|Photo credit: Me|
Note: This post is also posted on my 366 Somedays blog because I think it is relevant to both blog topics.
This week I've noticed a foreign sense of calm within myself. Once I realized it, I looked back to see if I could pinpoint when it began. I can’t pinpoint a date, but I do know it’s been building for the last few weeks. I say it’s foreign because my mind is usually racing, my nerves tied up with plans and worry, and something else – perhaps a heightened negative sense of some sort. Now, my mind is still functioning, but it feels like it’s gently flowing, not racing. My nerves? I think of nerves as stress – again, flowing, not stressful. And the “something else” is now this overall sense of calm.
I wonder if this is simply a matter of aging. I’ve read that people tend to feel happier as they get older. Is this new sense of calm simply me getting older? As I read the research on this phenomenon, I really don’t think it applies to me right now. One of the reasons people tend to get happier as they age is because they lower their expectations and accept their achievements. Here I am, in the midst of my 366 Somedays tackling new goals every month, so I haven’t really lowered my expectations and accepted my past achievements as all inclusive.
I’m almost afraid to say it, but I think my new calm stems from the activities of my 366 Somedays. I think my meditation practice, especially the loving kindness meditation, is having a positive effect on me. I know daily exercise makes me feel good, but adding in the singing last week has changed my walks from exercise to a spiritual experience. And yesterday I noticed that, when I’m not singing, I’m humming and humming also has therapeutic benefits.
I hoped the challenges of my 366 Somedays would bring satisfaction, but I wasn’t expecting calm. This is another sign that stepping out and trying something new is good for us. Now, if I could just whistle. I read that whistling is also good for the body and mind. Maybe learning to whistle should be one of my “somedays”. No, let’s not push it! I’ll meditate, I’ll sing a happy song, and I’ll hum a tune, but I don’t need to also whistle while I work. Especially since, with all due respect to Lauren Bacall, there seems to be a lot more to it than "just put your lips together and blow."