The Lesson of the Lotus Flower, a Yoga-Life Symbol

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.

14 Comments
  • Sheri
    April 14, 2016

    “Today I refuse to be coaxed from my inner light.” Very much needed today. It is so hard for me at times not to suffer anxiety due to being overwhelmed by the unknown of what the future will bring, even if it is only thinking about the next day. It can really cloud judgement and make you focus on the negative, which may not even end up being the outcome. I used to think it was better to worry and suffer, so if anything bad happened my mind would be prepared for it. All it brought on was sadness, fear, depression and anxiety fueled with a lot of sleepless nights. I am learning to “Be Here Now” as well. Savour those good moments, worry less, and to be more grateful.
    I am so glad of this reminder again today.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 14, 2016

      I get it Sheri. It’s a tough line to straddle between “prepared” and “optimistic.” I’m glad you were inspired today. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. All the best. 🙂

  • Katie
    April 14, 2016

    Oh my gosh, I so needed this today!! My intention this morning through my flow was “just breathe and be kind” and I’m taking it as my mantra for the day, learning from the lotus flower if you will!

    • Rica Lewis
      April 14, 2016

      That’s awesome, Katie! Thanks for reading. Let’s keep the good vibes going! 🙂

  • Dave
    April 14, 2016

    Hi Rica,

    It’s so true what you say about other people, or external forces, pulling us away from the present moment. I also can feel that pressure to come up with a response to “What are you going to do?” and, “What will happen If…”

    I love your vision of the lotus as a “symbol of endurance, a reminder to draw energy from within” I’m going to carry that with me into the day.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 14, 2016

      Wonderful, Dave. Thanks so much for reading, and for your lovely response!

  • aiman
    April 14, 2016

    Wow! I never thought like that :O

  • Liv
    April 14, 2016

    Right there with you. Thanks for the invite!

  • Shelly
    April 15, 2016

    “Uncertainty can become optimism, hope, or opportunity. Or it can become fear and foreboding.”

    What a great reminder that most states of being begin neutral and it’s up to us to decide which way we’ll take it.

    Thank you for sharing!

    • Rica Lewis
      April 15, 2016

      Thank you for your lovely comment, Shelly. Good insights!

  • Bun Karyudo
    April 15, 2016

    I like the idea of the beautiful Lotus emerging from the mud. I guess one of the important skills of living is to find moments of beauty and calm in among the “mud” of our daily lives.

    • Rica Lewis
      April 15, 2016

      That’s a great way to think, Bun! Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *