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May 11, 2017

The Exquisite Nectar of Being.

A post shared by Lisa Erickson (@breathenease) on

I couldn’t stop smiling as I danced uninhibitedly around my room, twirling and leaping, reveling in the joy of the movement. I played the same song over and over, giggling at the lyrics and spinning in circles, unabashedly basking in freedom.

I was utterly at one with the present moment, wrapped in a blanket of delight.

It feels like I am so rarely in this space. Usually, I’m too involved with the thoughts swirling in my head—worrying, anticipating, planning, analyzing, and generally overthinking everything. I’m physically here, my mind is not.

But, there is an unmatched, almost indescribable beauty in relishing in the right now. It’s a divine, inherent, primal sort of satisfaction.

Serenity sweeps through me as I exist in a space that is somehow everywhere and nowhere at once. I am here, but the “here” is more internal than physical. The world around me falls away.

It’s as if I am removed. Nothing apart from what I’m experiencing exists. It can’t, because I’m not thinking about anything. I’m just…being.

I become gloriously untethered, free from restraints, unburdened by the roles I’m expected to fulfill. Instead, it’s just me, here, now, inhabiting all that is this moment.

I usually tend to believe these moments choose me. They arrive so completely, so suddenly that it’s like they are happening to me, rather than me having any part in evoking them.

But that’s not entirely the case. They also happen because I strive to live my life in a way that prioritizes living in the moment. I work to put myself in a headspace where I am open to receive all that life has to offer.

I meditate. I reflect. I go on long walks outside in nature because nothing makes me feel as alive or connected to the world around me. I know what brings me joy and tranquility, and I make a conscious effort to do those things.

I can still feel the freedom I felt a few years ago on an early morning run around the Charles River. My body felt so buoyant I’m not sure I felt it at all. I had forgotten that a world outside of me existed. It became clear to me that this was life—this total immersion in presence. The rest of it—the daily life I’m generally consumed in—is a game I had momentarily stopped playing.

I was simply life living through me.

There is an effusive, all-encompassing contentment in truly experiencing the present moment. Several months ago I was standing in line at the grocery store when I looked at the man in front of me. I really looked at him. It’s as if I had never actually looked at another person before.

Suddenly, it wasn’t just some man in line in front of me, another impediment preventing me from moving on with my day, but rather, this human being; this beautiful, full life force, simply doing his best to live the happiest life he could. I didn’t know him, but I knew him.

I felt an instant, immense tenderness for this man. Tears filled my eyes and I had to intentionally stop myself from crying. It’s like I’d realized something I didn’t even know was possible.

For the briefest moment of time, I’d eradicated a haze that shadows my every experience.

I’ve realized that I am so frequently lost in my thoughts that I miss out on the vibrancy of life all around me. I can’t really see it, or feel it, because I’m blocked.

But sometimes, I am open. By intentionally bringing myself to the present moment, to whatever I am currently doing, I am able to fully embody it.

I notice the beauty of the clouds as they pass across the sky, the energy emanating from a chorus of birds chirping in the early morning, the rippling waves of sensation that pass through my chest when I hear a song that speaks to my soul.

In these moments, when I am enchanted by the sunrise or running without feeling anything around me, something larger, more expansive has taken over. And, I let it, because it’s what I’m intrinsically longing for.

If I could live in this space every moment of every day, I would, because there is nothing that compares.

It is the distinct, delicious, exquisite nectar of being.

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Author: Lisa Erickson 
Image: Author’s Own, Flickr/New 1lluminati
Editor: Travis May

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Lisa Erickson