One answer to the survey I sent out yesterday was a question back to me:
Are you calm and stress free?
My answer: Mostly – and I’m a lot better than I was.
But I’m not perfect.
Here’s the thing.
This is about practice. It’s about falling down and getting back up again.
Since I started doing this work, my experience of stress has reduced enormously.
When in the past, I often had a feeling of mild anxiety or out-and-out stress, now I feel good probably 95% of the time.
(And when I get into the “zone”, as I am able to do almost at will, I feel happy and blissful.)
But I’m not perfect. There are times when the world gets to me.
This practice is about learning to watch your thoughts and catch yourself before you fall into old patterns.
It’s about realizing that most of the stress we experience is generated in the mind – it doesn’t exist in reality.
And it’s also about understanding that the times when we don’t feel good (when we get that old feeling of stress or unhappiness or whatever) serve to tell us what we really want.
Instead of holding ourselves in the place of stress – angry that we are back there – we thank that feeling as a reminder that we need to continue this practice.
Then, the more we do it, the better we become at practising.
Life throws its curveballs. It’s just a matter of getting better at catching them.