What REALLY Matters?

I almost skipped (or at least postponed) my morning meditation today in favor of being “productive.”

As my coffee was brewing, I glanced at my Facebook feed and saw:

- an account from someone in Montecito, CA about the devastation happening there.

- a crowd-funding campaign for a friend who was recently diagnosed with stage 4 cancer

- A tribute to an old friend who recently passed away.

- A blog post from a colleague about her experience of grieving a recent miscarriage.

- Many, many messages of support and good wishes from friends all around the world for what all these people are going through

Struck by the intensity of all this (especially at 6:30 am, and especially before I’d had my coffee), I felt a sudden sense of urgency. Immediately, I sat for meditation.

I sat because all this news was a stark reminder that, for me, there is NOTHING more important than taking time DAILY to get perspective on what really matters, to remember the preciousness of life, and to become present to the extraordinariness of each day we are given.

I don’t doubt that most would agree all this is important, even necessary, for living a purposeful, inspired life.

The thing is, we need a WAY to do this, consistently and effectively. That’s where practice comes in. A daily, scheduled, sacred time for practice, whether it’s asana, mediation, prayer, reflection, or something else, practice is about bringing us back to the awareness of what matters most.

After my meditation, I went about being productive, but from an entirely different inner stance. Emptying the dishwasher, making breakfast for my daughter, and the simple tasks of daily life felt palpably sweeter, somehow poignant. The gift of meditation for me this morning was becoming available to notice and appreciate the blessings in my life, and to meet the pain and suffering of those going through difficulties with compassion and love.

What is the value of practice for you in your life? In your state of being?

Noticing the effects of your yoga on the rest of your day, and on your perspective of life in general, helps to solidify your commitment to it. And whenever you do, I encourage you to take a moment to thank yourself, actually honour yourself, for pausing from the business of life to remember what’s truly important.