Searching for Inner Calm

I am peaceful, calm, like the ripples on a lake lapping at the shore.

If I say it enough, apparently it will come true.

I am in a similar position to many facing middle age. I wonder how I got here so quickly, especially when I still haven’t decided what I want to be when I grow up. I wonder if there is something else I should be doing with my life, something more “me”. Have I seized the day often enough? And I have hang-ups, things that hold me back, that are of my own making, which I am now trying to notice and will hopefully one day be able to move past. Perhaps you, reader, have experienced something similar?

I have discovered recently that I worry all the time about what people think of me, judging myself through their eyes. Always harshly. The driver thinks I’m a dumb cyclist, the pedestrian is annoyed I’m cycling on the sidewalk (yeah, I know I shouldn’t be, but I was only going half a block on that side….and there I go, explaining myself to those I’m sure are judging). But they may not be judging me thus. Or maybe they are but I shouldn’t care. I can’t live my life outside my body, in everyone else’s head. Then I’m disconnected from myself. Similarly, I have to figure out how to say no at work, or at home, when I just can’t do any more. And not be driven by how those I am saying no to react.

No wonder I am stressed!

But how do I stop? I think by being aware every time I imagine what others might be thinking of me, then gently pulling my focus back into my head. Who cares what they think of me? I’m sure they aren’t even thinking about me at all. And mostly, this is me using them to judge myself from a distance anyway. Sometimes, I still feel like a little girl on the bus on my way to school, sure everyone is appraising me and finding something wanting.

Step 1: Be peaceful and breathe. “I am peaceful, calm, like the ripples on a lake lapping at the shore.”

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