The last couple of weeks have been super stressful for me.
I am someone who naturally wants to help, to be of service. I often put the needs of others before mine—at times to my own detriment. Combine that with the stress and anxiety caused by life changes beyond my control, and I was starting to suffer.
Following a four-day migraine, I finally snapped out of the overwhelm I had been experiencing, and adjusted my mindset to focus on what I can control.
Two things that Waylon Lewis said during a recent live event had stuck in my mind and returned to me repeatedly during this period—they helped me refocus.
The event was about Maitri, a topic that I studied a year ago when I completed Elephant Academy‘s Maitri course. It’s possibly the most important course I’ve ever taken, and a subject that I feel should be taught in every primary school in the world.
This is what Maitri is:
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And what it is not:
Waylon reminded us that Maitri—like many other things in life, which are healthy and good for us—is a practice. It’s something that we have to return to and remind ourselves of, especially if we’ve grown up with an “others before us” mentality.
The second thing he pointed out is just how wrong that way of thinking is. He used the oxygen mask analogy—where we always put our own on first before assisting someone else.
As I pondered my current predicament and was rethinking my situation, my children were listening to the soundtrack from the latest Disney movie. One particular song caught my attention. Line after line, I connected with the lyrics.
It’s probably the most relatable song in any Disney movie ever:
It’s easy to adopt an attitude of strength, to take on too much, and to hide what we’re actually experiencing “under the surface.”
At one time or another, we’ve all likely experienced that feeling of “pressure like a drip, drip, drip that’ll never stop.”
When we do, it’s time we remember to practice Maitri, and return to what we can control.