Living in a world with emails, cell phones and overnight delivery people are expecting everything to be delivered immediately. This has created additional stresses in a culture that has lost many of its meditative and contemplative tasks. Most of us no longer do the kind of tasks that could be centering and calming such as long walks to the store or to work, churning butter, plowing fields, tending animals, hanging laundry on the line and ironing.
As part of my spiritual practice of nonviolence I learned the value of constantly monitoring my stress level. I pay particular attention to when I feel harried and rushed. One day as I was rushing to get somewhere I realized that my whole energetic I was creating within myself felt violent. I was trying to do too much, not leaving myself enough time to get somewhere, having to hurry–it all felt out of balance with my practice of nonviolence.
I take to heart the words of Shunryu Suzuki from ZEN MIND, BEGINNER’S MIND, he writes “Calmness of mind does not mean you should stop your activity. Real calmness should be found in activity itself.” I love That!
We can learn to stay alert to moments when we’re feeling hurried, pressured or stressed. I look to see if I can find the calmness that can only come from within. I start with my breath.
I take a 20 second meditation break. With my hand on my heart, I meditate on gratitude for my breath for the entire 20 seconds. In less than a minute I have shifted, if even slightly. I’ve made it clear to myself that I value peace. I value my own self-care. One more breath of gratitude and now I can resume the activities in a new awareness.
THAT is being masterful!
Here is the deep well of my masterful practice. I know that my practice builds my inner peace and that each day I have the opportunity to move the world in a direction of peace through my nonviolent choice and actions. I am grateful to even see the possibility of being masterful!
I’m starting Masterful Living on January 15th – Registration now closes on the 15th. Register now and you’ll get a free download of my New Year’s Reboot class and you can jump in and get started. If you’re willing, I’m willing. If this is right for you, you WILL know it. In my year-long Masterful Living Course a number of people have healed their depression, gone off anti-depressants, let go of old hurts and sadness that has troubled them for many years. They have accomplished what they never believed they could do, because they gave themselves a chance, and they didn’t give up. You can do it too.
If you’re finding what I’m sharing to be helpful won’t you please share at facebook and twitter to let others know? Thank you!