In my youth, I learned outdoor survival skills and community social skills, which helped me think through the tasks at hand before acting on them. These skills were reinforced when I took classes in martial arts. I also acquired the skill to meditate and was able to calm my mind and body when there is outside pressure.
In the confusion of autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, and conversion disorder, I forgot these disciplines, but they were reintroduced to me recently by a colleague in the Autism Delaware office. While writing this article, I remembered what I’d been taught in my youth. As a result, I was able to comprehend the valuable lessons taught by scouts and martial arts: the value of mindfulness and meditation in restoring balance within me.
I now see how the reinforcement of these lessons continues to aid in my mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. Mindfulness provides the opportunity to think before acting and speaking as well as consideration for other people’s thoughts and beliefs. And breathing meditation provides the calm I need by clearing my consciousness of needless chatter, freeing my body of the energy drag and a high heart rate, and replenishing my oxygen supply. Together, mindfulness and meditation help me maintain an inner stability and provide me with the strength I need to succeed in the world.
Sun contributor Kyle Bryan is a self-advocate and former employee of Autism Delaware™.
This text was edited for consistency of language and message and appears in the April–June 2017 issue of the Autism Delaware quarterly newsletter, The Sun.