It’s Monday morning 3:20AM and my alarm goes off. I roll out of bed, heat up some water with lemon and roll out my yoga mat, put on some rap music and I’m ready to start my day. “Tadasana” - I look up and realize I need a manicure. “Forward fold” - Oh boy, my toes need to be done too. “Chaturanga” - Did I remember to order produce for work yesterday? My inner dialog is awake as soon as I get out of bed.
“Stay present” I tell myself. I’ve said and heard this statement hundreds of times. “Stay present & let go”. Six months ago when a yoga teacher used to say those words to me I would actually respond in my head “I’m on my mat aren’t I? I’m here so I’m clearly present”. Doesn’t physically being in a space make me present? Yes it does. Does being present mean a mindset? Yes it does. This is where I feel the struggle.
Years ago my boss said to me, “Your biggest strength will become your biggest weakness”. At the time I had absolutely no idea how this could even be possible, but fast forward 8 years and now I get his point. My biggest strength is that I can get more done in a small time frame than most people. I have learned the art of preparing and strategically using time. I follow a strict schedule. I spend SO much time planning for tomorrow that I very rarely live in the NOW. I’ve actually said a ton of times “once the day starts its over”.
Why you ask? Because my day is already planned. Because I’m good at scheduling. Because I know everything on the list that needs to happen and very rarely do I stray from that.
Keeping it Real.....six months ago I was so worried about living off the schedule, I asked myself“What will happen if I stop planning and just breathe?” “What will happen if I stop making lists; will I stop succeeding?”
I’ll never forget being at teacher training and I said to Daniel“I’m busy because I’m really good at it. It’s all I know and I just can’t help it”. I remember his exact quote in response to that. “But what if you could, Alissa?”. BOOM! My story, my bull shit, my legacy= gone with 5 words.
Does being busy and being disconnected from the moment really work for me or is it just familiar and comfortable? There have been days that I actually forgot I practiced yoga or ran to the store because the whole time I was thinking of the next step. No, this doesn’t make me happy. But if I’m spending all day everyday planning what do I do if I don’t do that? How will I fill space or time? Will this force me to connect to others differently? What does that look like? Feel like? Taste like? All I really knew was I wanted it.
My answer? I just made a choice to change it. This is not how I wanted to be any longer. I don’t want to be so caught up in having my perfectly scheduled day that I miss the day altogether. I DO want to hear my breathe and not my thoughts. I DO want to really listen to my friends and not think about what I’m going to say next. I DO want a community and intense love.
Me being present brings up a lot good and bad; but the best thing for me has been a deeper connection. When I am present in the moment I am connected to my thoughts, I do not hide behind my wall of lists and put the guard of perfection in my way. I DO have a better understanding of who I am and what makes me happy. I DO feel I am enough exactly as I am.
I am strong & I am weak.
I am a leader & I am a student.
I give & I receive.
I am powerful & sometimes broken.
I am present & I am Me.
I am all of these things that make me who I am today.
It took me 27 years to realize I am not who I was yesterday and that I have no idea who I’ll be tomorrow but right now in the moment I am okay not knowing.