Today is the first day of the rest of my life, it also happens to be the first day of the rest of this year.
I thought I ought to dedicate, if only at least just one paragraph of this post, to all things last year I had wanted and did not get, did not have a chance to do, did not realize I had to, or should have made a change for.
As I started to rewind my memories, to reflect on a year I am fairly certain I will never call my favorite year…ever, I was haunted by my own written words, the title of my essay, “My Present, Moment.” It dawned on me that today is a brand new day, and a new year at that, a new minute and a new moment.
And, whether I tried hard to just focus on the moment, I could not escape the memories of the insanity of trying to fix relationships that were not fixable, the sadness of being paralyzed, unable to walk, unable to act, unable to run, and having to face things because of my body’s inability to move, let alone get away…
While it is true that living in the moment is the wisest and only way one should ever live, I cannot erase my past, and thoughts and ideas, while amazingly crafted and beautifully written, are sometimes hard to practice. All is wonderful in theory, all is wonderful in prose, but to act upon and live according to the ideas which each and every one of us believes in is the biggest challenge of them all.
Yogi Steve always yells in class the all-truthful, all-encompassing pairing of words made into a sentence that I should tattoo on my forehead… “No fight, no flight”, the truthful and almost impossible to act upon concept.
I ended last year on a sour note and started this year on the same one. Unfortunately there was no sage bath, no amount of grapes that could wash off the sense of loss, the lack of hope, of almost total despair.
I cried, I felt alone and I felt unloved. I had wished for 2011 to end fast. My Yoga mind and spirit were nowhere to be found before midnight, and as the clock turned to 12:00, my 11:59 feelings of 2011 still remained, untouched, here, in 2012, a year I desperately needed to be perfect. And so I ran away again from myself, and from Dee O…my most loved one. I could not bear these old feelings to have remained robust with me, to have traveled through time by my side. I was not only fleeing, I was also fighting my deepest fear, that the clock would not miraculously and magically just erase the all pain I had inside. I was right.
My yoga spirit has failed me for most of the day on this first day of the year, the day I needed it the most. I would have hoped that the taste of this New Year would have been sweeter, but my fears, my past and my ego are so very hard to escape. It was a New Year and I did not feel blissful, happy or hopeful.
I know sadness and pain are sometimes unavoidable steps one needs to walk to get somewhere better. I also know I am not supposed to hope for something better, but to live “in the present moment”, and while I am working very hard toward that goal, I am still light years away from ever truly achieving it. I guess that is the beauty of yoga in my life. Yoga has the key to opening a place in my heart where there is a deep understanding that whatever is going on right now, old pains, my past, my biggest oops, my own insecurities are not me, they are the rides that have brought me here, to this exact moment, so I can know that I am the strength of my heart and not its pain.
Life is not about instant midnight happiness or unrealistic expectations, it is about accepting whatever it throws at you—and boy, does it throw! It is not about having every moment be a replica of our sometimes foolish and unrealistic end of the year expectations. Life is like holding on to a crow pose while you feel like an ass, and the beauty is not in the pose itself, but in the strength one gets by not quitting, not ever.
Assistant Editor: Soumyajeet Chattaraj
Almudena Alcazar is an Actor, Producer and Writer. She was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and has traveled and lived throughout the world. After attending many a school but never graduating from any of them, she has studied Law, Philosophy, Political Science and Art History. She continues to pursue her studies in Motherhood, Love, Relationships, Humanities, Veganism, Yoga and Hopeful Spiritual Transcendence at the Université de C’est la Vie, School of You Better get Used to it… Find your Happiness Within. Passionate daily Ashtanga practitioner and thrice a week instructor.