Thank you to MindBodyGreen.com for posting a quote this morning that reminded me of one of the most thought-provoking interviews I’ve done in my career.
They shared this Eckhart Tolle quote from Power of Now:
“Wherever you are, be there totally. If you find you’re here and now intolerable and it makes you unhappy, you have three options: remove yourself from the situation, change it, or accept it totally.”
It made me think of a quote from author and psychoneuroimmunologst, Paul Pearsall.
I had the great fortune of interviewing Pearsall at his home in Hawaii years ago for a project I was working on about the health benefits of love and sex. As a psychoimmunologist, he studies how the mind impacts the body.
In addition to his books the Pleasure Prescription and Sexual Healing, both about the healing power of love, he also wrote a book called Toxic Success. During our interview about that, he said to two quotes that I will never forget.
1. “I’m not saying work less. I’m saying, when you’re at work, be at work. When you’re at home, be at home. We spend so much time at work wishing we were home and so much time at home thinking about work. Wherever you are, be there.”
2. “The work will be there when the rainbow is gone but the rainbow won’t wait for you to finish your work.”
It’s the same lesson we learn from yoga – BE PRESENT. By being present, you calm the mind. When you calm the mind, you are more effective in whatever it is you are doing, whether it’s your yoga practice, work, or being with a friend or a loved one.
It’s also about enjoying the moment – even if that moment is at work. If you aren’t enjoying the moment, shift your focus. Remember why it is you are where ever you are and doing whatever it is you’re doing. And if you don’t like it, change it.
There’s actually even more to the rainbow story that’s worth sharing.
When we went to Hawaii for the shoot, I had very specifically laid out plans as far as interviews we needed to do and beauty shots we needed to get. We interviewed Pearsall on Thursday and then I had set aside a few hours on Friday to shoot the beauty shots around the island and do other interviews that required being outside.
We had a great day Thursday and had that awesome interview in the can. Friday morning I woke up early to go for a run, and, wouldn’t you know it, it was raining! My first reaction was one of frustration – even anger.
How could it be raining? That was going to ruin my plans for getting the outdoor shots! Here I was all the way in Hawaii and I wasn’t going to have any shots for my stories of the incredible landscape.
As I ran, I let this negativity infiltrate my brain. So much so, that I nearly missed the rainbow that appeared in front of me in all its ROY G. BIV brilliance.
I took a deep breath and it hit me like a giant pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow. Without life’s struggles, there would be no appreciation of the joy in overcoming challenges. There will be good times. There will be bad times. It’s being present in every moment that allows us to see the beauty that’s right in front of us.
Within moments, the rainbow disappeared, but years later, the lesson of the rainbow remains.
It’s so easy to rush through life and not take notice of what’s happening around you. Instead, just as yoga teaches us, slow down. Breathe. Just be where you are. If you don’t, you might just miss the rainbow.