It’s that time of year again when the summer holidays are over and life gets busy.
Our work load is picking up, kids are back at school and autumn is beckoning.
So how is the best to maintain our peace amidst the chaos of making school lunches and nagging lazy teenagers, to nurture our latent talent and connect to our true selves amidst the rush hour traffic?
How can we deal with it all without losing our minds?
Perhaps the most important thing to remember is that our state of mind is essential to the peaceful existence of others as any stress or impatience will affect those nearest to you and make them just as irritable. This is true at work as much as it is at home.
Conversely our peace and calm immediately reassures others that all is well.
So our biggest responsibility is to care for ourselves first. This can appear selfish especially in the light of making service a spiritual practice. But we can’t be of any use or do any real service if we’re coming from a stressed place, so respecting our own needs is actually the most unselfish thing we can do.
Become like a parrot by reminding ourselves that five to ten minutes of meditation a day can ease stress and give us the ground for greater acceptance, understanding and inner peace. While stress eats away at our sanity and sleep—creating fatigue, mistakes, burnout and breakdown—meditation helps clear the mind and achieve greater perspective. It encourages mindfulness and awareness, which lead to greater coping capacity.
Meditation improves listening skills which enhances communication. And it gives us the resources whereby we can be of genuine help to others.
Not bad for something that is free, takes little time and leaves us feeling wonderful!
Almost everything we do in life is to achieve something—if we do this, then we will get that, if we do that, then this will happen. We’re not used to doing anything without a personal agenda.
There’s no ulterior purpose other than to be here in the present without trying to get anywhere or attain anything. If our purpose is to achieve a quiet mind then the trying itself can create tension and failure. Instead, we’re just with whatever is happening in the moment—no judgment, no right or wrong.
If we’re thinking, then enjoy the thinking. Watching whatever arises and letting it go is all that’s required. It is more of an undoing than a doing.
Meditation has no set rules or structures. It simply asks that we pay attention, that we make friends with being quiet, with sitting still, with doing nothing. This is a space just for us to be with ourselves, to remember our dreams and who we really are. In this quiet space we become our own best friend and therefore a better friend to all.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock