Take what you need: It’s important to enlist any support tools such as meditation, exercise, and yoga to help you physically relax. The first step to relaxing is to make your body relax.

Max Simon, an inspirational speaker, said once during a “Public Display of Meditation” that we should always just return to our breath, that is, not worry about what’s going on around us. He makes this point as he takes a whole group of people and leads them into a public place. The group sits down, everyone closes his or her eyes and meditates amid a bustling scene. Max tells the story of having taken a group all the way to Hollywood Blvd and having “Marilyn Monroe” and “Elvis” join them!

Once, during a convention where Max was the keynote speaker, I participated in a PDM. At first I was unwilling, though I finally decided – eyes rolling – to be a good sport and go with it, even though I’d imagined that it would be difficult and awkward to have people stare at me while I meditated. I was certain that it was going to be impossible to get to a place where I could relax. Too much was going on around me.

To my surprise, I found the constant noise level in the convention center around me actually dulled my senses and, after a few minutes, I began to relax. When I finally opened my eyes, I realized that no one in the crowd was looking at me funny. As a matter of fact, nobody took much interest in us at all as we sat on the ground meditating.

I remember a children’s book that I used to read to my daughter, about a farmer who complains to the local wise man that his house is too noisy because of all his kids, wife, grandparents and pets. The wise man advises him to bring one farm animal inside the house. The farmer does as he is told, but discovers, much to his dismay, that now his house is even louder. He returns to the wise man who advises him to bring yet another farm animal into his house. This continues until the farmer has a pig, a cow, a sheep, a chicken, a horse, and a mule in the house. Exasperated, he goes to the wise man one more time. The wise man smiles and knowingly says only three words: remove the animals.

The book ends with the man sitting in the living room, smiling happily, with everyone who was in the house at the outset of his adventure. The only difference was that he had learned a different outlook.

That happened with me, too. I realized that I was not the center of anyone’s attention – which was an essential part of the public-meditation exercise.

Have there been time sin your life when you’ve been taken aback by how much you thought you were going to be made a fool of, by doing something unexpected, only to realize that it didn’t turn out that way? Have you had a change in perspective, in attitude, that made you look at the world a little differently? Write to me about it, and let me know – I’d love to hear from you.


Image provided by Michael Albany Photography

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