When in Crisis, Return to the Breath

I am an anxious person. A friend had told me that if I practiced a relaxation technique routinely, such as meditation, then in times of great stress I could use it as a tool to stay calm. Two days ago I put my practice to the test.  I was preparing baby food for my daughter when I accidentally severely cut my finger. In the seconds following the accident, I wrapped my finger tightly and held it up in the air while lying down in case I fainted (I faint at the sight of blood!). My mother was luckily visiting and my daughter obliviously played in her high chair. As my mother panicked and asked me what she should do, I found myself taking deep breathes and focusing on them. A voice in my head reminded me to stay calm and relax. By taking deep breathes and slowing my thoughts down, I was able to figure out what to do. My amazing neighbor took me to the hospital (where I meditated some more while sitting for hours in the waiting room) and my finger was fine.

I use meditation to keep calm through the daily twists and turns of life, but I was so grateful to have this practice in a time of greater need. I do not always enjoy meditating. Sometimes it feels time-consuming and I am impatient. However, I know meditation is a tool I can use when I feel out of control and daily practice is how I sharpen that tool.

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