• Lauren Baptiste

Practicing Mindfulness with Prayer | Acheloa Wellness

“Have the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”



There are moments in life which aren’t ideal; they can completely suck all positive energy out of your being. You’ve been there, I’ve been there. Have you ever considered that maybe we occasionally let the event get the better of us? Did you know that these types of urgent-but-not-important stressors are throwing off your endocrine system and impacting your wellbeing?


Personally, I hate public transportation. I always arrange my schedule to follow a bus, train or plane but there are times, more often than not, where I find myself delayed because of mass transit. Every minute I’m off-schedule sets my blood boiling to all-time highs. The idea of arranging my schedule to rearrange my schedule is nothing short of frustrating, but unfortunately, it’s a situation that I don’t have control over.


On a recent trip to New Orleans, I managed to hit delays in both directions. That alone turns a relaxing trip into one a bit more challenging. There is nothing worse than enjoying a few days of peace then quickly losing that polished, calm demeanor at the airport terminal because your flight is delayed indefinitely.

I often find myself a victim of public transportation, but I also seem to forget that disruptions from Mother Nature are out of my control.



STORY OF A FARMER

One of my greatest mentors, Radhanath Swami, shared the below story about a farmer, his neighbor and perspective in his second book, The Journey Within:


One day, the farmer’s only horse breaks out of the barn and runs away. Seeing this, the neighbor cries out, “Bad luck! You lost your only horse.” The farmer shrugs. “Bad luck, good luck. Let’s see.” 


A few days later, the horse returns to the barn with a wild mare it met in the mountains. The neighbor is nonplussed. “Huh. I guess it was good luck after all that your horse ran away. Now you have two.” The farmer shrugs. “Good luck, bad luck. Let’s see.” 


The next day, the farmer’s son tries to tame the wild mare. She throws him and he breaks his leg. “Bad luck,” his neighbor laments. “Your only son broke his leg. Now you have no one to help you with your work.” The farmer shrugs. “Bad luck, good luck. Let’s see.” 


Soon the country goes to war, and all the young men are sent off to fight. All are killed—except the farmer’s son, who was not drafted into the army because of his broken leg. By this time the neighbor knows better than to judge the situation. Instead, he asks the farmer, “Is this good luck or bad luck?”


Looking up at the clouds, the farmer rubs his chin and replies, “Over the years I have discovered that we can’t always judge a thing at face value. The sun lies behind both white clouds and black ones. If we’re grateful, patient, and faithful during bright periods and dark, the light of grace will shine upon us.”



PRACTICE IN ACTION - MAKING A STRESS PLAN

As we're doing the inner-work, it's important that we're proactively problem-solving our stress triggers. Below are a few supportive steps to help you:


  • Identify the underlying cause of your stress by keeping a stress journal. What sets you off and when?

  • Create a plan to predict the stress trigger and experiment with ways to avoid it.

  • Test your plan in real life.

  • Review. See what's working and what needs improvement?

  • Tweak and test again.


On days with inclement weather, I now buffer extra travel time and set the expectation that I may arrive late. I could also prepare a snack or download a podcast or two ahead of time to keep me calm, in anticipation of delays. Further, bringing a phone charger can go a long way. I often forget how lucky we are to have personal computers that fit in our pockets. There’s always a way to catch up with loved ones, whether it’s checking email or maybe contacting a long-lost friend.



REFLECTION

A lot of our emotions are linked to our perception of how we see reality. Instead of being crushed about a delayed flight, I managed to write this article and catch up with my mom.


In any “bad luck” scenario, it’s easy to become the victim. I challenge you, however, to not let it get the worst of you. What gets me more upset than the delay itself is how the delayed train or plane turns me into a monster. The sour mood seems to last for hours well after the flight. What’s worse is how I sometimes off-load my poor mood onto the ones I love most. As contagious as a positive attitude can be, a negative one can be as infectious as the flu.


Next time I’m trapped in the subway or delayed at the airport, I’ll remember this post and remember to be more understanding of my uncontrollable circumstances. After all, the only the only control we have is how we compose ourselves in any given scenario.


What do you think? What small step can you take to identify and brakethrough one of your common stress triggers? Curious to learn ways to breakthrough your stress? Click here to connect with a member from our team to learn how you can overcome current stress triggers to find more energy, productivity and joy.

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