Being present is a balance between focused attention on what is directly happening now, and broad awareness that this moment is part of a vast, intelligent unfolding, of which we are an integral part.
I invite you to take a quiet moment and check in with yourself. Find a relaxed place where you feel safe and undisturbed. Close your eyes and lie back, or sit quietly with a relaxed gaze. Breathe deeply, several long breaths. Allow your awareness to move inward and down through your body. Imagine that with every inhalation, you draw energy down through your head, into your heart and into your belly, legs and feet. Let yourself settle.
As you allow the breath to distill into your body, feel energy and sensations circulate. Let your awareness move into your body. Notice how your body feels. Is it tense? Relaxed? Are you holding on in any particular areas? Notice what is.
Then notice how you feel. Do you feel relaxed, satisfied and fulfilled? Do you feel anxious, angry or sad? Whatever you notice, allow it to be, without judging. Just witness what is. Be open to the possibility that there is no need to create a story for or like/dislike what you find. Be a neutral witness, without judgment.
As you continue to relax and you remain present in your body-being, your awareness deepens. Often during this process, parts of the psyche that hold pain begin to emerge. If physical or emotional pain rises, just notice it. Notice how it feels. Does it feel hot? Cold? Does it have textures or edges? Does it feel loose or constrictive? Where do you feel it in your body? Is it in your gut, chest or head? Where are you holding? What are you holding on to?
Watch what begins to arise into your conscious mind without trying to change, fix, rush towards or push away what you notice. Allow things to be exactly as they are. Give them a lot of space, and then more space. Let all the feelings and sensations have room to breathe, just as you need to breathe. As you continue to witness, sensations (painful or pleasant) may begin to move, unfold and eventually release.
Like an eddy of water that swirls around and around, caught in its own little world that is out of flow with the river, your psyche and perceptions can be like a repeated swirl of painful thoughts. You lose sight of the magnificence within and around you. Like the eddy that is held within a mighty river, so too emotional pain is an energy swirl caught within love.
Remember the whole, that love embraces you, even if you don’t feel it. Take long, deep breaths and give yourself the internal space you need. Allow any pain to simply flow into the river, letting go of caught energy. Allow all trapped and stagnant life force to return to the whole.
As you release, you may feel nothing, or you may cry, sweat, shake, move or vocalize. A response may be part of the return to the river, when it arises from a sense of inner spaciousness, without forcing, without wanting. But remember, no drama. Allow yourself to feel a simple, gentle ease of being, feeling more expansive, energized and vital. Notice as you let go, if this moment seems richer, more possible.
Stay with this as long as you need. When you feel ready, gently bring your awareness back to the room and open your eyes if they have been closed. Sit up if you were lying down. Tell yourself that no matter where you are, you can continue to breathe and witness this moment just as it is. One moment gives birth to the next, each unfolding perfectly. As you meet that which is, without resistance, you flow with the river and meet the Divine. You awaken to the reality that you have been one with the mighty river all along and love is your true infinite nature.
Parvati Devi is the editor-in-chief of Parvati Magazine. In addition to being an internationally acclaimed Canadian singer, songwriter, producer and performer, she is a yoga teacher and holistic educator, having studied yoga and meditation since 1987, and developed her own yoga teaching style called YEM™: Yoga as Energy Medicine. Her current show, “Natamba”, brings forward a conscious energy into the pop mainstream.