After years of practice, it becomes relatively easy to be in the moment when you are on your mat. Each breath and each posture follow one another easily and on most days my mind stays on my practice, and the rhythms of my body.
However, when it comes to being off the mat our ability to stay in the moment depletes! How many times each day do you find yourself wishing you'd done something in your past (immediate or further back) differently? How many times do you find yourself planning for an imagined future - wishing away the now for some time when everything is bound to be better?
This was brought home to me particularly yesterday as I drove 100 miles north to Cambridge to see my parents for the Bank Holiday weekend. It being the day before the long weekend, the world and his wife were off in their cars and we had a 2 hour delay on the M25.
I spent most of this 2 hour delay either declaring how bored I was, wishing I had never left or wishing I was in Cambridge already. There probably wasn't a single point in the whole 2 hours when I allowed myself to be in the moment. Yes, the M25 isn't the nicest place on earth but I was alone with my beloved listening to some very good music. And really, that's not a bad place to be is it?
Sometimes it's important to look past the frustrations of the now and find the good parts within those frustrations. The past and future do not truly exist; all we have is right now and we need to make the most of it.