“What seems to be the problem?” I asked.
“Life,” my client muttered.
“Is that all?” I replied.
“Yes,” he said.
“Can you be more precise?”
“No – it’s just a severe case of life.”
“Do you feel stressed?”
“I don’t get stressed,” he huffed.
The shame of stress is double trouble. It’s a trap that blocks healing and causes great pain. I remember soon after my Stress Buster Clinic opened we mailed 5,000 local business offering a free in-house Stress Busters seminar. We anticipated a big response because the city was in the middle of an economic slump and times were hard. We received a grand total of 2 replies.
One reply was from a Senior Occupational Health Nurse of a motor company. She wrote, “My Managing Director informs me we have no stress problems. Is this a symptom of stress? Thanks anyway!” The other reply was from a Human Resources Officer at a hospital. She wrote, “Yes please, we definitely need it! My only concern is if we call it a ‘Stress Seminar’ whose who need it most will be put off.”
One common misperception of stress is, stress is bad. Stress is certainly a challenge, but need not necessarily be “bad”, “wrong” or “shameful”. Stress only becomes “bad” if you handle it “badly” either by burying it, blocking it, avoiding it or lying about it. The key to managing stress is to work with it, not against it.
Stress is a message. It’s a personal invitation to make a change for the better. It’s an internal memo that reads, “URGENT” – look after yourself!” or “HELP – get support!” or “EMPTY – recharge yourself!” or “IMPORTANT – work smart, not harder!” Stress isn’t a punishment. It’s not a weakness. Stress is information. Use it.
Success with stress starts with inner-listening. Listen to your stress; don’t block it. What’s your stress trying to tell you? Listen for information. What’s your stress trying to teach you? Be ready to learn something. How’s your stress trying to help you? Be open to receive a great gift. It pays to listen fast because otherwise the messages just get bigger and louder.
Being inauthentic is the biggest cause of stress. Whenever you’re not true to yourself – to your heart, your values and what’s really important – you’ll get messages. Similarly, when you stop listening to your intuition, your wisdom, your higher and to God you’ll experience fear and ego.
The following “Straw into Gold” questionnaire is an aid to inner listening. It is named after an old alchemy principle that encourages you to use everything, even stress, for your highest purpose. What’s your stress really about?
What is the fear? Stress always operates with its accomplice – fear! Listen to the fear that is driving your stress. Is the fear a fact, ot, is it a fantasy experienced as real?
Where am I not being authentic? You’re not in your true power when you stray from your values or when you try to people-please. Commit to being honest with yourself.
Who am I not being honest with? Who are you avoiding, attacking or playing a small with? What are you not saying? Who could be communicating more honestly with?
What am i not giving? If you’re not fully committed or fully present you’ll experience struggle and dissatisfaction. Often what is missing is what you’re not giving.
What am I not receiving? Imagine how much better your life would be if you decided to be a great receiver. Picture how abundant your life would be.
Who can help me? Be open to receiving great support, inspiration and friendship. Drop your pride, and help will appear.
What am I not listening to? There’s enough wisdom within you to inspire a whole world. Listen to your intuition. Follow your heart. Dial direct to God. Be open to the highest thought.
What’s the lesson here? One of my own favourite mottoes is, everything is teaching you something. Be willing to receive a beautiful lesson right now.
How can I be smarter? Maybe you’re stressed because you’re trying too hard. Be still and rest awhile. Make way for real inspiration. Use less effort and more wisdom.
What is my real goal? Stop looking at the clock and check your compass. What is your true north? What’s your intention? What is real success? Choose now to get back on track.
There is an old saying, “You are as sick as the secrets you keep”. Stress is an opportunity to be more honest, more focused and more true. This is important because stress is often self-attack. Shift happens when you choose to resist nothing and use everything for your highest good.
by: Dr. Robert Holden (author of “Success Intelligence”)