As soon as you sit down and take five slow, deep breaths letting the mind rest on the present moment, you know that it is possible to slow down time. Try this once a day for a week, then twice a day for two weeks and then thrice a day for three weeks. Then try to breathe slow and deep all day. In the midst of your day notice when the breath becomes shallow and slow it down no matter what you are doing.
Mila will be three soon. I want time to be slow. It is possible when you remain present. Every moment with her is precious, I want to hold on — not to the past but to what is happening now. Her world is expanding. She has started pre-school. Friends are becoming a more integral part of her life, a shift from the intimate days of her world being mommy and daddy. Where once she was snuggled to mommy’s chest practically all day, her attention is moving outward. She only goes to preschool two mornings a week, but, it feels like a big milestone as she has a whole world outside of our home and family.
I feel grateful that I stayed home with Mila as much as possible the first three years. I struggled in my heart with this, feeling that I should work more. But, from this side of the road where three years have passed, I am so happy that I didn’t rush back to do anything else.
As a new chapter begins. I pray that I can remain more present and use what I have learned in yoga to let time pass slowly. Breathe deep. Stay aware of the wonder and magic that is this and every moment. Flood my heart with gratitude for what is.
There are a million things that I want. And, there are also a million things that I have. Slowing down time entails deep gratitude for what you have. This gratitude makes staying present easier. Gratitude and presence go hand in hand.
Yogis are always encouraging us to release the ego and move deeper into the heart space. I did have to let go of my ego when taking a break from working. I had to learn how to receive help after years of being independent. The rewards for this have been priceless.
We never know what the reward will be for following our hearts. “Let go of the outcome,” the Gita tells us again and again. Just go for it - be who you are, follow your truths and don’t worry about the outcome. Your truths hold a power. Develop shraddha, faith in who you are and what you want. Your truths have the power to bring peace and harmony to yourself and to others, even if the road is extremely rocky. Go for it. Say “yes” to yourself. Like the Zen Buddhists say “jump and the net will appear.”
Love is my net. When I feel like I am falling, she puts her little arms around me and envelops me with unwavering love. “I can feel this for all beings,” my heart whispers to me. “My heart has the capacity to love all beings with as much intensity as I love her.”
This is my practice. This is what the Buddha asks of us. Equanimity is not spreading our love thin to embrace all beings. Equanimity is making our hearts so incredibly large that we love all beings as much as we love our favorite person.
Imagine that net.