There is no doubt about it. I have been under tremendous stress for many years now, more than I could ever have imagined withstanding during my younger years ie. before I got married and had children, when I was in my late twenties/early thirties. This morning things just got so out of hand that my head almost exploded with information overload and overwhelm when I received an unexpected call at 8am from my son’s Special Ed. case manager. He wanted to have me come in at noon to sign my son’s revised I.E.P. (Individualized Education Plan). I have been spending the better part of my time and past year (among many other past years) dealing with my son’s unsettled school situation and the stress/difficulties that it entails. Partially due to incompetence on the part of the school system, but that is another matter.
Suffice it to say, I was so desperate that I actually forced myself to sit in a chair out in my backyard on a beautiful day to meditate for 2 minutes! Gasp! I don’t have time for those 2 minutes, believe me. But my head was about to explode after the crazy morning I had to add to the crazy busy day I had before that and the day before when the roofers came to bang on my house to replace the roof (I’m not writing in metaphors here, just trying to give you an idea of what is going on). I sat down and took some deep breaths and did what I learned from listening to a “Freedom From Perfection” summit run by Deb Hurtwitz. She was interviewing a happiness expert named Marci Shimoff. During the half hour interview, she suggested that just doing this one exercise for 2 minutes twice a day could make you more happy in your life, no matter the circumstances.
To do this exercise, you sit quietly in a chair and put your hand over your chest/heart area and repeat the words, “Love, Ease and Compassion.” You can also visualize happy moments or think of cute cuddly kittens, but just even repeating the words will do the trick. I’ve never been one for meditation, but I thought, “Heck, I think I can at least manage this in my busy day.” So I’ve tried this a few times before. Today, I decided that it will be a regular thing on a daily basis for me now because that sh*t works!
I’m not sure if it was just sitting and breathing calmly, or the beautiful weather (not too hot or too cold) with a light breeze blowing through the rustling trees, but the sunlight was hitting my face and it felt like the universal energy was shining on me (call it God if you prefer). It gave me a message. It said basically that the human race will survive in some form or another, but the question isn’t of survival of the species, but in what state? For people like me (the ones that actually care about other people) our mission is to alleviate as much suffering on this earth as we possibly can. However, to do that, we must start with ourselves. If we are tortured, miserable, in pain, tired, sick and suffering in our own personal life, we can’t alleviate that in others with any efficiency or on a grand scale.
Sooo, I’m sure you know what that has to mean for me and others like me. Start with yourself. You can’t take care of others ie. your family, your children, your neighbors, your town, your city, state, country, world until you can take good care of yourself. This is going to be a tough one for me, but I won’t give up without a fight!