Have A Stressed-Out Friend? Here's The Best Way To Help
We all have a friend who could use meditation.
You know that friend I'm talking about, the one who is seemingly always complaining about work, never able to focus and living life in a constant state of functional chaos.
Hey, a few of us have even been that friend. Myself included.
Sometimes the most complex problems have the simplest solutions, and I discovered this firsthand after a series of life's devastating blows.
First it was the twin baby girls I was carrying. Then it was my mother. Then my career. And finally my marriage. I lost them all. I was miserable, but that was only part of the problem. When I had my babies, my mother, my job, and my husband I placed value elsewhere. The executive title, the jet-set lifestyle, the latest "it" bag.
But I didn't realize that right away ...
First a friend had to drag me to a yoga retreat kicking and screaming. It was there that meditation found me and eventually, I found myself. In a whirlwind of emotions — not unlike those I had just experienced in that painful year — I rediscovered my voice, my authenticity and my passion for the here and now.
When I reflect on the transformations I've experienced and endured in life, I look back on that moment when I was that friend.
I can't help but laugh.
And here I am today, a meditation coach, a yoga instructor, author of a freakin' book — all about finding your bliss! The me from 10 years ago could have never imagined it, would have never believed it. And it all started with a friend.
Be a friend to that friend and invite her to begin practicing mindfulness. Try using a few of the simple tactics my comrade used on me when I thought meditation was a bunch of new age voodoo.
1. Be gentle.
The last thing your friend needs is another strong force colliding with hers. Step back and give her space — to think, to resist, to take a risk, to discover. Don't force a conversation or harden yourself to "change her mind" about who she is or what she wants. Rough edges are buffed with a smooth surface, and in time she will soften to meet you and meditation.
2. Be patient.
My relationship with meditation began at that yoga retreat but it is still growing and redefining itself, every single day. This is a practice, and part of that journey starts with awareness and understanding. Give your friend time to learn, time to acclimate, time to find the shoe that fits just right. Let her kick and scream. Then maybe, she'll thank you for it a decade later with a blog post.
3. Be open-minded.
The bottom line is that meditation isn't for everyone. And that's OK. Some people figure out that running or writing or painting gives them the mental clarity, the emotional release and the physical realignment that meditation so generously provides. And that's OK, too. The goal is that you want your friend to be more mindful, and if she's figuring out what she needs to be happy, well, that's about as mindful as any of us can get.
Go ahead, pass along your favorite one-minute meditation to that friend.