Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Relax, take it easy

"Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes" ~ Etty Hillesum

My dearest E.,

Let me share a brief folly of mine with you, a folly caused of my wanderings into unchartered regions- the information technology area and all things connected thereto. Last week, I thought that it would be great to have my own domain name and own domain host. Big ideals for a little person. I had an inkling how I would go about it: after all, the Internet is almost endless when it comes to information and knowledge. I knew I'd find some instructions on how to go about my task. The full account of my experience is recounted here.

But what I wanted to share with you, isn't so much about my experience. I want to share with you what I received out of that experience, and I don't mean tangibles, like a website with my own name, or content in a blog written by me. I received a valuable lesson: and it wasn't the first time that this lesson was being imparted to me. Many years earlier, my parents had tried to guide me through this lesson. I must've tuned out along the way, and only remembered this recently.

Relax, take it easy. It is that simple.

What do you when you're faced with a problem? Don't rush headlong into it. Don't allow yourself to panic and lose your breath or start hyperventilating. Don't allow the force of negativities to surround you. Don't berate yourself. Don't ask how the problem came about excessively (except maybe once, so that you can find a solution). And the most important don't of all is, Don't Panic! You will ask me, how can I not panic, not worry, not be distressed. But this is possible. A problem is usually exacerbated by excessive panic or worry. In that distressed state, your mind is clouded, your judgment becomes questionable and your focus is unbalanced. You want to find a solution immediately, so you don't see the little things that will help you reach your goals. Perhaps your heart will start beating quicker, the adrenaline will course through your veins like a flooding river- these physical traits will only serve to bring your mind to a snap-close, and however hard you may try to pry it open, it stays shut. Because you have been traumatized.

My mother taught me long ago how I could simply take deep breaths to calm myself down. I even did a whole meditation course on that. I did yoga. I learnt to breathe. Along the way, I forgot all that I had learnt.

The world will not come to an end simply because there is a problem, whether caused by you or not. Life will go on. And so you must as well to make do with the circumstances presented to you. A long, deep breath taken slowly and calmly (close your eyes if you prefer) together with a minute or two of silent contemplation and emptying your mind completely, will not only ease your mind, but also fill your body with oxygen, funnelling through to your brain, and releasing positive energies throughout your system. A long deep breath serves you better than a solid minute of panic, shouting and running around.

When you breathe, you can rationalize, seek creative solutions to problems. Open your mind to possibilities, make necessary judgment calls. What has been done, has been done. Often, the mistake is to dwell on why a problem cropped up, the cause of the problem, the perpetrator of the problem, etc. When your thoughts are focused on the past, you cannot look towards the future for the solution.

I confess that my thoughts initially were jumbled, panicky. I could serve no purpose. I couldn't find solutions, even though it was right before my eyes. Because I had allowed myself to become over-consumed by the alleged loss of my blog content (and that, was one of the most horrible things to have happened to me). Only when I had finally decided that I was going to let it be, did the solution, like a flash of brilliance hit me. And I solved my problem.

Apply this lesson to everything you do, sweet cakes. Exams, work, love, relationships and most importantly, life. I promise you: although you may not always find solutions to your problems, you will be comforted knowing that you had done all your best with a clear and conscious mind.