Searching for Inner Peace?

Three years ago I embarked on a journey.

Burned out from prac­tice and the emo­tion­al toll of run­ning my own busi­ness and being present for people when they are sick and stressed star­ted to have its effect on me, phys­ic­ally and emo­tion­ally. I was tired, I could­n’t get out of bed in the morn­ing, and I was eas­ily over­whelmed when people were ask­ing me to do some­thing for them. Sometimes being around cer­tain indi­vidu­als was put­ting me out of sync.

Like so many oth­er jour­neys in my life without true under­stand­ing, I felt called to explore mind­ful­ness and med­it­a­tion. I read the book “When things fall apart” by the bril­liant Buddhist nun, Pema Chodron, and was imme­di­ately attrac­ted to her humour, hon­esty, and self-aware­ness. I felt like I could relate to her struggles for self-own­er­ship, emo­tion­al reg­u­la­tion, and just want­ing to be calm with­in herself.

I decided to enrol in an Applied Mindfulness Meditation Certificate with the University of Toronto, because not raised Buddhist and a little wary of all things woo-woo, I was encour­aged to see that they were dis­cuss­ing the sci­entif­ic bene­fits I also thought poten­tially that I could under­stand with oth­er like-minded people. I thought per­haps this would help my patients to feel calmer if I could teach them the tech­niques I learned.

Not sur­pris­ingly, the bene­fits that came from a mind­ful way of liv­ing were mine to own first. Of course, a teach­er must be a stu­dent and so I found the bene­fits enabled me to be:

  1. Calmer and less react­ive in the face of stressors, espe­cially unex­pec­ted ones
  2. Kinder to myself, and others
  3. More under­stand­ing of myself and others
  4. More aware of my thoughts, body sen­sa­tions, and emo­tions in my body
  5. More equipped to deal with the chan­ging thoughts, body sen­sa­tions, and emo­tions that our body con­tinu­ally cycle through with­in every day, hour, and minute
  6. Aware that I was not alone in this struggle for self-peace
  7. Connected to a large com­munity of caring indi­vidu­als, who I real­ized were just the human race, around us all the time.

Truly, my exper­i­ence with mind­ful­ness and med­it­a­tion was life-chan­ging. I am now more patient with myself (and as a per­fec­tion­ist, that’s a ser­i­ously big deal), more accept­ing, aware, and curi­ous. I’m par­ti­cip­at­ing in the ebb and flow of life. The phrase “this, too, shall pass” really star­ted to make sense.

Was it easy? Heck, no. The best things in life are nev­er easy.

It’s my turn to give back now, and hon­our the guid­ance of my teach­ers in the last sev­er­al years, and those that con­tin­ue to inspire and guide me to this peace­ful way of life.

Join me in my mind­ful­ness series this sum­mer begin­ning July 14. If you think you’d love to, but aren’t around until the fall, keep check­ing in for my fall series begin­ning the third week of September.

I prom­ise you, it’s life-changing.

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