It may seem counterintuitive, but one of the best things you can do in times of high stress is not much at all. I learned that when I start feeling stress rising in my chest, that I sit quietly, breathe, and focus on peace, calm, and quiet. In fact, I mentally visualize PEACE while I breathe in and out. It really does work.
God knows I’m not a morning person, but in the past few years I have become much less cranky when up early. Don’t get me wrong, arising at 4 a.m. to catch an early flight is just not fun for me. In fact, I hate it. If I start each morning thinking that it’s a complete ‘do-over’, that any lapses or errors I made the day before are cleaned and I get to start again.
The morning is quiet and of course full of routine. I wake up, putter out to the kitchen and feed the barking, demanding dogs. Once they have eaten and I have swallowed my morning pills, I get a drink and putter back to the bathroom for a shower and the process of transformation. When I allow myself fifteen extra minutes in the morning, I can transform, then sit quietly in the overstuffed chair in my bedroom and meditate. I can feel the stillness.
I started feeling a bit of stress or anxiety building yesterday over my upcoming knee surgery. I recognized the signs and settled myself. I took my Art History class then came home and got into my comfy jammies and relaxed and reminded myself that once I heal my knee will feel good again. I will be at surgery with someone who is calming and will care for me in my drug-induced stupor. I think it’s the actual act of going under the anesthetic that makes me anxious….I don’t like to lose control.
I also listened to a new Neil Diamond CD that reminded me of being a girl and playing him endlessly. I had all of his albums. YES, Neil Diamond. His new CD reminded me of the music that I played in my room as a girl, singing in front of the full-length mirror with a brush or curling iron for a microphone. It made me smile. It made me feel young and silly again for just a moment.
Among the Pueblo and Navajo people seeing turquoise first thing in the morning is considered a blessing. (That explains all the jewelry). Turquoise is considered a sky stone, reminding us of when the sky is at its brightest and sunniest. To see it upon first opening your eyes is a blessing for the hours that follow. Honestly I would prefer to look at a big fat diamond, but whatever works for the Navajo must be right.
I also find that if I play a little with each dog in the morning (they are wide awake) that it lightens my mood.
Today, after resolving some stressful issues, I feel lighter and at peace.