Recently I had the chance of getting to know one of my students over coffee. Despite her hectic schedule this wonderful woman took me to her home and offered me amazingly good filter coffee and healthy mid-morning snacks to go along with it. She was considerate enough to ask me whether I eat once I’m done with the class and what I eat if I do. During the course of our conversation I realized that by virtue of being a wife and a mother, there were so many unavoidable responsibilities that she was loaded with, and that she probably had to juggle her schedule a bit to accomodate our little coffee break. She has two daughters in high school, a family business, older in-laws to take care of, and of course the everyday hassles of running a house. Looking at her I wondered where she got the energy from. She seemed the embodiment of ‘Ces’t la vie’…with a smile.
That day I learned from her that if you accept your lot in life with ease then you make space for peace and you are able to deal with things in a calmer manner. Having no time is the bane of modern existence, but sometimes in the middle of it all you meet some individuals who manage to stay focused and calm. These individuals are busy, have responsibilities, and with that, numerous sources of stress in their lives. Yet, they manage. How?
They create an oasis of calm and peace in which they reside and refuel. According to yogic philosophy, everything is an illusion. An event is just a combination of moments put together. Whether the event is good or bad depends on who it happens to and how that person responds to it. So if you choose to respond with peace and calm, you significantly reduce the damage caused by events over which you sometimes have no control.
The valuable insight I received from our chat over coffee:
1. There are sources of stress, worry, strain and anger in everyone’s life. Waiting for the source of stress in your life to disappear so that you can live peacefully again is in vain because there will always be something to worry about.
2. The best way to deal with life is to create reserves of calm and peace within yourself by recognizing that you need to spend time by yourself. Whether it’s going for your closest yoga class, or doing some deep breathing for 5 minutes before you start your day, or reading the paper with your coffee and watching the world wake up…whatever it is, you need to take time out for your body and mind.