Is it because I’m a woman or just something peculiar to me that relationships seem so vitally important? Health—great; career—fine; family—doing well. But how I’m getting on with everyone—especially the quality of my most intimate relationships—is everything.

My experience is that my heart has to flow to someone. At any given moment—a child, a sister, a parent, the family pet—someone is the object of my adoration. Nourishing someone besides myself is a joy, a fulfillment of being.

However, I also have had the experience of love stopping. Like a writer with writer’s block, the channel of expression just dries up. It’s borne of fatigue, it rides on the back of a wave of stress. “Everyone can just take care of themselves, I don’t give a hoot.” That’s what stress does to relationships.

So, the culprit is stress. If I’d had a switch to turn the flow of “giving a hoot” back on, I’d surely have used it. And then a friend told me about a switch—It’s Transcendental Meditation.

TM is a technique you do sitting comfortably with closed eyes; it’s incredibly relaxing mentally and physically, and the stress and fatigue just melt away. Whenever I found myself blocked emotionally, I noticed that after my meditation, the block had dissolved. And those annoyed and uncaring times became far less frequent. There’s a bonus for those around me—with TM, my mind becomes more silent and settled, so I can listen better and appreciate others more.

It’s that simple.

Janet Hoffman is the executive director of the TM program for women professionals in the USA.

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