Yellow Belt Essay by Michele Radakovits
I have been with my current employer for 17 years. I am proud of the fact that in my position I am able to help people, some of whom would otherwise be forgotten. Some of these people have physical or emotional challenges that cause them to be frustrated and on occasions they take out their frustrations on me. Some of the stories that these people have are just downright sad and depressing. I also happen to work with a few people who are
very negative on a daily basis. Their complaints are constant and in my opinion often very trivial in comparison. Their negativity seems to be contagious in the office and I have found myself getting sucked into it. The workday was becoming mentally exhausting to me. It got to the point that as soon as I woke up in the mornings I would feel anger and dread at the fact that I had to go into work.
Since I started practicing taekwondo, my attitude has changed. During the day when things start to frustrate and overwhelm me, I practice my poomsae in my mind. I visualize myself in the dojang. I find it calms my mind and my breathing as if I were meditating. Those few moments of escape have a huge effect on my attitude. I replace the negative with a positive state of mind. I am better able to deal with the stresses of the workday. I am grateful for the peace and sense of accomplishment I have found in my training. It carries throughout my day and is enabling me to keep doing my best to continue helping people. I do still look forward to the end of the workday but not out of a sense of dismay. Now that I am more peaceful throughout the day, I look forward to the end of the day because I can focus on going home to be with my family and hopefully physically going to the dojang to be positively challenged.