• Melissa Gombola

Cultivate Mindfulness

Hello sweet yoga family,

How are you feeling this day? Notice your thoughts, your feelings & the sensations that arise from within you today. Become aware of your breath & notice sensations felt in your body & your mind. This present moment is worthy of your attention.

Donna Farhi says that "Mindfulness means doing one thing at a time. We put our full attention on what we are doing, whether that be washing dishes or driving the car, so we can be awake in that moment. After all, this moment will soon pass, and by being somewhere else we may not have lived it. All of life can pass in this way, each moment stolen by another that has not yet happened."

I find myself often looking ahead. Reaching forward beyond the present day. I love making plans & dreaming of what could be. I set my expectations on a mountaintop & dream big. I thrive on this, but it is also a part of the anxiety that seems to want to destroy me. If you experience anxiety, perhaps you can empathize with this enormous weight that can feel too heavy to lift at times. It's as though I find strength in the looking towards - the planning, the excitement that leads up. I put incredible energy & time into it, but then sometimes I'm bewildered when my vision doesn't pan out. I feel let down & defeated. Maybe you've felt this way before, too?

We had been planning on getting a puppy this spring. It was all set up. We had met a unique breed while hiking in northern MN this past fall. The Leonberger. They're enormous, known as a gentle giant, they resemble a lion. They're patient, loving, kind & beautiful. We chatted with the Leo's owner & exchanged contact information. We expressed interest in getting a puppy at some point, as our family has been wanting a dog for a long time. A little while ago, the owner reached out with great news. They were having puppies! We made plans. We were going to get one! The puppies were born & we were looking forward to welcoming another member to our family. We couldn't wait. Weeks passed. We got to see photos of our sweet pup, growing fast. We prepared. We were ready.

Then, the nice owner wrote this past weekend to share terrible news. Most of the puppies had died unexpectedly & quickly overnight. Fading Puppy Syndrome. It's unexplainable & heartbreaking. My heart broke for the owners family, for the puppy mama, for the families that had been looking forward to welcoming a sweet pup into their lives. I was heartbroken.

Time & again, God has surprised me in such incredible ways. I imagine God seeing me obsessing, planning, getting ready for something & saying to me, "your plans are adorable, Mel, really so sweet, I love your imagination. But, that is not My Plan. My Plan is more beautiful that you can even dream or ever imagine. My Plan will happen when it's time, so there's no need to worry or look ahead. Just you live today. Each moment, just be present. Tomorrow will come, but keep your gaze on today. Today is all you have, so enjoy today."

I know there is a greater plan that aligns with my own, that my own dreams will be lifted beyond any realization I could ever have. I have deep faith that my journey is all happening as it should & I have no need for the hold of the past or the pull for the future. I have right now.

Today, I cultivate mindfulness, as the sorrow of yesterday has passed & I know the joy of tomorrow will come. Today I sit with my breath full in my belly & my heart healing, lovingkindness to my soul.

"In today's rush, we all think too much - seek too much - want too much - and forget about the joy of just being."

~Eckhart Tolle

I hope to see you on your mats. 🙏

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