Friday, December 9, 2016

"Why You Stressed?"

Rushing and panic mode are two of my "things." I tend to hurry, even when there is no reason to do so. Kitchen mishaps occur regularly, and there are bruises all over my arms and legs from running into everything from cabinets to the open dishwasher door. Quick, shallow breathing comes so naturally to me, I don't even realize I'm doing it.  

"Be here now." -Ram Dass

Such a simple mantra offered to us from Ram Dass. And yet, what a challenge.

Anxiety makes it difficult to want to stay where we are. When panic starts to rise in my throat, and I start whispering, "Oh, no. Oh, no," I need to remember whatever it is, it is probably not as big of a deal as it first seems. I have to remind myself to take deep breaths, and remember that everything is going to be okay.

During my last few years of teaching, whenever I felt like my class was running behind, or the kids weren't settling down fast enough to suit me, or my class just wasn't "getting" a concept,  I would take three long, deep breaths, gaze from child to child, and immediately a sense of calm would prevail. By the time I took a few moments to breathe deeply, I would regain my composure, and settle back into "patient teacher" mode. It works for this retired teacher, too. 

You would think during retirement there would be no stress. My old acupuncturist used to love to say, "You stressed? Why you stressed? You don't work. You have nothing to be stressed about." 

Yeah, well, just like peace, stress is an inside job. I manufacture my own stress hormones at the drop of a hat. I'm working on it, but I believe it will be a long-term goal that may be realized  in the distant future.

Peace may not be the absence of stress, but when we get better at accepting the way things are, we are able to feel peaceful, despite the stress in our lives. 

"Peace is this moment without judgment. That is all. This moment in the Heart-space where everything that is is welcome." - Dorothy Hunt

Everything is welcome. Even the tough stuff. Even the uncomfortable stuff. Even the messy stuff. All of it is welcome. What a concept. Learning to accept what is, instead of fighting it, or trying to manipulate it to suit myself, is not easy for me.

"Now is my time." -Deepak Chopra 

That was a gentle reminder from a meditation with Deepak Chopra a few years ago. I don't need to worry about anything, if I remember to dwell fully in THIS moment. In reality, this moment is all there really is. The past is over and done, and we are not promised tomorrow. This is it.

My time is right now.

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