YOU ARE HERE
by Sandra Bark
Despite advancements in technology, despite my personal GPS, despite those uncanny satellites. Even though I can see the blue dot that is me sliding around the city. Even though I can compute directions with the swipe of a button.
Sure, I can tell you how many miles to the Brooklyn Bridge, but I cannot tell you how many steps towards victory, or how many away from defeat. How many towards happiness and away from anguish. How many from broken to spry, or from healthy to infirm. No matter how confidently I stride, the truth is, I have no idea where I am on the map of my life.
In a mall, the “you are here” triangle helps us pinpoint which corridor leads to the Gap and which one to the frozen yogurt. In a national park, “you are here” shows us how far we are from the parking lot, how close to the summit.
But when you are contemplating accepting the promotion or telling them you’re quitting; moving to California or to France; saying yes or saying no; making the leap or taking a seat, there’s no handy grid, none at all.
In the real world, there’s no Google street view to help you anticipate what might be around the metaphorical corner. It’s all trees, no forest.
That’s why I practice yoga: because my mat is like a big, blue “you are here” sign. That’s useful, because “here” is so easy to miss. So I unroll my mat for the daily reminders that this is my body, this is my breath, this is how I feel right now, right this moment, not later, not tomorrow, not next week, but NOW, right NOW, right this second, right on this mat, right here. Blue marks the spot.
The old adage says that wherever you go, there you are. But it’s not true. We never get there. We never reach tomorrow, no matter how brightly tomorrow’s sun shines. We never get to later, no matter how many times we say “we’ll do it later.”
In life, it’s always today. It’s always now. We’re always here, no matter how lost we feel. Practicing reminds me that just because you can’t see the forest doesn’t mean you can’t pause to appreciate the trees.
Wherever you go, here you are.