FINDING PEACE

Here in Costa Rica it gets dark around 5:30 pm and light at 5:30 am, year-round. After 40 years of living in this country my internal circadian clock is set to this. I’m early to bed and early to rise; very early to rise. Around three in the morning I wake up wide awake so instead of trying to get back to sleep, which is impossible, I put some Om chanting on my computer, cover the screen and, in the dark, meditate for an hour. Sometimes afterward, I can get back to sleep until the birds wake me up at dawn.
At 71, starting a new dementia project is challenging especially when I have to learn all this new technology. My children’s generation grew up with it but I didn’t and creating content for the new website, learning zoom, videos, and podcasts, and finally discovering how to really use my phone is not easy for me: my sleep has become very erratic; I wake up realizing I’ve been thinking about this stuff while asleep. It’s now 3 am and during my meditation my thoughts would not shut up so I decided to go ahead and start my day writing this for the blog.
For two decades I’ve dedicated myself to creating methods by which to give people with dementia a voice and enable others to hear it. Most of what I’ve done has been successful but now the time has come to get on the technological train and change my Neanderthal attitudes about learning these systems. However, I have to admit this hasn’t been easy and it has created some stress. Anytime we are confronted with the unfamiliar territory it’s a natural reaction.
My morning meditation and garden have been my salvation. It’s a tranquil Zen space where I can watch the first rays of morning light and listen to the early birds sing while drinking my morning java. This starts my day and then I delve back into the project. In the afternoon I take a break for a swim in the pool and at dusk again return to the garden and piddle with the plants or water until the light disappears. The stress cannot hang on with this daily routine.
The Coronavirus quarantine is just beginning and in the isolation many people are feeling anxious especially home caregivers who have been dealing with incredible stress daily. I recommend you create a space in your routine to meditate if just for 15 minutes and if you have a garden work in it or sit surrounded by nature. We are all in new territory and it is essential we find whatever we need to do to bring harmony into our life even if it is just a short time every day. It takes effort but in the long run it will be well worth it.

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