A couple years ago, right about this time, my life was a process of transformations. Significant ones. Life changers. World changers. Personal, spiritual, career, love: you name it, it was changing. It seemed like Bif Naked had a song for every single transformation, every single condition I was experiencing. My Whole Life, Lucky, Violence, Hold On, That’s Life, Nothing Else Matters, I Love Myself Today, That’s Life With Me, Tell On You, Religion, Choking On The Truth. Hell, the titles themselves tell a story, don’t they? Bif was on my iPod in high rotation, and there were many days spent driving around town, or between Whistler and Vancouver on the gorgeous Sea-to-Sky highway, belting these songs out at the top of my lungs with her.
In times of high stress, I often do a simple breathing exercise. while taking deep breaths, I say in my mind, “Breathing in…Breathing out”. It’s remarkably calming, centreing, stops the otherwise ceaseless circular chatter of doubts and fear and second-guessing running through my mind and brings me back to the here and now. With it, I re-connect to my body and my inner self, pruning away all the external noise.
But there were days even that wouldn’t work. On days when I could barely breathe, and there were many of those, I would sing this song under my breath. When I got my breath back, I’d sing it out loud. Everyday worked when nothing else could. It kept me from collapsing into puddles of anxiety, grief, fear, anguish, self-doubt and self-pity. If not entirely happy, I could keep myself entirely functional which, given the state I was sometimes in, could only be classified as an utter triumph.
Everyday reminds me that the only moment is now. The past is history. The future unwritten. The only moment that matters is the one you’re presently living. Feel the sensations of the moment. Live in the conditions of the moment. Living in the moment got me through the moments that make up a day, the days that make up a week, and the transitions that transform a life.