I was a lawyer when I took my first yoga class about 20 years ago. It was a weekly offering at our local YMCA. I still remember the wave of fear I experienced when our teacher told us to “let go of the past, let go of the future – just be present in this moment….”
You can’t be serious! a voice inside me protested. My clients and bosses rely on me to remember – in precise detail – everything that has happened in their cases; they also expect me to plan our future strategies for succeeding in court. The present is the last place I want to be stuck… I’d lose my job if I went there!
During the months that followed, I gradually learned to breathe more slowly and fully, and found I could relax my body and mind in class. Little by little, that early fear of losing all the important information I thought I needed to “hold” in my head began to fade away. Being present, I noticed, felt comfortable … even pleasant. I began to understand that, not only did showing up in the moment not do me any harm, it actually was enhancing my well-being – including my ability to remember details from the past, and to successfully plan future actions. And if that weren’t enough, I seemed to be feeling noticeably happier, too! [click to continue…]
My partner’s mom passed away two weeks ago at the age of 88. Val was, in many ways, an uncomplicated woman. Her favorite advice to me, her children, co-workers — anybody who would listen, really – was, simply, “Be happy!”
Gloria has a favorite story about her mom. It took place only a year or two ago, when Val was already in her mid-80s. An aggressive pitbull wandering her suburban neighborhood rushed into Val’s yard and attacked her little Cairn terrier, (Diddo, who was 12 years old at the time, weighs about 20 pounds, and is blind.) The pitbull took the defenseless little dog in its mouth and began shaking him. Gloria’s sister, who had just been walking Diddo, let go the leash and began screaming for help.
Now, picture what happened next: [click to continue…]
I’ll be addressing a very large audience next week… perhaps some of you will be in attendance. The Concord Food Co-Op is launching a 9-wk. series on Monday entitled, “Real Food, Real Life,” aimed to help folks improve their health through their eating habits. (For details, check out The Co-Op’s Classes Page.) As the first week’s guest speaker, my assigned topic is “The Mindful Meal.”
I’ve been wondering how best to get my message across to a group of nearly 100 people. What I most want to convey to them boils down to this:
“Get present, and you will make mindful choices in every aspect of your life – including food.” [click to continue…]