According to Dictionary.com, stubborn is defined as “having or showing dogged determination not to change one’s attitude or position on something, especially in spite of good arguments or reasons to do so.” My name is Madeline Beauregard, and I am stubborn. As are most defining attributes, my stubbornness is both a virtue and a vice. I have the ability to narrow my focus and become incredibly determined to accomplish a particular goal. I am winningly convincing in arguments about which I am passionate. At my worst, I become remarkably intolerant and overly critical. Lastly and most profoundly, when my mother asks me to do something, I will not, under any circumstances, want to do it.
In my house, meditation came after brushing your teeth but before catching the morning school bus. “Go have a meditate” was an appropriate comeback to a snappy comment made by a grumpy brother or sister. I was told that if I was met with any kind of trouble- may it be a bully at school, a lack of Friday night plans or a tough exam- a 20 minute meditation would help to clear my head and in time, present a solution. Of course, God forbid, I make my life any easier. No, my stubborn ways wasted no time making themselves known even when I was only eight years old and first learning about Transcendental Meditation.
In high school, I became enraged when my Forensics coach deemed me “The Master of Avoidance.” I should mention that upon telling my mother of my outrage, her jaw did drop, although not for the same reasons mine had. “Wow,” she said with a smile, “spot on.” Even now, I admit, my stubbornness remains. I have been starting and restarting this very entry for about two months, unable to commit my thoughts to paper.
So there you have it. I am stubborn. But admitting you have a problem is half the solution, right? …right?
Understanding my own brand of “dogged determination” has been a journey in and of it’s own. Overtime, I’ve realized that stubbornness such as my own may be considered a type of superpower, when directed at the right thing. But how exactly does one control such force of nature? Furthermore, how does one determine the “right” thing? Meditation.
If I had to sum up, in one word, what meditation gives to me, I would say it gives me trust. With meditation, I am able to trust that I will end up where I need to be. I am able to trust others. I am able to trust myself. I’ve learned that so much of my stubbornness comes from fear of what may come if I change my mind, my routine, or my bad habits. I ask myself, “If I try to succeed, what happens if I fail? Will I be safer if I do not try and instead, stay where I am?” Meditation has helped me to adopt more of a “nothing ventured, nothing gained” attitude. It has provided me with a type of mental safe house, a judgment free place to go to recharge and reassure myself that I am capable.
I stumbled upon a quote a few years ago that has stayed with me ever since. “Your life is not meant to be O.K. It is meant to be extraordinary. You just have to get out of your own way.” To this day, I do not know where the quote originated, but I do know that it will stay with me forever. Meditation helps to me to get out of my own way, however intoxicatingly addicting it may be. It helps me to get off of the “comfy couch,” an analogy that- in my house- refers to the deepest, darkest place of Maddy stubbornness. Meditation provides me with the other half of the solution to my stubbornness. Lastly, it helps me not only to control and direct my superpower but also to cherish it.
Maddy Beauregard | Yoga Contributor