You’ve likely admired the luminous lily that is so symbolic in yogic culture. But have you grasped its teaching? Here’s what the lotus flower, a yoga-life symbol, is teaching me…
Be Here Now. I wrote this in bold black ink on the whiteboard near my desk. When deadlines are looming, bills are stacked high and everyday agitations are nipping at my heels, I remember those words. They remind me that planning is good, but thinking too far into the future often leaves me anxious and overwhelmed. Uncertainty can be the enemy if we fail to embrace it, to sit quietly with it and appreciate it for all its possibilities.
Uncertainty can become optimism, hope, or opportunity. Or it can become fear and foreboding. It can be the flower or the thorn within my mind’s garden.
Being here now means breathing in this moment and remembering that I possess nothing more or less than what I have right now. I cannot know tomorrow’s pleasures, nor can I own its sorrows. All I really have is this moment.
I have a type A friend who likes to ask, “What are you going to do?” and, “What will happen If…”
I used to search frantically for my retort, thinking I needed to have solid answers to those questions. Well-meaning people will project upon you their own insecurities and doubts, expecting you to feel those same emotions. Doesn’t misery love company? I have learned to take what I need and toss out the rest. After all, we can learn a great deal from those around us, and from unsavory events and people. So take the experience and the lesson, but leave its bitter vestige. That’s the lesson of the lotus flower.
Beyond its beauty, the lotus flower bears strength and wisdom. It’s a symbol of endurance, a reminder to draw energy from within, turn my face to the sun, and remain vibrant amid life’s muddy waters. The lotus is unaffected by the mire, and thrives in its dank habitat.
I cannot allow the undulant world to dictate the direction of my thoughts. I cannot permit the past or the future to steal my present moment. I must be here now to fully unwrap this gift, this breath, this fleeting moment. Will you join me?
Mantra: Today I refuse to be coaxed from my inner light.