I am hopeful that the horrible work-related stress is over. I talked to a person yesterday who has been experiencing exactly the same amount of stress, fear, sleeplessness and anger because they were not able to find a job while for me the source of suffering was the exact opposite – my job.
Oh, the lengths I went to beat the stress and anxiety. Not always I was able to find consolidation in Dharma. Not always I tried. One day, I went upstairs and did push-ups for 60 minutes. On another occasion, I went for a 3 hours long run. Some days, I would open a can of beer like an average aspiring Buddhist on a school day.
A strange thing happened last week. It was as if my brain just shut down my ability to process anymore stress. And in that instance, I remembered that none of that suffering had really existed. It was all in my head. That horrible drive to get the job done, to achieve the goal, fear of failure, inability to say no to an assignment.
I accepted the fact that I will fail. And it didn’t really matter. Life is dukkha. Failure is natural. I allocated all that energy I had been investing in worrying and playing out catastrophic scenarios in my head in creating a rescue plan. And that worked very well. You can’t be assertive without cutting off the childish emotions and shutting down the self-righteous talk. And I attribute my ability to do so solely to my practice. So I spoke with my boss on Friday. Cleared the air. Reprioritised goals. Re-defined expectations.
What I mean is that I think that my life should live up to my practice. There is no point to practice just to make the same mistakes over and over again. It is not good to be diligent, attentive, observant and mindful on the meditation cushion and then run like an idiot from one illusion to another.
I spent my weekend catching up on sleep. I slept over 10 hours each day. I went for a run. I worked out. I finished reading “A body in the library” by Agatha Christie. I started reading “Swann’s Way” by Marcel Proust. I listened to some music with my eyes closed. I made my family laugh. I walked my dog.