I think meditating is a very important element to leading a full life. I find that I hear people saying often how busy and stressful today’s world is, that we never get a break. I often nod in agreement, maybe chuckle, and then return to being busy and stressed out.
I refuse to do this anymore. I am trying a new strategy where I do not give in to the feeling of stress so easily. It often does not help. “Fear is the Mind-Killer.” I’ll give you an example of a way that I applied this to my life recently.
I had a mid-term exam in my sign language class. It was primarily receptive, which means the professor was signing, and the students had to figure out the meaning and write it down. I was initially feeling stressed out because I felt less prepared than I would have liked, and there were all the usual pressures of a big test. Then, I realized that stressing out would not help anything. It only made me feel worse for the day. It was my coping mechanism for fear of failure, but it couldn’t change how well I could do. I decided to just enjoy the process, even if I did fail the test. At least I could laugh in the meantime, and surprise my professor with a goofy answer if I didn’t catch the right one.
What I found was that it was actually easier to remember signs and figure out context while I was relaxed and making a game out of it. Not a lot: it wasn’t as if I understood all of it, but I was able to get a bit more of the meaning, which helped.
I have found this to be true in most scenarios of my life. Most have a tendency to react with stress, but this actually accomplishes very little in most situations, and could end up having a negative result. My resolve is to remain calm and do what I can.
One activity that helps embody this concept well is meditation. It can be, at a basic level, just a calming of the mind. Easing the stress, you are able to find what exists without that stress. I have found many to parallel the concepts of meditation with everyday life, and I hope to experience more of this in my own life.
Here is a site that offers a sampling of meditation practice that I will be trying over the next few weeks. I invite all of you to join me. At the very least, I invite you to shed as much daily stress as you can.