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Arielle Walder

Living In The Moment

Living In The Moment 2100 1494 Gayl Walder Yoga

How Do We Truly Live In the Moment?

You hear it all the time: “You just need to live in the moment,” “Let go and live in the present,” “Live your life right here, right now!”
But how do we actually live in the in moment? This command is such a general statement, yet it is also very complex.  For each of us, “Live in the moment” will mean something entirely different depending on our unique situation.
Firstly, we must understand why living in the moment is so important. The truth is, life goes by incredibly fast. I know that for me, every year of my life seems to pass with increasing speed. As my children grow, the moments seem to escape me: my duties as a wife, mother, writer, and teacher can overtake my life, and make me feel like I’m being taken on a wild journey instead of being the leader of my own journey. Making a commitment to live in the moment gives me the time and space to choose my reactions, instead of recklessly responding to people and events. Living in the moment allows me to enjoy the process of my life instead of rushing towards some far off goal. And, living in the moment allows me to be the woman I want to be: I can simultaneously find joy in my life while confronting the more difficult components. I can be an excellent mother, wife, writer, and teacher instead of letting those roles dictate my reactions.
However, one thing is very clear: when I make a commitment to live in the moment, peace effortlessly overrides overwhelm, joy overtakes frustration, and clarity vanquishes uncertainty. While your own life might look very different from mine, here are a few simple ways you can start living in the moment today.

Take a Break From Tech

One of the most simple ways we can start living in the moment right now is by putting our phones down, or maybe even turning them off altogether! Have you ever sat with a friend, child, parent, spouse, boss, significant other, or even an acquaintance, and noticed that she is not really listening to you or understanding you, all because she’s on her phone? Perhaps the tables are turned, and you are the one on your phone, not really giving others the attention they deserve. We have all been guilty of this in one way or another, and sadly, many do not realize the consequences it has on our relationships, our emotions, and our connections with others.
Let’s start with our younger generation: many children and adolescents have social issues because they are not sure how to have a face-to-face conversation with peers, and even with adults. While the inability to connect in real life can be the result of more serious issues such as non-verbal learning disabilities, it can also be a result of overly immersing our children in technology. The permanent plug-in undoubtedly isolates us, and can keep our children from learning the essential skills they need to build their own communities. By being an example for our own children and making a decision to only use technology for scheduled, focused periods, we can inspire them to connect in real life, and find happiness in nature or by moving their bodies.
On the other hand, many of us have lost important friendships because we were never able to speak to our friends, and we know how difficult it is to maintain a friendship with depth and meaning through texting alone. I feel sad when I call a loved one or friend and they never answer the phone. Instead, they will only text me. I truly enjoy good-old-fashioned eye contact and speaking to people in person. I like to see people smile, and if they are wearing a frown, maybe there is a reason why. We don’t notice these things in a text. We can’t always feel pain, or pick up on something in a text.
If we choose to take a break from our phones and laptops, we can really make a connection to the people around us, and inevitably, we end up living in the moment!

Move Your Body

Movement can ground us in the moment immediately, because it forces us out of our heads and into our bodies. Have you ever felt so busy that your heart rate speeds up and your breathing becomes rapid? Maybe you haven’t even realized the changes in your body because you are moving too quickly through your day and processing the world at such a fast pace.
Ironically, movement is the antidote to time that moves too quickly! When we move, our breathing regulates, we connect to our bodies, and we feel our blood pumping through our veins. Our whirlwind of thoughts immediately dissipates, because we can only think about the movement we are engaging in! Yoga is my preferred form of movement, and I cannot even begin to describe the peace that my practice gives me. It’s so easy to discount making time to work out when we are so busy, but I’ve learned that, when I can commit to my yoga practice on the days where I’m my busiest, I can find more peace in the moments I would usually react to negatively.
Next time you feel like you are overwhelmed or like things in your life are moving at a speed that’s out of control, make the time to move. It could be as simple as throwing on your running shoes and going on a run outside, or making the time to do a yoga class online. You can even set up a yoga session via Skype with me!

