Ahhhhhhhhh, yoga. Or, as I have been known to post as my Facebook status update on more than one occasion before or after a particularly juicy class, “Yogahhhhhhhhhh.”
Those 90 minutes of bliss on my yoga mat where I am thinking about absolutely nothing and am completely present in the – wait, did I forget to send the last 3 emails at work today? What time is my meeting tomorrow morning? Did I really say that to my boss yesterday? Excuse me while I check my phone for any texts, emails or Facebook updates that might be happening right now – moment. So, maybe I’m not completely present in the moment most of the time. I used to practice at a studio where the clock on the wall replaced numbers with the word “now.” Brilliant, except I would spend most of the class wondering if the “now” moment that we were celebrating meant that I would get to stop for a delicious breakfast sandwich after class or if I would be stuck with a protein bar all day. If your mind works anything like mine does, the glimmers of calm, clarity and being completely present and in the moment in life are few and far between (and I don’t even have kids, I hear it’s even more difficult then).
In honor of my 30th birthday this year and my well known love for celebrating my birthday for months before and after the actual date I created a list of 30 adventures for 30 years to celebrate for a full year. In a miniature bucket list of sorts, I wrote down that I wanted to go skydiving and then thought nothing else. Then my friend and teacher Kathryn Budig mentioned at the end of one of her morning yoga classes that her boyfriend Bob would be in town the following weekend and would be taking people for tandem skydives if anyone wanted to join.
With no expectations for the experience I signed up and spent a whole day at Perris Valley Skydiving waiting out the wind. I didn’t get to jump with Bob since mother nature had other plans for the day, but I returned with a friend the following weekend. With no chance for second thoughts, they had us in our jumpsuits, rigs on and in the plane within moments of our arrival. I had a last minute moment of fear on the way up and then took a deep breath and jumped out of the plane for one of the most present and clear moments of my life.
My connection to anything but the sky and the beauty surrounding me was the only thing that mattered (well, besides the slight concern that for some reason the parachute wouldn’t open but that quickly passed) and for the first time in my life I was 100% and completely present and in the moment. There was absolutely nowhere else I needed to be.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not necessarily suggesting that you need to go jump out of a plane to experience the here and now (though I just signed up for what will be my 3rd jump the weekend after my birthday – finally with Bob this time) but I do think there is something to be said for reaching beyond your comfort zone and a little scary to help put life in perspective. So, find what this is for you – maybe it’s as simple as a full day with no phone distracting you from life as it’s happening – and start to notice the shift that happens when you learn how to move out of your day to day reality and in to the moment you are standing in.