I think sometimes, many yogis (myself included) get caught up in having the perfect practice, the perfect pose, the perfect meditation, the perfectly blissful existence. But, let’s face it, that’s not reality. And, as I mentioned in a previous post, “Live your unhappiness?” I think we often focus too much on what we think happiness should be that we’re ultimately dissatisfied, and unhappy.
In some ways, I think distraction is a necessary part of our growth and vital to stopping our minds from spiraling out of control. Like the dog in the movie, “Up,” who’s stream of consciousness is side tracked when he sees a squirrel, so too should we embrace distraction rather than become attached to emotion that arises because of pre-judgement we’ve place on that ‘thing’ from which we’re distracted.
Perhaps the ‘squirrel’ is the universe’s way of telling you to come back to your environment, back to the present moment. I know this has happened to me.
Once, I was sitting in a meditation, and there was a bird outside that was just squawking up a storm. He was either calling to his kids who were not getting to the breakfast table or perhaps he was a jilted lover calling for his lady in the wee hours of the morning. In any case, ever time I tried to settle into meditation, he’d squawk. His timing wasn’t rhythmic either. So, it’s not like I could have used the tweets as some type of background metronome. No, it’s like he knew when I was about to retreat inward, and then “SQUAWK!”
I eventually started to laugh at the whole thing, and realized that this distraction, this beautiful example of living in the moment was exactly what I needed. As yogis we try to live for the present moment, but during that meditation, I wasn’t. I was too focused on going into meditation, that I missed the point, and Mr. Squawk, as he’s come to be known, was my reminder. He was my squirrel.
Even the picture featured here. The couple is so intent on capturing the present moment in a photo, that they’re missing it a little. So, the squirrel photo bomber popped in to serve as a souvenir — life isn’t always exactly as you pictured, sometimes it’s hilariously different.
Today, embrace every distraction, even if that distraction is thought. Listen to the thoughts that come into your mind, and you’ll notice that they start to dissipate. Embrace the person that interrupts you at work, for they may desperately need the break and you might too.
Whatever it is that takes you out of that tunnel of focus that’s 15 minutes ahead of the present moment, embrace it. Embrace the…squirrel!
– Your Charmed Yogi
Photo credits: National Geographic.