Finding Joy in the Ordinary

Our current times are anything but “ordinary.”  We face upheaval on so many fronts simultaneously. I recently heard an author on the radio refer to this type of drastic and disorienting change as a “life quake.” There is a longing to “get back to normal,” even as we face the realities that we can’t return to normal just yet, and that new norms will have to be adopted for some time to come.

While so many aspects of life seem extraordinary and chaotic, there is also a sameness to our days. Most of us have minimized going out of the house for any reason. Social interaction and entertainment have ben severely curtailed. My life used to be punctuated by activities I looked forward to: a weekend away for yoga training, a visit to my family in Nebraska, a night downtown for dinner and a Broadway show. All of that, and more, is off the table. For a lot of us, things feel rather flat. 

Layered over the sameness of daily life is anxiety about what the future will hold. We face such hard decisions and questions. Is my job secure? Will my children thrive with remote learning? Will I or my loved ones get sick?

For me, the only way to navigate this intense disruption is to take a deep dive into the present and appreciate ordinary things. Flowers, food, music, conversation.

I observe the movement of a cardinal on a branch. I hear the wind blowing through the tree branches. I smell the fresh parsley as I chop.

I appreciate the kind words of a friend, and remember to tell them that I noticed their thoughtfulness. I strive to be a better listener. I notice the nuances of someone’s smile.

There is so much beauty that we can discover when we take the time to look for it.

As yoga practitioners, we have many tools to learn to be more awake and aware. From the vigor of a back arch to the subtlety of a soft breath, yoga brings us back to the present moment again and again.

This week at Green Tara Yoga, we are focusing on Yoga for Immunity, so take a look at our Schedule of Online Yoga Classes and experience the art of being present through Iyengar Yoga!

I hope we can all give ourselves a break from fears and concerns, and fully experience the present in all its richness. The yogic masters tell us that this is truly the only road to peace.

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One Response to Finding Joy in the Ordinary

  1. Janis Nelson says:

    Beautifully said, Karen. I’m trying to take time to look for the silver linings in the midst of all the chaos and confusion. It’s not always easy, but they are there if you look hard enough.

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