I recently learned that April is National Stress Awareness Month, as if we are not aware of stress the other 11 months of the year. We have always had stress but recently it seems to surround us like some kind of killer fog. It’s everywhere and we need to get rid of it.
While I have always been a proponent of stress reduction, I never really had a plan to reduce my own stress. For years, I have been speaking about the stress relieving benefits of laughter but making yourself laugh is a lot harder. You can’t even tickle yourself to make yourself laugh. Go ahead, try it.
In my ongoing effort to lower my stress, I have decided to try meditation. Granted, I don’t know anything about meditation other than what I read in a book but that was enough to get me started. So far, my regimen consists of a breathing exercise followed by a period of muttering nonsense and focusing out of my third eye. This is the part I don’t really get.
According to the book, I am supposed to sit cross legged, with my hands resting on my knees, and I am supposed to repeat the word “Om”. I am more likely to repeat the word WTF than I am Om, because I find Om to be one of the dumbest things a person could say.
Plus, I looked up in the dictionary and they don’t even spell it right. Om is spelled o-h-m and it is a unit of electrical resistance. Now it makes even less sense. Why would I want to concentrate on electrical resistance when I am trying to eliminate stress. Electricity has always given me stress, even static electricity. Let’s face it, a shock is a shock and it doesn’t calm me down.
So I decided to use my own meditation word. Something that means more to me than ohm. After hearing about (but not yet seeing) the movie the Life of Pi, I decided to choose pi as my meditative word. Of course, I once again had to correct the spelling to p-i-e which is a word that means the world to me.
I love pie. It is my favorite dessert and I don’t really care what kind of pie it is. In fact, I have never met a pie I didn’t like…except for mincemeat pie, Shepherds pie, and steak & kidney pie, all of which are not pies as much as they are the organs and dangly bits of animals served with a crust on top. This is not pie.
Real pie has a succulent filling of fruit, or pudding, or custard, or something else that does not come from an animal’s insides. Apple pie, berry pie, pumpkin pie, cherry pie, banana cream pie, even strawberry-rhubarb pie, a tasty pastry that contains fruit AND a vegetable.
So I meditate by concentrating on pie and it seems to be working. In just one week I have noticed that my stress is lower and I’ve gained three pounds. Mmmmmm. Pie.