I sat in my library where I usually do my meditation. The dogs like to be in there, and it’s better than them banging on the door to be let in. They will calmly sit at my feet. This morning they kept barking at our neighbor’s dog as they walked by, they chomped loudly on a bone, and basically were a nuisance. I got mad and said, “You are ruining my meditation!” What did they do? Went back to barking and chewing.
That got me to pause. My dogs weren’t ruining anything. They were being dogs. By barking at Bindi walking by, they could be protecting their space and me. Or they could be saying, “Let’s play together!” Chewing on their bone is part of their daily routine, and I’m sure satisfies some craving.
They didn’t ruin my meditation. I let outside forces affect my inner calm. It’s easy to be calm and centered when life appears that way. But when the dogs of life let loose or those black clouds appear, all the yoga, meditation, and calming techniques can blow up in your face if they aren’t practiced daily.
I wondered about one technique that I could do before I got upset or overwhelmed and would help me get centered. In meditation one cue is to always reconnect to a part of your body that is touching something–your feet on the floor, your back to the chair or your fingertips touching. I usually connect with my fingertips touching and feel the energy in my palms. This simple act brings me back to the present moment and allows me to pause before reacting. I could have done that this morning and realize that yes the dogs are being loud, but I can choose how I react.
I’m going to try this during my day when stressors and emotions get the best of me. It takes a conscious effort, and about 21 days to create a habit. If the black clouds in life get the best of me, then I will take a deep breath and start over again.
What stressors or crises do you currently have in your life? Write them down and why they are stressing you. What is a simple technique that you can incorporate into your daily routine to pull you out of the downward spiral of emotional stress? For example, keeping a stone in your pocket and rubbing it; carrying worry, mala or rosary beads that can be held or counted. Rubbing your hands together to create heat and a connection to you. It can be anything that immediately places you in your body.
Try it out and let me know what works for you.