everyday is a challenge.

About a year ago, I went through the most challenging time of my life to
date. I lost everything that I had known to be consistent, happy,
comfortable. I kept thinking “what did I do to deserve this”, “I’ll do
anything to make things the way they were”. The way they were? Do I
really want things to be the way they were? That was the most
important question I needed to answer.

I read an article about a man who can swim in sub-zero water and his
body temperature remains constant. He does this by meditating and
breathing exercises. Amazing. Coincidentally, I was at a hair salon
and noticed a book in the waiting area. It had excerpts from other
books that were written by the Dalai Lama. I opened to the chapter
about breathing. The more I read the simple yet profound passages, the
more I applied these basic principles to my situation.

Clarity. I had been trying desperately to mend my emotional, physical,
spiritual wounds. But how could I do this with a troubled mind? I
needed a clear head and so my practice began. I started reading more
about breathing techniques and discovered that in that moment of
reading and practicing, I became peaceful. I wasn’t thinking about
what happened yesterday, earlier that day, or what might happen
tomorrow. Just that one breath, and that one paragraph telling me to
take a deep one in and hold for 3 seconds, release deeply, then
repeat. If I could have many of these moments through out the day,
then this is the “medicine” I’m looking for! I also read a chapter
from the Dalai Lama book every night before I went to bed. I thought,
“this guy has only kind, thoughtful, peaceful, intelligent things to
say about life. I should have things like this in my head when I go to
sleep.”

A clear head, a calm body, a peaceful existence. Every day is a
challenge, we can either rise to meet it, or don’t. You are the only
person who can change your life. One breath at a time.

-M-

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