The head trainer Peter and I used to be coworkers. At the end of almost every day, we would clean up the rooms we worked in. This gave us a lot of time to talk about work, school, and life in general. During these talks I would complain a lot about the people in my life who made me feel awful and being unappreciated at our work. He saw right through my complaints and pushed me to confront my deeper issues of self-esteem and doubt. My tendency has always been to react very viscerally to negative things in my life, chalking it up to being an emotional person. I would dwell in my sadness in a way that in the past had led me through an eating disorder, and even after would lead to feelings of emotional exhaustion and depression. His advice always lead me to confront my feelings about negative situations and helped me think about the power I have to change the way I react to negativity and life in general. Peter began to encourage me to practice being mindful of my feelings and the triggers around me through meditation. Here are two BIG lessons that Peter helped me understand.
#1: He helped me realize that negativity or “suffering”as the Buddhists refer to it, is part of life. Before I met Peter, I would obsess over why I suffered through bad things, always trying to put the blame on others or often putting the blame on myself. But Peter helped me change my mindset. I now am continually trying to be mindful of negativity and focus my energy on how to move through it. This has improved my performance at work, helping me become less of an inactive complainer and more of an active problem solver. It also continually helps me in my personal life, keeping me from dwelling too much in disappointment or sadness.
#2: The second thing I learned from Peter is that meditation and mindfulness are practiced. They are not always going to be easy. Every meditation is not going to be peaceful and each sit down is different. But each one is impactful and offers moments of clarity.
Though honestly, I have not committed myself to a daily practice of meditation, Peter has helped me begin a practice of mindfulness that is continually helping me grow. As I continue to practice I find those moments of peace and contentment. Mediation and mindfulness is a path that I am still carving out for myself but Peter gave me the tools to begin and continue my journey. Thank you Peter for helping me find this path!