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In addition to making art, I’m also an Ayurveda specialist and yoga teacher, so many of my designs are about concepts I learned in my studies. I made this one when thinking about how vital it is to be present and how it actually takes a little work to stay present (a lot of work when the world seems to be falling down around us). Have you ever gotten so distracted this past year by the news that your whole day went by and you didn’t really do anything you’d planned on? Or have you convinced yourself that multitasking works and find yourself with 16 unfinished tasks at the end of day. I have, for sure! Or, how about those experiences of being with others who were so distracted you weren’t even sure they knew you were sitting right in front of them? Or when you’re the one distracted, how disconnected you feel afterwards? Presence is important not only for relations but also for the health of our own minds, spirits and even our bodies. Your physiology benefits when you dial down into the task at hand. When eating a meal, be present to the tastes and textures and be there in your mind. And if you are with others, be present to them without disengaging from the act of eating. This is something to try no matter what you’re doing but especially impactful when eating so you aren’t asking your physiology to do too many things at once. When we’re eating while multitasking or on the go, it can disrupt digestion. Of course at times we can’t avoid this but if done repeatedly it can cause health problems (Ayurveda believes all imbalances begin in the digestive system). It’s also why getting to bed by 10 or no later than 11 is important. During the pitta time of day (10-2), your body’s digestive fire is strongest. That’s why lunch should be your biggest meal and why getting to bed by 10-11 is so vital. If you’re in bed by 10 you’re letting your body focus on the task at hand - metabolizing the food and all the experiences you took in for the day. It seems too simple to be effective but try it for a week and see what happens. Aligning with nature’s rhythms in this way and being present to the now (and when necessary, shielding yourself from the negativity by turning the TV off) can bring balance, even contentment and, in the end, more productivity as well. And, here’s a quote I love by Eckart Tolle:
“Just look and just listen. No more is needed. Being still, looking, and listening activates the non-conceptual intelligence within you. Let stillness direct your words and actions.”