Today I learned the importance of looking where you are going. As I was crossing the street this afternoon a man walked directly into me. He was too busy looking right while he was walking on a sharp diagonal left to see me as I attempted to unsuccessfully swerve out of his way. He apologized and I held my tongue, the list of obnoxious things I wanted to say to him was just too long and not very nice (I’m working on being more kind in what I say and how I say it). While I was teaching yoga this morning I uttered the simple words, “look where you are going.” This magically caused every student to accomplish exactly what I was asking them to do with perfect precision and grace. Only moments earlier when I had said, “send your gaze between your hands,” the movement had been clunky and no one had been very successful. There is a great line from an Ani DiFranco song that goes, “When I look down I just miss all the good stuff. When I look up I just trip over things.”
It has become rare for me to really see where I am going, both literally and metaphorically. It’s easy to look in the general direction of where you are going, take a zoned out glance at the landscape for any major hurdles without really taking anything in, and just keep going. I do this a lot. I live in NYC, if I took in everything in my line of vision I would be so overwhelmed with the bombardment of information I would never get from point A to point B. And yet, this lack of clarity in my focus has caused a lot of ungraceful clunking, just like my students this morning. I suppose all of the curveballs thrown my way and all the divergent paths of the last few years have left me feeling like it is best not to make too many idealized notions of what the future will hold. Better to blindly scuffle around with only a foggy notion of where I am going than find myself disappointed or lost within my own life for the umpteenth time. Only, the lack of clarity is slowly turning me into the man who walks straight into strangers and the yoga students who struggle with something their bodies can easily do. I think a little more seeing where I am going is in order, even if by the time I actually get to where I am going the scenery has drastically changed and the old game plans no longer apply.