Taking a Leap into One's True Potential
Monday, January 30, 2012
“Life is a travelling to the edge of knowledge, then a leap taken.” -David Herbert Lawrence
I have always found it very peculiar that every four years we get an extra day in February, but to be honest, until today I never really took a leap into exploring why that is the case.
I found a scientific and somewhat satisfying answer on WIKIPEDIA,and from there I also read STRAIGHT DOPE’s explanation. Now, I am no math whiz, but the more I read, the more contrived the answer became. I realized I had better stop trying to reason out the following list of exceptions –
Every year divisible by 4 is a leap year (adds an extra day to February),
EXCEPT the last year of each century, such as 1900, which is NOT a leap year . . .
EXCEPT when the number of the century is a multiple of 4, such as 2000, which IS a leap year ...
EXCEPT the year 4000 and its later multiples (8000, 12000, etc.) which are NOT leap years.
– and just go back to my comfort zone of pondering the existential opportunity this EXTRA day offers, all the while breathing a sigh of relief to know that not finding a clear-cut answer is THE answer. WHEW!
The Zen Master Dogen stated:
The life of one day is enough to rejoice.
Even though for just one day, if you can be awakened, that one day is vastly superior to one endless life of sleep...
if this day in the lifetime of a hundred years is lost, will you ever touch it with your hands again?
This is where I ask myself, what does being totally awake and present mean to me right now? In the finite number of years I have to live, what do I want to do with my time? How could exercising an even more mindful approach to life enhance my quality of life? And as a yoga therapist, how can I support others in doing the same? I guess this extra day in February could come in handy after all.
Just as 2012 is our Leap Year, the last day of this short month is our Leap Day. And that is what I think we all should do! Take action. Do something. Move forward. Be proactive. Jump out of a rut. And LEAP towards our true potential. Most importantly, be present with who you are and where you are RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW!
So, if you are already enjoying each and every moment you know what it means to live life to the fullest. Then you also already get what it means to have an entire EXTRA day (24 hours or 86,400 seconds) to experience life in such a magical way.
But,for those of us still asking ourselves: “So what is so precious about an entire extra day every 4 years?”, I hope that even non-Trekkies will see the value of watching this short scene called “The Perfect Moment” from the STAR TREK: INSURRECTION film in which Capt. Picard learns the amazing benefit of being present and fully awake.
I realized that I worked way too hard in 2011. While I was able to revamp my website, grow my private yoga therapy practice, establish a series of well-received workshops and take on the extra responsibilities of leadership within the Naked Men’s Yoga SF community, by the time I got to my end-of-the-year retreat in Hawaii, I was exhausted and it took me quite some time to overcome feeling unmotivated and uninspired. Now, I realize that amount of self-disclosure coming from a yoga therapist might be taken the wrong way; but as I proceed into this leap year, I set an intention to realign my work ethic with my yoga ethics. It is such an honor to do the work I do, but I am taking my own advice – something I learned from the airlines – that indeed I need to “put on my own oxygen mask first.” That is what I am leaping towards: a better balance between serving others and taking care of myself.
The cellist Yo-Yo Ma once said:
Things can fall apart, or threaten to, for many reasons, and then there's got to be a leap of faith.
Ultimately, when you're at the edge, you have to go forward or backward; if you go forward, you have to jump together.
Here I would like to invite you to come along with me on this interesting Journey, to mindfully take a leap into whatever will make your life more fulfilling, more rewarding, more satisfying.
The world really needs you and me right now. And the more we nurture ourselves and those around us, the better the world will be. We can sit around and wait for the economy to turn around, or we can spend more quality time with one another. We can complain about how things are getting worse, or we can realize that by simply being kinder to one another we are adding to the positive energy of our whole community. We can let fear immobilize us or we can foster courage and take a leap of faith.
And in the words of the greenest leaper of them all, Kermit the Frog:
Kermit: [singing] Life's like a movie, write your own ending...
All Muppets: [singing] Keep believing, keep pretending; we've done just what we've set out to do, thanks to the lovers, the dreamers and YOU!