The last year and a half has given me more introspection than I ever would have imagined. As a result, my presence barometer is now fine-tuned.
Whether it’s my movement or non-movement practices, I feel a great sense of centering. I’m grounded. There’s a more powerful connection between my body and soul. Rather than focusing on my dozens of clients, I have time to focus on my body, my breath, and my life.
I notice all my muscles working, or relaxing. I hone in on my breathing and can watch the infinite styles of inhalations and exhalations for half an hour at a stretch. Above all, since self-identify as having ADHD, that’s quite a feat.
In the early morning, I sit on my back porch and appreciate every sprawling tree branch and grazing deer in my view. If there's been rain, I can hear the rushing water in the stream behind my house. Not quite like an ocean wave, but almost. Late at night, even if all my windows are closed, I connect with my non-human friends outside. I hear their every tweet, chirp, or croak. Consequently, my sound machine stays in the “off” mode, as the true sounds of nature are “on.” Always.
On my long walks, I rarely hear the sound of an engine or motor. Just the symphony conducted by Mother Nature. The only traffic is the flowers, cacti, and winged creatures that line my route. Above, ahead, and to the sides. It’s like I’m part of a 3-D virtual game. In short, all my senses are heightened. As is my gratitude.
If you want to boost your presence, book a stay at The Namaste Getaway, with optional retreat packages including sound therapy, yoga, meditation, First Love Yourself sessions, or any of my other therapeutic offerings. All images are taken on-site at my Airbnb mini-retreat center in Wimberley, Texas, just an hour from either San Antonio or Austin.