Before you go any further in reading this letter, pause. If you can, find a comfortable position where your spine feels long (seated, standing, it doesn’t matter). Drop your shoulders away from your ears, gaze up from your screen, and take a full deep breath. Then, close your eyes and take another deep breath while asking yourself - Has my day been engaged in what is urgent or what is important? When you have your answer, open your eyes.
So, what do you think? Are you operating in a state of urgency or of importance? Let me be honest. I have been in the urgent--urgent--urgent camp lately, and it’s not feeling so hot. Not in the slightest. It might be because I’m only teaching for a few more weeks and have so many plans to share with you. Or, it might be because my phone’s app says we have 34ish days until our baby’s arrival. Maybe they're related?
You might feel the sense of urgency in your life, too, yes? Inbox overwhelm? Getting work finished and packing done before a summer vacation? Putting out a fire in the office? Ah! Let’s get out of this zone, shall we? But, how?
The answer? Meditation. I know, I know. I can hear it - Leanne, there's no way I have time to meditate for 10, 15, 20 minutes in my day with all this urgency! But, you know what? You don't have time not to.
The reality is that meditation actually creates space in your day. Yes, you read that right. Meditation allows our minds a chance to rest, to focus on something other than the doing and the going and the deadlines and all the things in life that overwhelm the heck out of us. When we create space to simply be, rather than do, we can come back to whatever tasks are before us with a knowledge of what is urgent vs. what is important, and make a decision from there. We gain clarity from just a few moments with our breath or a guided visualization.
After recommitting to my own meditation practice recently (because my monkey mind was out of control), I decided to carve out a morning where I didn’t take any meetings. The cell phone was stored away for a few hours, email powered down, and a mug of tea in hand. I created space to get out of urgency & work on items that are truly important to me - planning the next yoga retreat, proofing our own teacher training program, and setting up my personal offerings for when I return this fall. And, you guys...it felt so good. There was a renewed sense of energy. I want that for you, too.
Were the urgent tasks still there? Yes, there were still emails to write, a pediatrician to find, voicemails to respond to, but that time was precious. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “What is important is seldom urgent, and what is urgent is seldom important.” Take a moment to reflect on that today. And, remember, this practice is so much more than the physical. It's for your mental well-being, too.