I’d just rolled up from savasana when I heard my teacher say –
A woman who is a master at the ‘art of living’ makes little distinction between her work and her play, her labor and her leisure, her love and her religion, her education and her recreation, her mind and her body. She hardly knows which is which. She simply pursues her vision of excellence and grace in whatever she does, leaving others to decide whether she is working or playing — to her she is always doing both. (Zen saying)
I remember thinking — that’s it. That is the reason I am on this mat. That is the woman I want to become.
Even though the concept clicked, this approach to living still seemed so unattainable. I thought this type of existence was only for sages.
That was 11 years ago.
In spite of my skepticism, I remained in a state of wonder and through my experiences; practice and studies, have grown the deepest understanding that we all have the capability to grow into wise beings. We all have the capability to master the ‘art of living’ — to live in the moment, therefore, live an authentic life and as a result, create authentic work.
Most importantly, I’ve learned that the key to mastering the ‘art of living’ is learning how to pay attention. When you are mindful, you are in the moment. When you are in the moment, you are mastering the ‘art of living.’
Cultivating a mindfulness practice teaches you how to pay attention at each moment — not just when you are on the mat, lost in creation, or whatever else gets you in your flow. Mindfulness focuses you on what is happening right now (not what happened in the past or what may happen in the future), and with practice, you’ll discover this one shift unlocks what you’ve probably spent countless hours, days or even years striving for.
Incredible shifts happen when you stop anticipating and start meeting each moment as it comes. This focused mindset combined with being connected to your essence, which you’ll find naturally occurs when you are in the moment, opens the door for the unimaginable to happen in your life and work.
In our wildly stimulated culture, living in the moment goes against the grain. This way of being certainly isn’t on the social agenda, but it certainly is the passageway to the love, patience, and peace we all desire. It certainly is for everyone. And everyone can re-learn this embodied walk through life.
Start learning by simply reflecting on the following 3 things:
Become aware that everything is linked. Every being. Every experience. Every choice you make. Every part of your life. Every opportunity you do or don’t take. These pieces come together exuding as your character and will eventually complete the puzzle, which is your life.
Acknowledge that before you nourish anyone or anything else, you must first connect to and nourish yourself, and by doing so, you will make the most of your time here.
Commit to spending as much time on refining your inner world as you do your outer world; fully knowing that if you do, you will feel deeply fulfilled in all of the areas of your life.
Originally published at medium.com