I recently read an article about a man who had been overweight and unhappy. The all-too common cocktail of relationship woes, family pressures, financial strain and career uncertainty left him unmotivated and overfed. When you’re down and out, french fries and Haagen-Dazs seem far more practical than green tea and treadmills. Ain’t that the truth? He claimed he carried, “the weight of the world around his midsection.” That is, until his moment of truth arrived…
He was sitting at a bus stop, feeling discouraged and disgusted with his current self. While praying for direction, a stranger sat down beside him with a powerful book: Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now (I have it and love it, by the way). The woman began to read short passages to him after he inquired about the content. Later he purchased his own copy, and became absorbed in Tolle’s teachings. With his heart wide open, he heard a clear whisper saying “Yoga.” Moments later, he received an email offer to join a power yoga class that was taking place right around the corner. His story ends with his transformation. He lost 60 pounds, gained confidence, and joined a community of yogis in their journey to achieve a higher self.
I liked that story because of its happy ending, but also because I had my own moment of truth while reading it. I imagined that man sulking on some weathered bus stop bench, watching a polluted city in chaos. Disconnected from his surroundings, he surrendered to his own internal aching. He stopped looking around and looked within — and that’s when the shift occurred.
That’s what this post is all about: those moments when revelations show up like rainbows after a storm. They make us realize that light can exist in our dark hours, and that Emily Dickinson was spot on when she said:
“Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops… at all.”
One of the most profound differences that yoga has made in me is in the area of mindfulness. It has taught me to slow down, breathe deeply, and appreciate each moment for what it is. I’ve learned to pay attention to ME. Sometimes that’s difficult because it takes courage to be accountable. More often, we default to blaming. We say I’m bitchy because you’re rude, or I’m chronically late because the streets are packed with slow pokes. It’s so refreshing when people take ownership of their shit, isn’t it?
If you’re defending what you do and it’s dragging you down, STOP IT! Moments of truth cannot happen without mindfulness.
If jealousy in your love life has caused you to become a paranoid monster, don’t blame your past unfaithful partners. If job stress has led you to trade your fitness routine for a round of drinks in the evening, don’t blame you boss. Why? Because the shift won’t happen until we’re sitting on our benches, shutting out the noise, and listening to our souls.
You can’t be guided when you’re busy being guarded. So let me ask you this: have you had any moments of truth? Did clarity slap you like a cold winter wind and leave you with the wisdom to explore a new path? Maybe not, because moments of truth are not always so abrupt. Sometimes they whisper with little more intensity than a morning mist. No matter how they arrive, we can only allow them to guide us if we’re willing to hear the words and do the work. And oh, there is work!
What do you want to change in your life? Are you struggling with weight issues, relationship problems, a general feeling of failure? Do you want to break free from some bad habit or begin making new habits to help elevate your life? Let’s continue to be mindful, to search for and seize our moments of truth. To do the best we can to do what’s most beneficial for us, even when it’s uncomfortable, physically exhausting, or scary as hell.
Regardless of your circumstances, your life choices belong to you. Truth cannot teach you without your permission.
Mantra: My truth is available when my heart is open.