Leisurely floating around on my paddle board. I’m sideways, belly down, legs submerged under cool water, dangling my arms, and contently gazing down at the lake bottom. I’m holding on to the last days of summer like it was my job! My back body is hot, soaking up the last days of Idaho sun before school starts, and the layering of clothes begin. The water is clear, maybe 5 or 6 feet deep, in my line of vision I see things. A waterlogged chunk of wood, sand, clumps of matted seaweed, beer cans and some assorted trash. I find myself starting to create imaginary senerios where I catch the culprit in the act of throwing the trash in the lake. I imagine the things I would say, my anger starting to fester, I imagine even having them dive down and retrieve the garbage, then my mind starts to contemplate the amount of trash in the ocean and in no time I’m feeling stressed and helpless!!! It dawns on me I’m not as relaxed as I was when I first started out. As a Yoga teacher and meditator, I ask myself, can I gaze at the lake bottom with equanimity? In meditation we practice observing our thoughts without attachment, and sometimes we are able to forget we are the observer and just Be. I re-relax my back body, my face, take some mindful breaths and re-open my eyes. I’m feeling a little refreshed, rebooted. Now as I gaze down objects appear, minnows, branches and yes even trash! With this new awareness, I’m able to observe the objects simply as they are- perfectly imperfect objects. It’s not foolproof, my mind tries to butt in and be unruly, but again I relax and come home to breath, and let go. After a little while I notice how awake, aware and relaxed I am. Witnessing with whole presence is an amazing thing. Presence feels like being totally alive and relaxed at the same time, now if I could only master this when I’m driving!!!