Detroit City Limits | What's Going on in Detroit


Are You Living in the Gap? Can You Live in the Gap?

This writing could have been titled a lot of things. But I wanted it to make you go “HMM”, what is she writing about now. As a yoga instructor and a mindfulness and stress instructor at Wayne State University, I’m seeing and hearing, and sometimes living on either side of the gap. So, what is the gap, in this posting the gap is the present. Either side of it is the past and the future. If I was to ask you, what percentage of time do you spend (live) in the past, present, and future, would it be 10/80/10, 25/50/25, or 40/20/40? Well, it’s said that we spend more time in our past and future then in our present. What’s up with that? Why do we find it so hard to live in the present?

I wish I could answer that question. Actually, researchers have been looking for the answer to this question for over 60 years. While, it is not documented on how much time we spend in either tense of our life, circumstances tells us that we are not as “present” as we believe we are. What I mean by documented circumstances, it’s the amount of panic attacks, stress related diseases, and anxiety concerns that are being diagnosed across the country. So, how do we deal with this; cautiously and case by case. No, I’m not a doctor, nor Am I giving medical advice. However, I am asking you to be aware of where you’re spending your time.

Yes, there is a time for reflections and a time for planning. There are even occasions, when daydreaming is in order. Scheduling and making time for them is essential and key to living in the “now”, and that is the purpose of this writing. As I was once told, “you do better, once you know better”. As we enter the most colorful and fragrant season (according to me) of the four, this is a better time than ever to live in the gap. In the next 19 days, we cross over into the autumn equinox. I invite you to live in the present from September 22 to December 21. For 92 days I want you to practice living in the “now”. You (we) have 92 days to practice.

On Saturday, September 22nd we will begin our day by noticing the sun rise. Is the sky bright or cloudy? Do you feel thankful? Are you eager to get outside? Since it’s a Saturday are you able to spend time outdoors? Is the air crisp? What do you smell? What’s the aroma in the air? On your walk or jog for the day, notice the crackling under your feet. And of course, you must pay attention to the bareness of the trees or the color of the leaves that are still on the trees. You might want to pick up a couple of leaves and feel the texture of each leaf. Notice the difference in texture from leaf to leaf. Shh, what do you hear? Are birds singing, children playing? Go ahead and duck, don’t get hit by your neighbor’s kid football.

Since, we can’t leave out the taste sense, the taste of fall is next to none Go ahead, take that yearly visit to the cider mill. OMG, the cider is incredible. Yes, try it hot and try it cold. Notice the difference in taste just by the temperature change.

You’re in the restaurant part, notice the aroma. Can you distinguish between the cinnamon and the nutmeg? Feel the texture of the cinnamon and plain donuts. The texture, the taste and the smell are incredibly unique. Yet, they both will invite you to a third and maybe fourth taste.

While I selected autumn to be your “living in the gap” journey, you can choose anything. It could be your newborn child, your preparation for that beautiful autumn wedding, your weekly date night, your all-important conversation with your over dramatic teenager, your continuous attempts at meditation, that simple conversation with your significant other or yes, your gentleness class at Sacred Space Yoga Centre. All this just to say,“stay in the conversation until it’s over” or simply “just” stay present. Make this journey fun and interesting. If all attempts prove to be more than you can handle, no worries. We’ll try it again for the winter season. God speed on your journey.

A Detroiter for Detroiters

About the Author


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