When I was studying in London, I had to speak publically at a symposium and I was very nervous. I also reminded myself of the importance of the self and how challenging moments are opportunities to train self peace and virtue.
If I think of the value of gratitude and a worthy education, I think of Marcus Aurelius. If I grieve or get angry, I run to Seneca. If I think myself not worthy, I pick up my courage from Epictetus.
One daily Stoic practice that helps me reflect on my progress is the evening meditation: I reflect on my day and ask myself : What did I do right? Where is room for improvement? How do I want to tackle my challenges tomorrow?
Stoicism had been the missing piece in my life but now I have found it, it has changed my outlook on life and eased my anxieties and fears to a tolerable measure. I am eager to wake up, read, listen, study and practise it all in my daily life.
From then on, I decided I was going to face fear and criticism head-on and really taking control for everything within my power, something I would later learn and reaffirm from the Stoic teachings.
With the Meditations on my study desk, I’m currently engaged in revising my memoir and teaching classes on Stoicism, Meditations and Creative Writing.
I was reading what I could find in a library in Galway, Ireland, just spending an afternoon inside when I pulled out Martha Nussbaum’s Love’s Knowledge.
I have a daily death contemplation practice. Just a quick morning ritual (reading and copying a meditation) and a regular stroll in a cemetery for added memento mori points.
A long time ago I read Epictetus’ Discourses among those trees and thought: “This is good stuff.”
I was looking for wisdom and came across my first book on Stoicism. The more I learned about and practiced Stoicism, the better I felt.