It was a humbling experience in recent days that had me stepping back in order to reassess a few major factors within myself.
The ordered blood tests from my doctor were due before the upcoming visit with her next week. I arrived at the lab early Wednesday and they withdrew the desired amount. I received the test results a few hours later and did not enjoy what I had read. I knew why the results were bad in most of the readings, but a few of them had me a bit worried. I suppose the upcoming visit with the doctor will reveal more. As the afternoon unfolded at work after taking a look at the test results, I began to overthink…
The negative emotions began to soar. I suppose it may have stemmed from the overwhelming physical and mental stress we’ve been experiencing at work, but the results of my current health only escalated the challenges.
We have had more business than we can handle, and not only that, we simply don’t have enough manpower to keep up. Most of us are putting in long hours, stressing out over time restrictions and demands, and we are constantly fighting this Ohio Valley heat on top of it. I would rather enjoy a beach and a margarita with my wife and kids right now. As we beat the heat and kill ourselves to make a buck, most of us are experiencing the negative consequences.
After venting to a few about the primary headaches, things that could loosen our stressors and preventative measures that could be taken in order to shake some of the unneeded madness, I backed away mentally. The practice–temporarily forgotten–of observation of thoughts was prioritized. The emotions were coming, but they weren’t leaving. The thoughts were arriving, but I remained at their mercy. The very things that my conditioned mind has been used to for all of these years took hold, once again. Yet it’s no surprise that it happened. A lifelong habit is very hard to break. I brought in my personal study material and remembered just how important it is to be the silent observer of my mind.
I’m finding that stress plays a major role in my overall health. I’m learning just how powerful the mind is when the unobserved thoughts are continuously leading me into the harmful slew of madness. A mind-made sense of self, created by the realities of life (good or bad; negative or positive) can and will take precedence outside of a regular practice of thought observation. I have to remain in a state of Shamatha, as one teacher defines it, and stop resisting the inevitable ups and downs. My body will surely be grateful. There’s a lot to sponge up in this world, but wringing of the sponge is necessary. Be mindful of what you soak up. Be mindful of letting it go.