Friday, February 8, 2013

Peace of mind… ?

Last week our bible study group got to talk about peace. I keep picturing pieces of pie because that’s my idea of peace because it is not a word we use everyday- unless you’re talking Peace Corp (Hi Helen!) or saying stuff like Peace, yo. Hippy-style. I had never stopped to think about what this word “peace” meant to me.

Someone brought up the fact that peace does not necessarily mean a lack of conflict. You can still be at peace, even if you are conflict-ridden.

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I jotted this down and thought about it over the week because this concept is so foreign to me. I interpreted it this way: you can be happy with yourself- “at peace”- even if you are not where you want to be. There is someone looking out for you and although you may be upset with the current affairs you need to trust that things will turn out okay.

This is hard.

Because the nature of dental school is that everyone is dealing with the same thing (classes, selective requirements, same opportunities, same limited sunshine-exposure), I think what is wrong with me? Everyone else is doing fine.

Bruce warned me that first year of graduate school will be the hardest, because you constantly doubt yourself. I have a strong internal locus of control (you can take this short 13-question test here) so this is especially true.

Right now I’m beating myself up for having just missed the next grade (I began this fight four hours before an exam at 4 in the morning). That I write down the same to-do lists every month: run in the mornings, drink less caffeine, be a little more patient… as I’m writing this having slept in and drinking coffee.

In dental school we' are learning all about the negative effects of cortisol and constant stress, how it shifts your metabolism and causes all kinds of systematic diseases. Case in point, during our Intro to Medicine rotation I learned that my blood pressure has gone up in tens since last summer.

What to do? Breathing in, breathing out. I learned this at a meditation session (which I had to leave early). Bring the focus to the present and think: what can I do now to be a little more comfortable? Put myself a little bit more at peace?

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