All of us have had to weather hard times, it is a part of life. Good and bad work off of each other. In Taoist philosophy it says that in order to feel the good you must know or have felt the bad. No one wants bad but you can’t avoid it, it happens to us all eventually.
A number of years ago I suffered a deep depression and needed hospital care. Now I never thought something like that would ever happen to me…but if it can happen to me it can happen to any one. It was the lowest of lows and I had to draw on all of my training, strength and resilience to pull myself through. Little by little I slowly healed and it was the training, having to dig deep on the dojo floor that I was able to reflect and draw upon to excel my healing. You see, by avoiding pain and bad times, you never build up the emotional stamina to draw upon in the not so good times….you never build resilience.
The dojo is a place where we can learn about resilience. Just by turning up week in and week out you are building emotional muscle. Maintaining equilibrium requires a balanced life. Whenever I feel that I am pushing too hard in a particular way I will temper it by choosing the opposite direction. Too much yang (hard training, hard living, fixed ways of thinking) must be counter balanced with yin (soft training, time out, flexible and forgiving.
A couple of ways that I use to de stress my life and create emotional stability and resilience.
1. You are your thoughts. Take some space each day to stop, breath and reflect on what it is causing you tension.
2. Let go and indulge yourself in the present moment. Take time each day to simply relax your shoulders, relax your face, breathe out and let go of all thinking.
3. Look for the good. Be careful what you let in. The world can be a harsh place if you let it. Seek out people and situations that nourish you.
4. Forgive and let yourself off the hook. We tend to be our own worst critics. It is okay to make mistakes. Let them go and carry on.
5. Work out.
Have an awesome week.