Saturday 4 July 2015

Tempting Providence

I have blogged before about the value of meditation: here about the theoretical benefits and my struggle to maintain a commitment to it, and here with something of a progress report as I got the practice better established as part of my routine.

This last couple of weeks have been challenging ones in a number of ways, and on Friday I was reflecting with my coach how relaxed I have felt throughout it all, and how differently I have responded to the way I would have done even just two or three years ago.

The challenges have been many and varied, and I don't want to go into all of them now, but they range from a number of difficult client interactions to the timing belt on my car snapping, which means the engine will need to be re-built or replaced.

Being an introverted sort of chap, there is always the risk that I bottle these things up, until they blow (as my wife and children will quickly tell you, should you ask...)

But I have been much more serene though this bumpy patch and able to maintain a more detached perspective; and that has had a number of benefits. Thanks, at least in part, to good conversations with my coach, I handled some of the situations with more grace and ease, and as a result did not project my own anxieties into them so that they were not difficult after all.  Others remained difficult, but they did not get to me, and thus did not contaminate my other work nor disrupt my relaxation, recreation or sleep. (Though again, a quick conversation with my family might, of course, yield another perspective!)

And I do attribute this to the discipline of meditation which I now have reasonably well established as part of my daily routine. Those 15 minutes each day of prayerful calm are having a huge impact. On top of that, was the wonderful break I gave myself by taking three days off to walk from Paris to Chartres with three of my children (and many other pilgrims). That had the quality of a retreat in many ways: complete withdrawal from all the business of life (no mobile phone or emails...) and three days of simply, walking, talking, thinking, praying, eating and sleeping.

However, I clearly am not wholly without worries yet: for I have a nasty anxiety that blogging about this is tantamount to tempting Providence, and that pride cometh before destruction and all that...

So the next blog post you read here may conceivably be about a complete meltdown in the face of something trivial. But at present, that feels very unlikely.

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