Living “I Am” Moments

Last semester I took the Ayurvedic Lifestyle course at CCNM, taught by Matthew Remski.  In this course, one of the ideas that most resonated with me was the concept of “I Am” Moments.  These are moments where the past and future fall away and we become ingrained in the present moment.  Some of you might refer to them as moments of pure passion or exhilaration.

The best examples of I Am Moments are seen in animals.  When I take my dog to High Park, the moment I reach down to unclasp his leash and set him free, he enters his state of “I Am.”  Ears flying back, fur plastered against his face as he tears through the inner city forest, he loses all sense of past, present and future and becomes the being he was born to be.   You can almost hear him exclaiming “I am I am I Am a DOG!”

He’s not self-conscious about the fact that his legs are flopping awkwardly behind him, that his body is too long or too low to the ground or that his fur is too shaggy.  As he pauses for a second to turn to me with his mouth open in what can only be described as a “doggy smile”, I can almost hear him say, “thank you thank you thank you for not stuffing me into a purse and taking me to the mall.  Thank you for letting me race, chase and roll in poop! Thank you for letting me be the way that nature designed me, thank you for letting me be a DOG!”

So, there you have it, an example of an “I Am” Moment.

I can perfectly identify my own I Am Moments, which I’ve experienced since childhood.  I’m in a large, open space, full of art materials, where I am free to make a mess, get dirty and move freely, I have paints, canvasses, paper, pictures and glue. Whether I decide to paint a landscape or construct a giant papier maché bird mask, I am free to sculpt, to paint and to CREATE.

When I enter this state, time no longer seems to matter and I just melt into the moment.  I feel that I am doing something perfectly natural for me and, in honouring nature, it is as if I enter into a state of Wholeness; I become a part of everything and everything becomes a part of me.

Your own I Am Moments may be stimulated by different things.  You may have them when you run, dance, horseback ride or mountain climb.  Perhaps you enter your I Am Moment when you take a patient history, solve a mathematical equation, buy and sell stocks, prepare a nutritious meal, teach a class, drive your car or relax with an inspiring book and a cup of steaming tea.

During these moments you lose a sense of the details of your life and of your problems, which no longer seem important or relevant.  You cease to care about how your butt looks in your jeans, if you’re wearing the right shoes, if your hair is too frizzy or the fight you had with your mother.  Your mind is absolutely clear of thoughts and you feel a sense of connection with the (excuse me) Divine.  You feel as if you’re flowing with everything, as if you are part of the whole.

The point of this post is to get you to think about and honour these I Am Moments in your life.  If you can’t put your finger on a specific time that you had a sense of I Am, I encourage you to think back to your childhood.  Children continually operate out of “I Am” because they are naturally unself-conscious.  That is, until they become corrupted with our adult insecurities and “lessons” about the importance of what others think.  As a kid you operated from an uninhibited place, where you were stimulated by an awe of life and lived in the novelty of the present.

When you discover what triggers these moments in your life, make an effort to create time for them and use them as inspiration for the rest of your life. I Am Moments are the key to getting us back to our natural state; a state that is free of disease, in which the energy of our own vitality can flow freely.

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