To be silent.
Hear your breath and feel your heart-beat. It might be a rare thing in our rushed and busy lifestyle. How many minutes go by in a day without a distraction from your smartphone or computer screen? How often do we sit, listen, be.
There's a great article here that brings clarity to the idea that our culture seems addicted to busy. He brings up the question, "How is your heart?". As opposed to the typical and sometimes non-sincere question we often ask of "how are you?", this question of how is your heart brings a depth and meaning that many of us crave. I dont' know about you, but lots of days it's hard to answer 'how are you?' in an honest way. Sometimes I want to say, "Do you really want to know? Cause this make take awhile". OMID SAFI writes;
"I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul. Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence".
One of my favorite authors, Henri Nouwen, often challenges me in a similar way. His words sink deep into my soul when I read about how he sees life with God and life with others. He writes about distraction, too, in his book Making All Things New;
"How...can we move from fragmentation to unity, from many things to the one necessary thing, from our divided lives to undivided lives in the Spirit? A hard struggle is required. It is the struggle to allow God's Spirit to work in us and re-create us....It calls for a few moments a day in the presence of God when we can listen to God's voice precisely in the midst of our many concerns...When we remain attentive to this divine presence, we will be led always deeper into the kingdom".
This is why I love yoga. I love it because it gives me space. A space to breath and be and feel my heartbeat. A space to go back to the truths in my heart that sometimes get drowned out by the business of life and the noise of the world. This is why I love offering it to others. I know we all need this space. A space to come, be still, and be refreshed by remembering that place of where we come from and whose we are. There's a beautiful freedom in that.
-by Abby Mortenson