Finding presence in 2021
It is a winter wonderland outside as I write this. We no longer have darkness at night in Luzern but a gentle, hazy glow that beckons me to look outside just one more time if I’m restless and not sleeping. I love the silence that a blanket of snow brings, an invitation to pause, to breathe and rest in the moment.
This is the romantic version that I’m appreciating today. Last week began differently.
I was driving along the motorway when the skies opened and the snow just kept on falling in central Switzerland. I’m used to driving a big, family car in winter where I’m perched high and can survey my surroundings. Now I have a small car, it’s a whole different experience. Heavy snow that day seemed to round up all the lorries, one after the other, towering above and rumbling alongside me.
I noticed that my uncertainty, even perhaps fear, was focused on the future: ‘I don’t have control of this situation. What if…’
As drivers, we weren’t going anywhere fast, so I consciously engaged in a mindful practice to help me stay focused and present.
- I let breath be my anchor, finding a rhythm that felt deep, spacious and grounded.
- I checked in with the sensations I was feeling in the body.
- I relaxed my jaw and softened the tight grip on the steering wheel.
- I scanned my body, allowing myself to breathe through and let go of pockets of tension I found.
- Almost like playing a game of hide-and-seek, I continued scanning – was there a hidden tiny corner of tightness I had missed? Had tension quietly crept into another area when I wasn’t looking?
- As soon as I brought attention to what I was feeling and where, acknowledged the sensations and gave them space rather than resisting them, I felt a shift.
- I then toyed with finding places that felt totally at ease, perhaps the pads of my feet or my ears, noticing how I could spend time there too. Finding ease as well as discomfort.
Benefits of a Mindfulness Practice
This mindfulness practice helped me to be patient and cultivate resilience in a situation I could not control. It balanced the nervous system and helped me stay grounded, present and focused.
As Luzern enters another lockdown along with many other parts of the world, we’re reminded again that while we don’t have control over what lies ahead, we do have control over how we relate and respond to the world around us at any given moment through cultivating our awareness.
The way to change begins with arriving in the present moment with awareness.
Take a moment yourself. Notice how you can become present in the midst of whatever is going on for you, whether it is pleasant, or whether there is pain, or tension, or worry.
Mindfulness notices and relaxes around all that you’re going through with a spacious and kind presence. Notice whatever is present in this moment and take a minute to relax with it all.
To help you drop into this space, I’d love you to come together in a small group and practice with me online. I’m delighted to be offering 6 x livestream yoga classes via Zoom once again.
A choice between an active strengthening Vinyasa Flow and a more quiet, contemplative Mindful Yin Yoga practice. You’re welcome to join one style or both.
I look forward to seeing you soon.