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Tuesday, September 30, 2014
I am in the midsts of never-ending activity. We are busy. In two weeks we celebrate our big event of the year. It is a literary festival that begins in one capital city and ends in another capital city...in another country. My colleagues are the best in the industry. I count them as part of my blessings. We have fun, put tremendous effort into this and enjoy the harvest of a whole year's planting and tending. This, however, is not simple. We deal with daily complications, drawbacks, stumbling blocks, difficult personalities, government-agency bureaucracy and obstacles that result in high levels of anxiety and frustration. We are masters though. We handle it. Yet, it takes its toll.
Some of us are not sleeping well either because we are pulling all-nighters or because worry is keeping us up. Some of us have fallen ill. Some of us have shortened our tempers. Some of us are ready to go into a self-created witness protection program or a psychiatric ward. I could be anyone of these and right when I felt like succumbing to the pressure I snapped my fingers and decided to go to what I know.
Monday began with a long list of tasks to take charge of, meetings to go to, instances of having to be in two places at once. My head was pounding, my heart was racing and my mood was awful. I decided I would accomplish it all. So I dropped everything. Yes I did.
I woke up and stayed in my darkened room. I rose slowly and mindfully became aware of everything I could sense–the chilly air from the air conditioner, the smell left over from the incense I burned the night before, the sliver of sunlight peeking in through the window, the faint birdsong coming from a few trees away, the silence still looming in the house. I resisted the urge to check my phone for messages and email. I sat for a while in easy pose on my bed with my eyes open, focused on my breath. I stayed there and meditated for a while. I didn't set an alarm. I don't know how long I meditated for. Somehow I knew when I was done. I felt ready. Somehow I knew what to do.
It was great. My list of things to do was still there, as were the meetings I had to attend and my responsibilities. With these, though, was a sense of calm and direction. I was able to accomplish many things. I was able to help. I was able to serve. Nothing changed, yet everything was different©.
This is what my meditation practice has helped me be–strengthened, temperate, thankful, trusting. And with this comes the ability to enjoy what I do in every area of my life. I am able to be a bastion, to be strong yet allowing, to have an easy sense of things, to put things in perspective, to not assimilate the crisis mode around me, to be enthusiastic, efficient, positive, empathic, present, healthy, collaborative, assertive and supportive. Meditation connects me to spiritual guidance. It helps me to connect with those I love, with those I collaborate with, with my friends, my family and those around me.
After many years of practicing meditation, I am still sometimes surprised by its benefits. I found myself that Monday, sometime in the middle of the day, saying It works! I was calm, cool and collected in the middle of it all. How about you try it? What if it works for you? Today is a good day to begin with a thought of appreciation and a few minutes in meditation. Everything else will be waiting for you afterwards. The difference will be in the way you receive it.