“Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it — just as we have learned to live with storms.” ― Paulo CoelhoA perfect storm of circumstance combined with trauma and other stressors entered my life thirty odd years ago. With the trauma and stressors unaddressed for a number of reasons for quite some time, my body did the only thing it knew how to do. I became quite ill and anxiety was just one of many symptoms associated with that illness.
A little book picked up in a bookstore on a weekend away just prior to becoming unwell prompted my exploration into meditation. Now living with a chronic condition which had anxiety as part of the experience, over the course of thirty years I meditated off and on as time allowed with the hope all my stress and worries would disappear, simply go away … how naive was I.
It will be three years this Easter since I committed to daily practice but with a different approach this time. Rather than fighting and resisting uncomfortable feelings and sensations (which I’m stuck with), I aim to manage them skilfully. In three years of practice, I’ve reaped benefits in ways I hadn’t imagined, and not in other ways I’d hoped for, but in my experience the benefits show up gradually and quietly. For me, meditation is an essential part of my life. Apart from any benefits, I just like the experience.