Ready for the latest in what has become quite the series of self-improvement schemes? First it was the labelmaker, then it was the naturopath, and now...meditation! I started taking a Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction class on Monday. My stress level has been through the roof lately, because of my job, which, although no one's life depends on my doing my job well, still involves keeping about 10,000 different balls in the air at any given moment, dropping any of which will cause (relative) disaster. And my new boss is always tossing in more balls for me to juggle along with the rest.
All of which causes heart-pounding, stomach-churning, and 2:00 a.m. mind-racing. So when I learned of the MBSR class on a Friday, I was signed up by the following Monday. The class meets once a week for eight weeks, plus one whole Saturday in May, plus daily homework. This week's homework is listening to a 40-minute CD every night that guides you through an exercise called a "body scan." I swear, my instructor's voice on that CD is perfectly calibrated to cause instant sleep, which is not the intent. Today I did it in the morning and that worked out better.
I didn't really know what I was getting into with this class, because it is hard to describe if you're not doing it, and for the same reason I don't really know how to describe it now, but I like it. I normally have a running narrative in my head of the past and future—all the (stupid, of course) things I've done and all the (insurmountable, of course) things I need to do—but it's very hard to keep that narrative going if you're told to focus on your toes.
I'm sure that this class will be about more than that as it continues, but just that in itself is a pretty good payoff.