Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Where Nothing Else Matters

Last night at yoga, there was a moment where I joyously realized nothing else mattered. In that moment, it didn't matter what I hadn't gotten done that day or what needed to be done the next day. The stress didn't matter. The depression didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Not the the kids' bickering, nor the bills that needed to be paid.

Since I'm suck at am still perfecting my meditation, my mind wandered. I thought about running, and how I love running for the same reason. When I am running nothing else matters. I don't need to fill water bottles, make snacks, or juggle more balls than a circus act. When I am running, the only thing that matters is me - my foot steps, my breathing, my body. A lot of of runners talk about all the things they think about while they are running. Out there by yourself for more than hour at a time, you'd think a lot of thinking would get done. For some people it does. I realized on my 9 miler on Sunday that I did very little thinking, and I loved that. It was all about falling into a mindless rhythm, putting one foot in front of the other.

I love yoga and running because when I am doing those activities, I am able to fully engage. I am connected - mind, body, and spirit. I am present in that moment and nothing else matters.

I think we all need moments in our days where we can be fully present without working for it. Where we unexpectedly realize we are completely immersed in what is happening at that very moment. Some describe it as a state of flow. Some activities lend themselves to that type of state for certain people, like yoga and running for me. For others it could writing, cooking, painting, or just about anything. (Notice most of my examples are solo activities or ones you do alongside others but still on your own, yes, that's the introvert in me. Others experience flow when leading large groups or other extroverted things I can't imagine.)

Once you realize where you most often experience flow, you can almost go looking for it. That has its benefits, but on the flip side, I love when those moments of full engagement and stress-free presence sneak up on me like when I am tickling a little boy who should be going to sleep but is feeling a little silly or when I am snuggled in the mess of warm bodies in our family bed but instead of wondering whose foot is in my back all I can do is soak in the smell of a toddler's freshly washed hair and the steady rhythm of breaths surrounding me. In that moment, nothing else matters.

Have you experienced a state of flow? Where do you find those moments?


  1. I want that!!
    I love the way you describe this and now I realize that I need to make room or these moments. I can't think of what my place where nothing else matters is. I feel that I have a couple, but they aren't coming to me right at the moment. Still I feel it as you describe it.
    Thank you for conjuring this so well. I have a place to start now.

  2. For me, Tae Kwon Do does this. My thinking, I do that in the shower. My not-thinking, total focus on what I'm doing and -nothing else matters-, that's TKD. And as you said, there are other moments as well, especially when interacting with my kids. :)


I want to hear from you! Leave your comments.

It may not show up immediately because I moderate comments due to spam. I promise I'll get to it as soon as possible and look forward to talking to you!