Ever since i hit the hopeless/anxious days back in September, i knew it was time for a change. I started to follow the wise words of Taoism and Buddhism to lead me back to a calm and happy state of mind. This quote has been the key to it all:
"No valid plans for the future can be made for people who have no capacity for living now."
Throughout 2013, I have been constantly planning, re-planning, over thinking so much about my future that it would consume me everyday. From all this stress, it makes me wish I was back to how I used to be when I was 18-19-years-old: sociable, care-free, and adventurous.
If you think about it, it has been awhile since i was that age… but it has NOT been THAT long that I changed into a completely different person. I still AM that person…. so why am I being so dramatic? Health and fitness has been my goal for 2012 and I have accomplished a healthy BMI, which I maintained since then. Now 2013 is the year where my goal should be MENTAL HEALTH.
Healthy is not just the physical. In order to look good on the outside, you would need to work on the inside as well! Ever since I hit my breaking point, I started to meditate 30 mins a day before I sleep. I listen to positive affirmations to give me self-confidence and also guided meditations with beach imagery. Since I started the meditation practice, I noticed significant changes.
I noticed I been more enthusiastic at work despite the heavy burden of the issues I have, like being underpaid and feeling like i do more work than some members of the team. I’m able to let things go more easily instead of getting so angry. Also, my positive thinking has led me to bigger opportunities. I was able to land a new job, which I start in December, as a Behavioral Interventionist for Autistic children!!!!! I know this has been outside of the plan to be a Pharmacist/nurse… but it is related to my Bachelor’s and could offer me BIGGER and BETTER opportunities that actually seem enjoyable. I’m actually VERY excited& this is my proudest moment ALL YEAR!!!
Being balanced is SO IMPORTANT to me… So now that I am figuring out how to have a good work-life balance, I am more hopeful for the future. I am less anxious and I’ve stopped consuming myself with planning. Instead, I accept things as I go while listing out options on what I could do. I guide my path but I also learned to be more flexible. I am still a little nervous for the future and to start my new job, but I must keep hopeful and know that God’s plan for me will always be good.
I’ll blog again later to see the outcome of all this.
The first sermon that the Buddha preached after his enlightenment was about the four noble truths. The first noble truth is that life is frustrating and painful. In fact, if we are honest with ourselves, there are times when it is downright miserable. Things may be fine with us, at the moment, but, if we look around, we see other people in the most appalling condition, children starving, terrorism, hatred, wars, intolerance, people being tortured and we get a sort of queasy feeling whenever we think about the world situation in even the most casual way. We, ourselves, will some day grow old, get sick and eventually die. No matter how we try to avoid it, some day we are going to die. Even though we try to avoid thinking about it, there are constant reminders that it is true.
The Second Noble Truth: Suffering is Caused by Attachment
The second noble truth is that suffering has a cause. We suffer because we are constantly struggling to survive. We are constantly trying to prove our existence. We may be extremely humble and self-deprecating, but even that is an attempt to define ourselves. We are defined by our humility. The harder we struggle to establish ourselves and our relationships, the more painful our experience becomes.
The Third Noble Truth: Suffering can be Ended
The third noble truth is that the cause of suffering can be ended. Our struggle to survive, our effort to prove ourselves and solidify our relationships is unnecessary. We, and the world, can get along quite comfortably without all our unnecessary posturing. We could just be a simple, direct and straight-forward person. We could form a simple relationship with our world, our coffee, spouse and friend. We do this by abandoning our expectations about how we think things should be.
The Fourth Noble Truth: The Eightfold Path is the End to Suffering
This is the fourth noble truth: the way, or path to end the cause of suffering. The central theme of this way is meditation. Meditation, here, means the practice of mindfulness/awareness, shamata/vipashyana in Sanskrit. We practice being mindful of all the things that we use to torture ourselves with. We become mindful by abandoning our expectations about the way we think things should be and, out of our mindfulness, we begin to develop awareness about the way things really are. We begin to develop the insight that things are really quite simple, that we can handle ourselves, and our relationships, very well as soon as we stop being so manipulative and complex.