Forget about managing stress
Day 282/366 days Towards Self-Mastery.
Coping with or managing a stressful life is not a lifestyle that I subscribe to. It seems inevitable in today's world that this be an imperative. We forget that the amount of stress we tolerate in our life is down to the choices we make.
I'm not talking here about the inevitable stresses that happen and it's our duty to work them through. A child injures themselves, you drop and break something and need to clean up the emotional, relationship and physical mess, a virus comes along and creates mayhem with the global economy and you lose your job. These are all stresses that we have to deal with as part of living a human life.
How you construct your life will determine how well you cope with life's inevitable stresses.
For this reason I recommend simplify, simplify, simplify. It's never too late to simplify your life. The less clutter you have making demands on you the simpler life will be, and the more capacity you will have to deal with life's stresses.
Here I'm talking about the clutter that occupies your mind space, your emotional space, your energetic space, your physical living space, your physical body space. Look for the clutter in these spaces and work to release them from your life. They consume your capacity to be, to live, to connect and to support.
Take quiet time. Walk in nature, sit in your garden, walk on the beach. Nature is soothing and calming and immensely intelligent. Sooth your troubled mind, give it rest. Meditate. (Here's a clue: meditation becomes easier as you build capacity in your nervous system.)
Become aware of your emotions and your moment by moment emotional reactions to life. Observe them. Be curious. Find peace with them.
Surround yourself with peaceful surroundings and peaceful people. Keep the energy around you harmonious and calm.
Clear your living spaces. Tidy and clear away unwanted and unused items that don't serve a purpose for you, whether that be an emotional or functional purpose. If you are compelled to collect, find a storage space that doesn't encroach on your living spaces. Freeing up your space also frees up your mind.
Live in smaller less demanding spaces. If you have 5 bathrooms for a 3 person family you are probably over committed financially and in terms of the time you need to attend to cleaning and maintenance.
Observe your body space. Rest it, exercise it, fast it as needed, feed it well with healthy food when you are hungry. An empty stomach accelerates healing on every level. Allow your stomach to empty. Sleep on an empty stomach.
Fill your lungs slowly and completely with fresh air. Smell the fragrances around you, especially those growing nearby.
Learn about your body by observing your body's rhythms and rhymes.
Attention to these 4 spaces will build capacity in your nervous system so that it is more able to do the job of coping with the stresses of everyday life. Our western lifestyle adds so much additional stress that is absolutely not necessary.
Yes, that means when big things come along like job losses, and income losses that threaten your current livelihood, you have the capacity to make the right choices and right decisions to take the next right step.
Moving away from stress is a more healthy life-giving option than learning to cope with or manage stress.
366 days Towards Self-Mastery
When I considered my New Year's intentions for 2020 I had just one: To allow my heart to love what it loved...and let it lead me. (If not now, then when?)
I've spent months working on integrating my life. To live life more fully with my home life, my interests, my work, my responsibilities, all coming together, all connected. I want to give each the attention that they desire and need, and still have time and energy for the others. That means living and working from the heart.
As I was clearing out my bookshelf over the Christmas break I discovered Simple Abundance. I set it aside to explore it on New Year's Day as I lazed through another delicious day of nothingness. Sarah, the author, says this book is about living in grace. Living in grace I realised, is about Self-Mastery.
My thirst for understanding the human condition has driven me all my life, and hand-in-hand with self-mastery it has been a life-long goal. And seeing as I love to write, that living in grace is about self-mastery, and I love a bit of a challenge, then if I am truly going to let my heart lead, I really don't have any other choice. So scary as it feels, I'm starting out on a daily mission of leaning into the suggestions of this daybook and making a daily post to keep me accountable. If not now, then when?
I'm Josie. You can find out a little more about me here.
Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy: by Sarah Ban Breathnach.
This book is written for the Australian and NZ market because it refers to seasonal changes. It's available on Amazon here if you'd like to follow along.