I was proud of myself last night. I checked off every box of my self-proclaimed “MUST DO BEFORE BED” to-do list (See: Day 64. I should have this down by now.). When I went to set my morning alarm, I knew I could set it for a little later in the morning because I was so prepared. My minimize stress plan was in full effect.
And yet, on the second day back to work after a 10 day break, I was wide awake (without an alarm) an hour early stressing out about the prom contract for my senior students. And how I am going to afford to pay for prom with the limited funds we have available. And how many students I can reasonably expect to participate in prom. And who the DJ is going to be. And what the prom favor is going to be. So, after desperately trying to convince myself to stop worrying and go back to sleep, I begrudgingly got up and started my day. *Don’t worry, I was still late to work.
Despite my best attempt and minimizing stress in my day-to-day routine, here I was, a ball of nerves at 6am. I have responsibilities at work. I really feel like I manage them pretty well, given all that I have to do. And while I think a job in health and wellness would ultimately make me happier and less stressed, quitting my job tomorrow to pursue an alternate career would make me poor, miserable, and even more stressed.
When I was tuned into the Food Matters “Total Wellness Summit” last week, one documentary really shed a light on this conundrum. The documentary, Finding Joe, is about the heroes journey and self-discovery. Though I didn’t catch who said it (I listened to the documentary while running), my favorite line was something along the lines of:
“You don’t have to change your life. You have to change your relationship with your life.”
So, this line gave me hope. But how? How do I change my relationship with my life so I don’t wake up at 6am worried about freaking prom. Or have cystic acne take over my face as yet another physical manifestation of stress. I fear that if I don’t figure out the stress component, my acne is going to heal and then I’ll just move right along to the next manifestation of stress in my life…
I’m not giving up on my to-do list / organization focused solution to minimize stress, but I think I need to employ more than one strategy. On the same day of the Total Wellness Summit, there was an interview with Pedram Shojai, author of The Urban Monk, among other things. He spoke quite a bit about the power of meditation, describing our lives as a series of programs open on a computer. He said that while some consider meditating yet another tab open and running, it is actually the operating system. Not another thing to add to the to-do list, but a mindset to channel throughout the day as you go about your daily activities.
I’ve been thinking about this concept since I watched the Total Wellness Summit broadcast…perhaps it is the solution to my stress issue. I’ve never even considered meditating, let alone thought that meditating could help me better handle little stressors as they pop up throughout the day. I’m going to continue to think through how I would go about getting my anxious self to be silent with my thoughts, and I still
want need to give yoga a try. Something will work, just have to find the right solution!
Here’s to hoping I don’t have stress dreams about school tonight! Also, though the Total Wellness Summit is over, Food Matters is releasing all of the content for free again this weekend. The content will be unlocked at 10am on Friday, April 8 and continue to be available until Sunday, April 10. I strongly recommend Hungry For Change, Food Matters, Finding Joe, Carb Loaded, and Sugar Blues. If you still have time after watching all that, Dr. Josh Axe, Pedram Shojai, and especially Sarah Wilson’s interviews are spectacular. Actually, if you’re only going to watch one, spend an hour watching Sarah Wilson. She rocked.
Do you follow a daily meditation practice? How did you get started?