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How To Get Back To Zen

Hello and a happy September Friday to all you lovely humans!

A few weeks ago a friend of mine suggested that I write about getting "back to Zen" when life gets crazy.

What better time to write about this than right at the beginning of the school year?

First off, I want to give a shout out to all the teachers and students. If I were in your shoes, I would need a ton of courage and a healthy serving of Zen to cope with the stresses that lie in the school system these days. Heck, when I was in school, I was so nervous I had stomach aches every day, and that was before a global pandemic. So I hear you, I love you, I'm sending you love and light. Everything will be okay.

With the topic in mind, I reflect on my past week. There were a few moments, in fact, when I thought about writing this blog. Funny enough, I became so busy that I didn't have time to write until the very last minute. In the past, I would stress and wonder if I should either not post anything at all, or post a poem or story I wrote in the past. But then I thought: "Actually, I'm excited to write this week's post!" So I'm not going to stress, I'm going to enjoy doing the thing I want to do. And the rest is history (literally being written out in this sentence).

When my friend suggested I write about this topic, she was referring to a moments in her life, especially with work, that just seemed to big to handle. Too much going on. Too much happening. Her cup was so full, it was overflowing. By "cup being full", I mean that no more can go in. She couldn't handle any more.

It was brought to my attention this week (coincidentally) that saying my "cup is full" can be understood as being a good thing. We want our cups to be full, right? Not in this case. One day I'll find a less confusing analogy. For now, my cup is simply too full to take on any more bullshit.

So, my dear, lovely reader, what do I do when I feel my cup is getting full, filling, full, and is now overflowing? Now I have a little puddle to clean, on top of it all.

First thing's first. Turn off the faucet that's overflowing your cup. Just long enough to clean up the puddle, and get yourself back in check. Hmmm, I really do love my analogies, don't I?!

How to close the faucet?

When life becomes too much to handle, and there doesn't seem to be an end in sight, that's the best time to take a little pause and give yourself some tender, loving care.

To me, it's taking a bath.

I recognize that for some, this is a luxury you simple can't afford. Don't fret! TLC comes in so many different shapes and forms, there is no way you can miss out, unless you just don't do it, in which case, you're absolutely missing out, my friend!

Caring for yourself simply means doing something for you, and thinking about nothing and no one other than YOU, while enjoying the thing you chose to do with full presence.

Be unapologetically you.

This can be:

A lovely stroll in the park.

A night out on the town.

Going to your favourite Crystal Shop (Om Wellness in Pointe-Claire Village is a great one. Especially if you want to come say hi!)

Reading a book

Yoga, or any other form of exercise

And of course: meditation!!

All you parents out there, I salute you! But I also urge you to take time for yourself.

I know how hard it is to find the time. But reaching a breaking point takes up even more time, so let's not get to that point.

If you feel yourself burning out, I can help. Let me hold space for you as you empty out your overflowing cup.

I'm gonna break it down further. How to get back to Zen?

Stop. Take a deep breath.

You are an incredible, infinite being. You are experiencing a human life in all its glory. You are doing the absolute best you can do. Be patient with yourself. Show yourself compassion.

Now think of all the things you are, all the things that make you amazing. All the skills you have. All the love you give. All the friends you have. All the laughs you've initiated. All the work you do. All the gifts you give to this world, simply by being yourself. You are perfect, just as you are.

When you reach 100% of giving of yourself. You can relax. Because there is nothing more you can give. You are giving it your all, and it is enough.

Giving 110% doesn't mean you are being better than you are. It means you are borrowing 10% from your future self. Your future self, now at 90%, needs to make up for it by being less than optimal.

Next time you reach 100%, smile. Know you are doing the best you can do.

Here is a little secret: The moment you rest in the knowing your are giving your all and doing your best... The moment you rest, period. You will suddenly have more to give. You will be "back to Zen" and ready for more action. Ready to give again.

It's like resetting your nervous system, simply by acknowledging its efforts.

It might sound crazy, but you know the saying "if it looks stupid, but it works, it ain't stupid!"

So just try this next time you feel overwhelmed.

Close your eyes, take a deep breath (that part is very important, don't skip it). And think of all the awesomeness that makes up that you that you are. Then smile (also an important step, not to be skipped).

Here is a mantra that is coming through for me to share with you as I write this:

"I am doing my best. For as long as I continue to do my best, and give 100% of myself, the rest is out of my control. I will not worry about what I cannot control. Nor will I worry about what I can control. I will simply continue doing my best."

As always, I leave you with love and kindness!


Photo credit: Cover of "Zen as F*uck" by Monica Sweeney

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