Practical Mommy’s Impractical Art Project

Step 7: NOW

So my friend Scott the Writer says that all thoughts are connected — because the brain is one giant self-organizing system. Perhaps my self-organizing brain picked out Coyote Blue at the bookstore last week for a reason unapparent to me. I am fully aware, however that I underlined this passage on page 97 because of my preoccupation with balance!

And then it came to him. This was just a different kind of coyote blue — trying to look into the future too far was ruining his balance. He had to focus on right now and eventually he would learn what he needed to know when the future got to him.

And this is why I love the mindfulness that is Argentine tango. Just like Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh teaches (and apparently “Zen Master” Christopher Moore), there is only now.

If I anticipate the next step, I mess up the one I’m trying to do. If I obsess about the last one, I’ll also miss the lead for the current one. There is only now.

Magic happens when two dancers can meet each other in that “now moment.” I’ve found that this requires a vigilant presentness on my part. Not only is there only this step and this partner but also this step with this partner. What I mean is that with every tanda, I must wipe clean all expectations for my new partner, not just in comparison to my last partner but in comparison to the last time I danced with this same person. A clean slate.

I’ve talked/coached this same “presentness,” this Yogi Parenting, many times here and offline. How can we release all of the baggage of the future and the past with our kids? When the tantrum is unfolding in the present, is my mind jumping ahead to my 16-year old who’s running away from home? Or, is my mind re-living what would have happened had I sassed my grandmother the way my daughter is doing? Can I meet my presently 8-year old where she really is right now — upset because she’s tired and frustrated that her bike’s tires are flat?

The magic happens in the now moment. That’s where life is.

Related Articles

Step 6: … In Heels!
Step 5: But, I’m Walking Backwards!
Step 4: Lead & Follow
Step 3: Just Step
Step 2: But Why Tango?
Step 1: The Dance

Practical Mommy is Ria Sharon, co-creator of the Yogi Parenting course. If you are ready for parenting to be easier, more fun and less stressful, sign up for a free Yogi Parenting lesson.


  1. BRILLIANT post. I’m bookmarking this one to revisit.

    Another dimension to the dance and zen relationship is center. If I’m not centered, I can’t feel the rhythm of the dance (which I never could find with the Argentine Tango) or hear past my kid’s whine. I agree there is only now, but it helps to start with checking where you’re at first and getting centered. Yes, there was even zen wisdom in Ice Cube’s lyrics (which I often say to my kids), “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself.” 🙂