On the twentieth day of my 30-day sadhana, I turned a whopping 31-years-old. It was a day like most others… a great day. Nothing out of the ordinary occurred. No party was thrown, no cake or candles (tough to swing a gluten-free cake, really). Just a day of errands and to-do lists and, yes, even work. And yet, the doing of all these tasks felt so. damn. good.
Because what else are birthdays if not a day to celebrate being alive?
To relish in grocery shopping, eating lunch al fresco at your favorite deli, taking the car through the car wash… even working at the restaurant. My yoga practice was brief, but for thirty minutes, I slowed down my every movement, my entire day, really. I was surprised at how effective that was, how potent a thirty-minute practice could be when you go into it with intention and give yourself over fully to that half hour.
The common thread, then, is that today, regardless of my activity, I was present. I lived entirely in the moment and sucked the marrow out of every chore, task, and to-do at hand (apologies to my vegetarian friends;).
Strolling out of Target with a cartfull of groceries, I stepped into the crosswalk to the parking lot and was nearly run over by an elderly woman. It wasn’t that she didn’t see me, it was that she was, for some reason, very upset that I was slowing down her exit from the parking lot. She laid on the horn and even revved her engine as if to mow me down, all the while everyone around me looked as astonished and confused as I was.
And as her car lurched toward me, and I saw her hands thrown up in rage and the silent swearing of her mouth, I got the biggest smile on my face. I felt for her. I did. And I laughed and smiled and hoped that she would realize from my reaction how ridiculous she was being. Here was a woman, likely well into her seventies, who hadn’t figured out what I knew whole-heartedly on my 31st birthday. The bliss is in the slowing down. In the knowing that we will get precisely where we need to go, and that if someone causes us to slow down our day, it’s really a great gift.
Also, pedestrians have the right of way.