Perhaps you know someone like my mother. She was a poster child for worry. She worried about everything; anxiety about what might go wrong in the future dominated her mind. And there was plenty to be anxious about. What if …?
There were medical bills, rising food prices, jobs that didn’t pay enough, home and car repairs, relationship concerns. It was a long list. Her mind was distracted by all the pressures of daily life, and yet this seems all so normal, or is it?
As a child, I naturally thought, this is life. If you didn’t worry about the future, you’d be unprepared for what would come your way – vigilance is needed. Right?
Somewhere along the way, as a teenager, I found myself thinking that life should be better than this. My parents were taken back when as a teenager, I proclaimed that I would never live like they did – always worrying. I didn’t have a plan, I just thought my adult life had to be different, better.
Magic occurred. Forty-four years ago, at the age of 26, I stumbled upon and was introduced to meditation – a technique to culture the experience of inner peace and wellness. My teachers told me that anxiety, fear, stress and tension exist on the surface of our minds. They said there is a place deep inside the mind where this angst does not exist. Meditation, they proclaimed, is a tool that we can all use to reach this sweet spot; and reacquaint ourselves with our birthright – our calm, peaceful, balanced, stress-free nature.
Hearing this, I chose to give it a try. Looking back, I had little to lose. Sure, there was a course fee but it was a reasonable modest investment. I also had to stretch and try something new – there were no guarantees that this would work. And my life wasn’t filled with encouragement. When I told my mother that I was going to learn to meditate, she said, “Oh, you’re not!” I immediately laughed because she had no idea what meditation was.
The decisions to learn and then become a teacher of meditation were two of the best choices I’ve ever made. No matter how much stress or chaos is in my environment, because of meditation, I know how to go back to my true self and not get swept away by the turbulence.
Similarly, a recent client said that she feels like she has a thicker skin since she learned to meditate; the stresses of daily life are not penetrating her well-being as before. She feels more resilient. Another client, a physician, said, “Meditation is like a mini-vacation, and now I’m vacationing every day.” To that, I’ll add that as we continue to taste vacation every day in meditation, life after meditation becomes more vacation like.
If you are not meditating, this is a good time to start.
Director, Stress Reduction Resources