Quick update on myself. Finding wellness means taking responsibility, taking a hard look at your life and making changes in all areas of your life…..and sometimes changes just happen to you and you learn to adjust with grace and compassion and move on. So, I left my 8 year relationship (starting all over at 59), moved into an apartment, shortly after moving I had appendicitis and had surgery to remove it (when it rains it pours)…not done yet, my beloved brother died of cancer, my 90 year old step Father also passed away. On the positive side I’m seeing a great accupuncturist once a week, I just started Toby Mortison’s on-line course for CFS (I’ll talk more on that later), and looking into SE (somatic experiencing)….releasing old stress or trauma in the body. I’m functional, but with everything I went through last year I had a few steps back but am now ready to move forward.
I want to share this portion of a chapter of Anthony Williams book, Life Changing Foods. It’s about making friends with stress instead of seeing it as bad. I think it’s a great mind shift to get more in touch with what’s going on in our bodies to help us on our path to healing.
” Stress is not trying to kill you. It’s a master teacher that is trying to communicate with you. It’s trying to test you—though it’s not about any sort of score. Rather than looking at stress as an invader, understand that stress is preparing you to be a master. Say hello to stress. Recognize it as a familiar face, someone you care about, and look it in the eye. Greet stress as your great mentor. Feel almost sorry for stress. After all, you will move past it, rise above it, succeed it—you’ll leave it behind. When dealing with stress, it’s key to remember this impermanence. No matter what, all things change. Nothing will stay the same. In the moment when stress is pushing you past your capacity, when you feel in dire need of relief, remind yourself that it will not last. When stress is there, we can appreciate it. Without stress, where would we be? There would be no challenge to inspire us. With the weather always perfect, food always abundant, love always flowing, we wouldn’t have anything to strive for, and life would grow boring. Without stress, we would lose our will, because will is built upon constantly succeeding, rising above, and breaking through to the other side of stress. Imagine all the birds suddenly gone from the planet. Not only would we miss out on everything birds do for the ecosystem, the experience of life on earth just wouldn’t be the same if they vanished. That’s how it would be if stress suddenly ceased to exist. If we didn’t have all these stresses flitting through our lives, it simply wouldn’t be right. If you think about it, stress is just the name we give it in negative circumstances (or what we label as negative circumstances). There are plenty of moments in our lives that we think of as leisure or play that have elements of stress involved. When you’re riding your bike on the weekend, giving it everything you’ve got to get to the top of a hill, that’s stress—only you probably think of it as exhilaration or release. The point is, stress is natural. It’s always been there, and it’s always been a friend. No matter how intense or grave stress feels in a given moment, we have to remember not to fear it. We hear the term stress management a lot. The issue with this concept is that managing stress can feel like one more job to do, and one more thing to feel bad about. So many people already walk around feeling inadequate for not being able to keep up with every single detail of their lives. On top of that, they’re supposed to feel like they have one more task—to manage the way they’re managing it all? Staying sane is less about managing stress and more about interacting with it. Instead of trying to fight against stress, communicate with it. Even consider letting stress reside at your address. Welcome it to your table. Break bread with stress. Acknowledge it as you drink your warm bowl of soup with stress beside you, offering it honor and respect, as though it’s a coach who has moved in to get you into prime shape. If you’re used to getting physical symptoms such as tight muscles from stress, politely ask stress instead to zero in on those problem areas like a masseuse and send them the message that it’s time to let go and work for you, because they’re needed to help you fulfill your purpose-plus. There is one boundary you need to set with stress: bedtime. When you retire for the night, that’s when you tell stress, “You’re locked out.” No matter what’s occurring in your life, you get to shut off your thoughts about it all when you shut off the light. This is when you call the angels in and create your sanctuary for the night, so you can navigate your dreams and be cleansed of difficult emotions that cropped up during the day. You need and deserve your rest. The approach of seeing stress as a messenger, friend, teacher, mentor, body worker, and coach makes stress less stressful. It is a powerful technique to help us grow and adapt to the challenges of our time. When you feel sorry for stress, appreciate it, and recognize it as impermanent, it doesn’t send the same jolt of excess adrenaline through your veins—it doesn’t take the toll on your body that it would otherwise. So go ahead, watch what happens when you greet stress with this new perspective. I can’t wait for you to feel the relief.”