Choose What You Love About the Moment

This is the most simple piece of advice I have to share; however, it is truly the most difficult one to implement. When our world is moving at the speed of light, or if things feel too hectic to relax, we must make the conscious choice in every moment of our lives to choose a few things we love about the situation we are in. If you feel overwhelmed by motherhood, choose to focus on the fact that you created incredible children, and that you get to teach them to be the best versions of themselves. As mothers, we are truly making the world better, because we are responsible for making a more compassionate, intelligent, and forward-thinking population.
If you feel overwhelmed by your romantic relationship, make a mental shift to focus on the things you adore about your partner. If you feel overwhelmed by work, think about the things your job allows you, such as a salary in which you can fund your life, a community of colleagues, and the opportunity to contribute to something bigger than yourself.
This process is certainly easier said than done. However, the benefits are revolutionary. Choosing love in every moment, no matter what, gives us the opportunity to be in control of our own reactions, and therefore, in control of our own life. When we surrender to love no matter what the situation is, we truly are living in the moment.
Play around with these three ideas, and see what it feels like when you surrender to the moment you’re in right now!
Love,
Gayl

Saying Yes to Adventure

Saying Yes to Adventure 2942 2180 Gayl Walder Yoga

Here’s What Happened When I Said Yes to Adventure

A few months ago, my oldest friend Michelle (we’ve been friends for 40 years) told me I had to apply to take a trip Israel with a women’s group. She took this trip 5 years ago, and said it was life-changing. I actually noticed the powerful effect the journey had on her as soon as she arrived back home.  It was as if she glowed from the inside out – like she had a secret to life that the rest of us were missing out on. However, because I was still struggling with my health issues, I was very hesitant to take the trip myself. I also did not know how I could possibly travel to another country with people I had never met before.  And, most importantly, I had never been to Israel or Europe, or even considered journeying to these places, because of a story I have told myself for so many years: I can’t leave my family.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve told myself that my family needed me.  And because I believed that my family needed me, I was afraid of what would happen if I traveled on my own and left them behind.  As a result, I became a side character in my own movie, and my family was the star.
Don’t get me wrong: I have an incredible life.  My children like it when I do things with other moms, and they are supportive when my husband and I go out with our friends. But, I still enjoy being home and being available to my children.  I know that kids grow up too fast, and there are always challenges that I want to support them through.  However, the consequence of this is that my daily to-do list is never ending, and the amount of hats I wear has increased throughout the years.
I do have cleaning help, but there are just certain things no one can do for me. I enjoy driving my son to school and picking him up whenever I am able to. I enjoy cooking and organizing, and I actually like going through paperwork – filling out forms for kids, schools, charities, organizations, and bills is just something that others cannot do for me. Also, the kind of love and support I give as a mom and wife is a tool that no one else can provide for my family.  I am the CEO of my home, and one that you can’t put a price tag on, because my job lasts for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
What I have discovered is that even though I love what I do, I have been so stuck for so many years. I am stuck, because I am so used to giving to everyone, that I always put myself last. This is no one’s fault; not even my own. We become creatures of habit: we have patterns that we engage in for so long that we don’t realize we are even engaging in them! There is a Sanskrit word, Samskaras, which translates to “habits” or “patterns,” which sometimes can be very hard to break.
After examining my beliefs and my fears, and after looking at my own Samskaras, I knew it was time to try something new.
I interviewed for the Israel trip that was being organized for the fall, and found out over 120 women applied while there were only 41 spots available! October seemed far away, but I suddenly got an email explaining that the trip organizers were in deliberation about the trip and choosing who would go. They told me another group was going in July, and said I could go with that group, but only if I could give my answer by the next day.
I discussed this with my husband, and told him I that I needed to go.  I explained to my family why it was important that I’d be traveling alone.
I took the final step, and I told the ladies in charge I was saying yes to Israel! I woke up the next day, and felt happier than I had felt in years. At my core, I am a happy and positive person, but this was a different kind of happy. It was like a spark was lit inside of me, and I felt as if I had a new purpose. Every day since I said yes, I have become a little more excited. What made it even more special is that my family was happy for me.
My kids have all been to Israel, and they wanted me to experience what they did. Some of their friends live in Israel now, for school and for other reasons, and I I can see and almost feel how happy they are there. I am excited to visit with them.
So today, I began a new chapter in my life…the unknown. I’m on the plane to Israel to share 8 days with 16 women I have met only once at a group meeting. We have an itinerary that is quite full. We will be visiting different parts of Israel, experiencing culture and tradition; along the way, there will be spiritual talks and growth groups, but above all else, there will be a sisterhood. I will be with women who are there for a similar reason, yet we all have our own special reasons for embarking on this adventure. I have many: self-love, discovery, letting go, sharing, opening up, exploring, and most importantly, healing my mind, body, and soul by just taking care of me. For the first time, I will do my best to take care of Gayl, and trust that everyone will be okay. I have surrendered, and I have no plan; I’m just excited to see what the next chapter has in store for me .
Perhaps the next chapter will be called “adventure.”
Please stay tuned for updates from my travels!
And please be sure to always say yes when an adventure comes your way!
Love,
Gayl
Gayl Walder Yoga