I’m sipping my coffee and thinking about how often it seems that the solution – or greatest likelihood for that potential – is found within some relatively simple practice or task, and that all that is required is to do that thing. In this instance, I am thinking about my anxiety, which has recently flared up pretty severely – enough to amount to a reduction in quality of life and even a cognitive impairment. Unpleasant, for sure. Wrecks my sleep. Causes stressful rumination and massive thinking errors. Renders me defensive and likely to take dumb shit personally. Kicks over a domino effect of other challenges associated with both emotional and physical health. What is the simple practice that relieves my anxiety, reduces my “second dart” suffering, and restores the joy in my experience? Meditation. Mostly. Self-care, generally.

In my case, this time around, the drivers of my anxiety and my background stress are generally to do with work. More specifically, employment (and the implied day-to-day details of working for a living) and being employed, and spending X portion of my days dedicated to someone else’s agenda in return for cash. So… I took a closer look at two details: my self-care practices as they are, and the conditions at work that drive my stress. I checked for mismatched self-care-to-stress and no surprise, I found it. So, I have room to improve on how I manage my stress. Okay. Good starting point. I began there, with the weekend. Then, I examined the work conditions that are causing the stress and asked myself some basic questions…

  1. Are the current stressful conditions likely temporary, or more likely to be chronic, long-term, or characteristic of the role I’m in?
  2. Do I have realistic expectations?
  3. Are there obvious steps I can take to improve conditions thus reducing my stress?
  4. Is this job my only option?
  5. Is this job truly what I want to be doing – just as it is – or am I committed to the paycheck more than the role?

You can see where this leads. So, I took the time to reflect, and found that it made things “feel less personal” – which is useful, because things of this sort are rarely personal, and getting mired in that feeling can make it so much tougher to practice good self-care, or make skillful decisions about what I do with my time.

Over the weekend, I updated my resume. Looked over some other opportunities. Every new adventure leads to new questions, and new knowledge, and we don’t know what we don’t know. It’s a path. The journey is the destination.

There’s always room for a new beginning. 🙂

I finish my coffee, and sit with my thoughts for a moment. Soon enough I’ll set up the work day. First, I think I’ll take time for meditation, and maybe enjoy a short walk. Then? I’ll begin again. 😀