A huge problem for me is stress. I let it overwhelm my soul, ache my joints, and propel me into anxiety. This has always been a problem but college and the stressors that come along with it definitely made it worse.
However, little-by-little I am working on making it a priority to get rid of negative thoughts, emotions, tensions, and focus on the beauty of life and of the little things.
While abroad you will most likely be surrounded by a plethora of students from various different backgrounds. That being said, it is only natural for you to compare yourself to others. Why am I not doing that? Should I be doing this? I did this often at the beginning of my trip. I wondered why I didn’t study as long or why I wasn’t talking as much as someone else. I constantly was comparing myself to people who were nothing like me. However soon, realization hit and it was that I don’t have to prove myself to anyone but myself.
After this, it didn’t matter what others were doing, I didn’t let someone else’s stress dictate my stress. I began to find the beauty in breathing, in reflecting, and realizing that I don’t have to be best friends with the people that I was surrounded by and have their acceptance to be happy with my travels and with my experience.
What seriously changed my perspective is something I did tonight, yoga. I have done yoga before a few times, nothing crazy but it was always something that made me feel like no other when I was done. Being a very spiritual and emotional person it is the perfect outlet for any negativity or stress that I harbored (because let’s be real — we can all be negative at times). I went to a class with a friend in Amman at Namaste Zone Studio and it literally made me realize everything that I was doing wrong.
I was thinking too much about things I didn’t need to be thinking about, I was overstressing about things and people I couldn’t control. I let these facets of my life consume me, make me crave familiarity–home.
Yoga opened my soul to my own capabilities and made me realize all of these things in one hour when I have been here for months.
Yoga opened up the world of mindfulness for me. Now, I find peace in my happiness, progress, and positivity. No matter what, I refuse to let anyone dull my shine and make me doubt myself.
Now when I look at Amman I will look at what it gave me. It was scary to take the step and be vulnerable and to venture to an unknown studio by unknown women, but the second I landed from that headstand and received applause from the women of the studio I felt a sense of belonging and support that showed me that mindfulness is everywhere, even in the little places. Even in the coffee shops. Even in the sneezes, the laughter, the tears. To be aware is to make positive change.
As our instructor said, “bask in the glow of the moon and feel her strength, feel her move the waves of the ocean and shine vibrantly”, so now when I think of myself I will remember the moon, something that doesn’t have to try so hard to shine, but does so effortlessly amongst the darkness.