This Moment


20140508-161842.jpg Entering a Yoga studio a few weeks ago I saw the following quote: "The very moment is always the occasion"

This reminds me of John Cage who said about the process of creating: "Start anywhere"

This in turn makes me think of a friend I often go skiing with. She is a fabulous and fast skier but whenever she would stand on top of a steep trail she froze in her tracks. After a while of complete rigid terror, she started to slide her skis back and forth in place. I would watch her from the bottom of the trail. I witnessed the dance of fear, terror and the understanding of the fact that there was no backing out or avoiding this terrifying situation she voluntarily had entered. With her body stiff and her movement stuck she reminded me of a person with Parkinson's disease who has to gain enough momentum to overcome the force of rigidity. Mind and body became opponents in a match of figurative arm wrestling.

Since there is no way around but through, as Robert Frost was quoted to say, my friend had to ultimately gain enough momentum to lean forward into the steep. Since her movement was still guided by fear,it was a matter of a few turns before she would fall and tumble down the rest of the trail. This in turn caused me to startle and pray that she wouldn't slide into a rock or take me out as well. Somehow she always managed to arrive at the bottom of the trail without any injury, very relieved and smiling. In her fall she was fluid and at ease. The terror had yielded into an almost joyful tumbling.

Over the course of a long and snowy season I was able to guide her through the process of entering the steep with trust. Since she was otherwise confident on her skis it wasn't a matter of technique, it was a matter of thought. In a step by step process she became confident in stopping the interference of fear or rather transcending fear in order to be able to enjoy the playful quality and beauty of carving fluid turns in beautiful terrain.

I think of my friend on top of the mountain when I am sliding my mind back and forth looking fearfully into the steep of my creative process. The problem is that I can always back out, it's called procrastination. I notice my mind backing away from the steep to retreat into to do lists and internal judging voices. Then I remember how I guided my friend in the process to connect with breath and inner joy in order to transcend the fear turn by turn. When is the right moment to lean in just a little more,in order to turn the back and forth sliding to a fluid turn and dialogue with the steep and beautifully terrifying terrain? The very moment is now. The rest will follow.