When it comes to the common list of the world’s top ten most stressful things, I realized that I am on my way to ticking off two of those culprits. Not only is the kidney bean in my belly now en route to becoming a large bell pepper, we are also in the process of trying to sell our home and buy a new one. Between pregnancy and houses, if you could look inside my head right now it would probably resemble the picture on the right…
For the last few weeks, I don’t think I have had a split nano second between my thoughts, let alone a full moment spent in the present. (The present? Sorry, can’t be there right now, too much to plan!) The wild horses of my mind have literally busted out of the fields and are running amuck…how the hell do I reign the beasts in?
Then just this morning as I was turning our home into a showhome for yet another viewing, I came across a copy of the Radiance Sutras, an ancient yoga text that is all about opening up to the divine in everyday life. In it I had highlighted the following words, which have always been my favourites…
In any quiet moment when you are breathing,
the breath may flow out and pause of itself,
or flow in and pause of itself.
Here experience opens into exquisite vastness
with no beginning and no end.
Embrace this infinity without reservation.
dive into it, drink deeply, and emerge renewed.
Such a simple concept, no rocket science involved. I just took the last couple of moments to pause in my typing of this piece, close my eyes and do just what it says on the tin. Noticing the natural pause at the top of my inhale and at the bottom of my exhale, where, you know what? There is space in all the chaos after all! After a few breaths, I realize I’m still wearing my shoulders up round my ears, so as I exhale, I relax. As I breathe, I indulge those small moments where I still have hold of the reigns.
In yoga, they call this barrage of incessant thoughts our ‘chitta vritta.’ The second quote from Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras sums up exactly what we are trying to do in our yoga practice…“yoga chita vritti nirodha.” – Yoga is for the cessation of the fluctations of the mind. I realize now just how often I forget this! Whether I will be able to keep my ‘monkey mind’ under control when the moving vans are here, the baby is on its way or I haven’t had a night’s sleep in months remains to be seen. But from today on, I’m making a resolve to get at least a few of those horses back in their paddock!