2 February 2016
Love the moment, and the energy of that moment will spread beyond all boundaries. ~Corita Kent
In her biography, Bossypants, Tina Fey has a great section about saying yes to the moment. In her instructions for creating improvisational comedy, her first rule is that you agree. You say yes to whatever your comedy partner proposes. No matter how silly or unpromising or unexpected it may seem to you, your role is to agree. Then, from there, you build on and add to. ‘Yes…and…’
Fey’s guidelines, as she suggests, have an all-of-life application. I’m finding saying ‘yes…and…’ helps me climb on board and partner constructively with life.
When I accept the moment, no matter how silly or unpromising or unexpected, I come into an authentic relationship with the present. I am seeing and hearing. I am letting it in. I am respecting the fact of it.
This can be such a big step when the current situation is uncomfortable or risky. It’s tempting to brush aside an unpleasant or frightening feeling, to cover it over, or try to rearrange circumstances. Ultimately, I find this won’t usually work.
Creating a satisfying relationship with our life, our moments, seems to me like creating any long-term relationship. Over the long haul, we need to show up and add to on the glorious days, the tough patches and everything in between.
Focusing on being more honest and present with my moments is not about striving, nor about pushing myself harder to achieve yet another goal. I think it’s actually more like the opposite. It’s about releasing my need to control, letting my guard down and trusting myself to be with whatever is.
I can so miss on this. I can knee-jerk a ‘no!’ in nothin’ flat. I can burn up a massive amount of moments resenting what is. Thinking my husband should be different. Should-ing on myself to be more.
But gradually, on what’s been a long road for me, I’m coming to a bone-deep acceptance that this moment, the very present moment, is unchangeable. Deepak Chopra writes in The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success:
This moment — the one you’re experiencing right now — is the culmination of all the moments you have experienced in the past. This moment is as it is because the entire universe is as it is. When you struggle against this moment, you’re actually struggling against the entire universe.
Wishing for a different present moment is fighting the whole world of what is. All around the world are things that are beyond my control. Out of my hands.
It turns out, that this moment is what is at hand. This moment is where creativity and creation begin. Where laughter emerges and love can evolve. Where fresh options lay waiting. And, where expansion into a new understanding tweaks everything to come.
Each new moment is unique. Each is a cosmos, an infinite realm of experience and input. Each is the bright flash from which I spring forward.
Walking into the moment, rather than resisting it, is stepping into a place of both expanded awareness and power.
Initially, this feels awkward, even scary to me. Like opening the door to a stranger. But with practice, it’s getting more comfortable, like opening the door to a friend, someone I want to invite in and deepen my relationship with.
When I say yes, I notice a subtle change in my body. Abandoning the struggle to ‘perfect’ the moment or brace against it, there’s a release of deeply held tension. Followed by a gentle quickening, a freer flow of life, an emergent inquisitiveness.
Whether I consider it sweet or sour, each moment is a full cup. When I align with the moment as it is, I can drink deep and nourish a hard-wired need for connection. The deep thirst for connection is quenched by moments of presence; with others, with spirit, with nature, with self.
Although it’s not always easy and certainly isn’t automatic for me yet, it is an amazingly simple and profoundly powerful thing to affirm my willingness to engage in the moment, to partake of my life. To say yes…and…