Seeing as I have adapted the "western world" work-ethic,meaning I find it hard to truly and completely find satisfaction in relaxation, I am constantly feeling anxious.
I had just accepted that this was now my way of life until we finally embarked on this trip in a few weeks. I accepted that I would have endless nights of restless sleep with constant thoughts racing through my head. I had actually begun having middle of the night mini workouts in an attempt to exhaust my body so much that I would simply pass out.
(a challenging thing to do when you don't have your own room in your own home). Sadly, these mini workouts, although they are keeping me semi-fit, had not been helping. So, each night I lie awake, thought after thought racing through my head, did I email that person back? what will I do with my cellphone? did I actually put the visa paper with my passport? oh crap.. where's my passport?
Then, on my long trip back to Ottawa to visit my family, I randomly opted to pack my recently untouched book, "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle. Originally I had bought this book sometime back when I was in a very low place. I was searching for something, anything, to pull me out of my misery. But I knew the answer wasn't a thing. It had to come from me. So, to the self-help section I went. And I have to say, sure there are some kooky, crazy self-help books out there, but once in awhile you find a goody! And this one is
just that. A powerful book! I had read about 50 pages and that was enough to pump me full of confidence in my ability to take care of myself, and be the one to make myself happy!
I hadn't touched this book since that time. Which makes for some interesting thoughts floating through my head as I opened it and read through the many underlined phrases in the first 50 pages. If you haven't read it, and are able to open your perspective to a new concept, than I suggest you give it a try!
I have intrepreted the teachings of this book to associate well with my current theme of this trip: Gratitude!
There were a few lines in the book that really spoke to me regarding these anxious
feelings I have been having.
When you learn to be the witness of your thoughts and emotions, which is an essential part of being present, you may be surprised when you first become aware of the background "static" of ordinary unconsciousness and realize how rarely, if ever, you are truly at ease within yourself. pg. 75
Why are you always anxious? Jesus asked his disciples. "Can anxious thought add a single day to your life?" And the Buddha taught that the root of suffering is to be found in our constant wanting and craving. pg. 76
This concept really got me thinking. Yes there are things that must be looked after and done properly. Yes there is always something more that can be done. But why is it so challenging to simply take a few moments each day and truly relax? Be grateful? Truly let go and not worry!? What good does worry do anyway? It only strips you of your essential down-time, the time with which you should be generating more energy that will be used to deal with the many tasks you have to deal with each day that has tired you out in the first place. Instead you are left feeling forever exhausted and incomplete, until you reach such a low-energy state that you cannot possibly complete even half of those daily tasks you so often do.
If you have mastered the art of relaxation, congratulations to you! That is a lifetime feat and one that you should be proud of!
If you have not, and you feel that you are a forever slave to the constant chitter chatter of your mind, grab a library card and take out "The Power of Now". You never know when one small decision could affect your entire life!