Monday, January 17, 2011


I am doing research on the effects of stress. Even good things can cause us to experience stress. We only experience things as pleasurable, unpleasant, or neutral. When you don't have a handle on your feelings and emotions, it is easy to get confused about what you feel.

I have found meditation is the best way to get rid of stress, but it requires you learn to clear your mind. Learning to free yourself from thought is hard to do, especially when you are a thinker like me. It took me quite a few years to even try. When I first got into meditation, it was guided meditation. I used a tape and did what the person told me to do. I used that tape to help me quit a job that was extremely stressful and toxic.

It had been revealed that the owner and just about everyone else was a racist. It took a Mexican to be hired for the shit to hit the fan. I was the first black to be hired in the front office back in 1983 and they had been in business since 1957.

When they hired the Mexican guy, one of the other workers, unbeknown st to the owner, had been tortured by the kids in the Mexican neighborhood he grew up in as a white boy. Needless to say it was a mess. The Mexican guy decided to reach out to me for help because he thought I had worked some sort of magic to get along with those folk. Little did he know, I didn't know they were racist. They were ignorant and said a lot of stupid stuff, but I was only 23, just left East. St. Louis, IL and had no experience with white folk, other than my school teachers.

Before I began working for them, I was making $4.75 an hour. They started me off with $6.00. You couldn't tell me nothing. Within a year, I was making $7.75. They were very pleased with my work ethic and I was pleased to get paid. The office manager was very generous and she showed her appreciation for my hard work.

I had several incidents at a local restaurant where the owner, who often came into the printing company to have things printed, would come to the table, turn her back to me and talk to the white co-worker I would go with. This happened three times and I let my friend know if she did it again; I was going to say something to the woman. She did and I did. i wrote her a letter and she showed it to my office manager. The manager had the nerve to step to me and tell me I was harsh and that the woman didn't mean anything by her rudeness and disrespect.
The woman later came in with flowers and a card. She came to tell me about her one best black friend. I looked her dead in the eye and told her that statement she just made proved to me even more she was at the least discriminating against me, but I believed she was a racist. I refused to go in her restaurant.

That's when I began to understand that folk can be racist and pay you a far wage. That people can respect hard work, but hate the worker. I learned my lesson well about white folk on that job. After, 8.5 years, I eventually took off three days to pray and meditate. I could not morally work for people who would allow the harassment they did of the Mexican guy. When I reported it, they laughed. Even after the Mexican guy went to the city and put in a complaint, and an investigation was launched, the owner spouted out racial slurs one day when a Japanese guy walked out the door. That was it for me. I quit on that 4th day. I could not take the stress of working in such a racially hostile environment.

Since this incident, I have learned to empty my mind. Whenever a thought comes in, I catch it and blank it out. It is a wonderfully calming and renewing experience. This takes time, but I am worth it. For a few months I have been talking about how I feel things have changed. How I recognize something is different in me. One of the major changes is I am maintaining my weight, which is harder to do than lose. Another is that it has become so much easier to empty my mind.
Try meditation to rid yourself of stress.

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