Practicing Soticism

Practicing Stoicism

I listened to the doctor explain what seemed like an endless list of diseases she wanted to test for.
I knew the names of some but others fell into the list of “will never be able to spell that correctly enough to google.”
But I knew the names of some and my stomach dropped with each one.
And then a thought popped into my head.
This was going to be a fantastic opportunity to practice the philosophy that I speak, write and teach on every single day.
I struggle with those who engage in hypocrisy- saying one thing on social media or in public and another privately. Which is why on this page, I don’t present myself as anything but a flawed human being.
So today would be either an opportunity to share a failure, or demonstrate the power of Stoicism.
I walked down the hallway towards the lab, recognizing the temptation to withdraw into imagined future suffering but rejecting it in favor of connection and looking for opportunities for acts of kindness.
I made eye contact with a doctor passing me in the hall, I smiled and said hi. He looked startled, then smiled and chuckled while responding with a ‘hello’ as he continued on his way. Eye contact, smile and greeting- I remind all the hospital healthcare providers I work with of this simple form of connection as they move through their day.
That felt better than looking down at my feet.
I checked in at the lab, the woman who took my information had truly stunning eyebrows, I commented on them, and her reaction reminded me why it’s important to look at someone, not past them.
A student was drawing my blood, her supervisor watched intently without crowding her. Afterwards, I asked her how long she had been a student.
“5 days.”
I’m so glad I didn’t know that before she stuck a needle in my arm.
“You did an amazing job, that was incredible- I never would have guessed you were even a student.”
Her face beamed. Her instructor smiled. I hopped down and headed to my car.
I found as many people along my way to smile at, say hi to and enjoy a brief moment of connection with.
I meant every compliment and comment. And it wasn’t hard, it’s easy to find something kind to say to just about everyone- you just need to want to see it.
During the appointment, in the days leading up and for the rest of today, I continued to repeat to myself the following Seneca quote that hangs in the leadership workshop room here at BMK:
“He suffers more than necessary, who suffers before it is necessary.”
I didn’t distract myself by focusing on kindness and connection, I simply chose to spend my time and energy there instead of in imagined suffering. Because that’s all it would be- imagined. Whereas the people I encountered were real, the kindness real, the connection real. I chose reality.
Connection is what keeps us grounded. Which is why I drove straight to the fire house and allowed myself to be wrapped in a massive hug from my husband. Being a stoic doesn’t mean not having emotions, it doesn’t mean you are cold or unfeeling- and it doesn’t mean going through life not needing the help of others, the love or support of others.
Life is full of enough suffering, we don’t need to invite anymore than will naturally present itself. So I choose to forgo that, and stick with what I do know to be true right now at this moment. And allow the future to happen when it does, and not a moment before.
“We suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
Mindfulness is a part of everything here at BMK, from summer camps for kids to team building workshops for adults, private parties and more.

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About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.

 

As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

Follow For Daily Posts and Baby Goat Videos!

About Becky

Becky Schmooke (pronounced “Smoke”) is a Mindful Leadership Consultant and Speaker, focused on providing action based mindfulness and leadership training to organizations and businesses who are ready to do things differently.

Becky’s Mindful Kitchen, is located outside of Iowa City, and provides truly unique team building and leadership retreats,  strategic planning workshops, private parties and classes and weekly summer camps for kids. The commercial teaching kitchen, treehouse, archery range, bush craft skills, first aid training, wood fired pizza oven, chickens, baby goats and timber adventure playground provides endless opportunities for hands on activities.

 

As a mom to three girls, 60 chickens, 4 goats, 2 dogs and a fire fighter’s wife- life is never boring and provides Becky with endless stories which she uses to illustrate her approach to mindfulness in daily posts on social media.  

In all that she does, Becky has one goal, to build confidence in others to take action to live their best life, not just pass time.  

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