For the past several years I have been trying to find ways to lessen my anxieties and be at peace with who I am. I have read all sorts of books on Buddhism, other spiritualties and general self help. Buddhism has become my most comforting source of strength and Pema Chodron has been a powerful mentor. I have read’most everything she has written, listened to many of her CD’s and streamed some of her workshops. I have also taken meditation workshops and have?been on and?off the meditation wagon. I am happy to say I am on it once again.I even have become a great mentor to others in relation to living in the moment and living a life at peace.

Yet with all of this work, it can still be a struggle to not get caught up in all of the scenarios I can create out of nothing in my mind. Most, if not all, of my elaborate dramas never occur. But I still can continue to conjure up the most worrisome outcomes in my life. I will say, I am quite creative! That may be the root of the problem. I do now know I have a creative mind and that is a good thing. What I am learning to do is direct that creativity towards more positive outcomes. One of those is writing in this blog and also starting to write poems. I have also become more creative in my job. At least I hope to be when the semester starts. I have decided to change how I teach my classes in quite a dramatic way. I will talk about that in another post.

I am getting better at stopping myself when I start down that path of worry and negative thinking. What I know now is that it will never be a perfect path. Pema Chodron talks about the fact that we all have emotional “hooks” that catch us and take us in not such good directions. Progress?occurs when we see ourselves getting hooked and can stop and change direction. That, I am getting better at. I still get hooked. That doesn’t go away. But little by little I am recognizing when it happens and more often than not, I am eventually able to stop myself. I have these internal conversations about what is occurring and how the scenarios I am creating are just that,’slim possibilities, not fact. I focus on my breath and try and slow my busy mind down. Little by little, I can often bring myself back to the present, which I know is the only place to be.

I am also getting so much better at not beating myself up for what I should of, could of done differently. Because as many of us do, I not only get stuck in what could be in the future, I also get stuck in what was in the past. I get stuck in worrying about what others may think of what I did or did not do. I am?now able to tell myself that people are probably not thinking bad things about me as often as I think they are. If they are, it is their problem, not mine. I am doing the best I can do. I have good intentions, generally a good heart and I keep trying to be a better person.

So, I guess, little by little, I am making peace with myself. I am trying grow spiritually, do better and cherish life as it is. I can’t ask for more.

Develop skills to find peace in your riding and your life through clinics or coaching with Lisa Eklund at The Mindful Equestrian.