breakthroughs · business advice · common pitfalls · creative freedom · whatsyourstory

Mastering Stress

Weeks ago, I felt melted by stress. I’d wake up so tired and exhausted, my limbs craving to stay in bed for another 20 minutes, 3 minutes, 2.5 seconds…. I felt powerless and empty, the daily to-do list stacking up like a mountain of bricks on my forehead. All before I even slipped out of the sheets!

In this, I felt the stress becoming a habit. I could physically feel my brain adapting and expecting this to be a typical, everyday condition.

I started envying people with “normal” jobs, who’d go to work and come back home with a start-time and end-time sealed tightly in place. People who could slip into the safety of a salary, actually take paid vacations (or just regular vacations, where they don’t have to open their computer, answer clients, work). “Wouldn’t it just be easier if I just went into finance? Or got a ‘real writing job,’ in marketing, or sales?” I envied every aspect of these imaginary people’s lives who, in my mind, had it “easier.”

This is what the brain does when you deep-dive into stress. It starts to justify your position. It starts madly daydreaming about shit you’ve tried to be into, but that treaded on every ounce of happiness you ever had (9-5, office life, business clothes, staff meetings, performance reviews, etc). It starts convincing you that your life is too hard. Gee, look at all that work piling up, it says. You should be making more money. You should hunt for better jobs. Do something “normal.” 

My former business coach Jaime Kalman used to ask me, “How would you rather feel right now? Are you willing to feel that in place of what you’re feeling in this moment?”

Just like your brain can get cozy swimming in stress (hey, it’s predictable! Brains like predictable when everything else feels out of sorts!), it can also be conditioned to seek out evidence for how you WANT to be feeling.

I did some EFT, tapping on my meridians, and asking my central nervous system to find evidence for reasons why I am worthy of happiness. I said, “If it’s true – if there’s an ounce of truth to me being worthy of happiness and love and contentment, I am asking you to find it… I am willing to be shown that this is the truth. And if it is not the truth, at least I will know.”

I gave myself permission to break up the pattern. And I wanted an honest answer, supported by physical body.

Shortly after, I developed an ulcer from H.Pylori, a bacteria that climbs into your GI tract and wreaks havoc on your digestive system. I found a holistic naturopath who would prescribe me H-PLR from Apex Energetics, like I’ve taken before for this same reason. She also prescribed Puro-Zyme for digestion and Colostrum L-D to heal the stomach lining. The supplements were expensive. At first, I let more stress pile on because of the high cost. But, when I let that go, I felt incredibly relieved that I was doing something about my health… taking action, investing in my well-being with supplements that I knew worked.

When they arrived, I found a way to muscle-test them, to see if I actually needed them and how many doses I should take. This empowered me even more, and was confirmed when I received the email a few hours later from this naturopath who shared the dosage with me! I thought, Wow, my body can actually heal itself. My body knows exactly what it needs, and it will communicate with me. I just have to know how to ask it things.

So, I’ve been using this muscle testing (a simple “Yes or No” questionnaire to yourself; you stand with your feet flat and ask, “Do I need this supplement?” and your body will either sway forward or backward depending on its answer. A note: You should be fully hydrated when doing this, or results will not be as strong). I’ve used this method before in healing sessions with Lynnea Weatherly, so I know that it works for me. After applying it to the supplements, I started applying it to everyday decisions, such as what I should eat, or if I should go to an event, or what products I should buy at the store. I stopped drinking coffee and limited my intake of alcohol after muscle testing revealed that it’d be a wise choice for my body’s healing.

It sounds bizarre, but the muscle-testing for everyday decisions helped connect me to choices that I felt good about. This started impacting my schedule and my response-rate with clients (not to be faster, but more thoughtful and less afraid). Suddenly, I didn’t panic every time an e-mail hit my inbox. I opened it with curiosity and realized that when the stress wasn’t there hanging over me, I could approach a solution easily and understand time in a much more accurate way.

This confidence turned into a stream of THANKFULNESS, something I tried to cultivate on my own, but with stress, was hard to keep up with. Today, at random moments in the morning, I beamed, incredibly thankful that I get to work from home, take exercise breaks when I want to, bathe in the middle of the day, wear workout clothes, stretch, and make food that I want to eat.

I’m thankful for being able to work from just about anywhere, which is fueling exciting thoughts about vacations… like, there will be some vacations (my honeymoon) where I ask to take off work completely… and some where I will gladly tow my computer along, so I can make money in between adventuring.

It seems that I can go slower in the day and not rush to complete things. I am trusting myself more, something that I couldn’t fit in when stress overtook everything.

Is some stress healthy? Sure (at least that’s what physicians and psychologists say). It can motivate you to push your limits. But habitual stress? He/She is a mean, hypercritical cheerleader… better yet, an expert fear leader! I prefer the cheer.

 

 

 

 

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