I’M NOT STRESSED. It’s a lie, and we know it.
It’s been a while since I wrote. I’ve been down the rabbit hole, with my Muse. Deconstructing stress. Postulating on the role of fascia in my work with the nervous system (OMG!). Re-defining rest and its role in our capacity to thrive. I gotta say, I’m doing some of my greatest work ever. I live for this! It’s the perfect combo: delving deeper into what it is that I actually live and teach AND writing about it! Waxing lyrical about the thing I’m oh-so-passionate about as I weave it into language. Exploring how I’m gonna teach people, to teach people how to rest… And then there’s all that sweet down-time I take (naps, walks, slack-lining, rest) to ferment and coalesce.
When I’m in research and writing mode my senses become more attuuuuned. So in turn, I see the madness of it all. What I’m up against. E v e r y w h e r e .
You know when you want to buy a new car and you have your heart set on a particular model, and you suddenly see it everywhere you look? It’s like that.
The hallmark signs of a crisis in the making. The micro. The macro. I see and feeeeel the gravity of modern life on our collective psyche. Like, amplified.
Sure it’s subjective, complicated. But it’s also really fucking simple. It’s called stress, baby. No matter how you dress it up. It’s plain as day, modern-day S.T.R.E.S.S .
And most people are just not seeing it for what it is. Not naming it.
It seems everyone I meet is stressed. Starving for rest. And the ones who insist they’re not? The body tells a different story. But mostly – everyone is complaining that they need more time, to get it all done and to relax into their own lives. They’re exhausted, crazy-busy, burnt-out or broken. Or well on their way. Most of them don’t recognise it, unless it’s chronic, because it’s become the ‘norm’. But I can see it a mile off. It’s my superpower. A word, a gesture, a certain look… I don’t enjoy it! But it’s my god-given gift… We keep adapting to new levels of crazy, ummm I mean stress. We prop ourselves up, to get shit done, ignoring what’s really going on. We tell ourselves: “I’ll take a break when I get this one thing finished! I’ll slow down when my youngest goes to school. I don’t have time to _______! (fill in the blank). Once I clear my debt I’ll take a holiday.”
It’s a lie, and we know it.
Essentially it’s the same for all of us: We burn the proverbial candle, worship at the altar of busy, tethered to technology, information overload has nervous systems spiking en masse. But we also have a ‘super-hero’ complex. It’s dangerous. We feel invincible. Convincing ourselves that adrenal fatigue (or any other chronic illness) happens to ‘other’ people. But darling, I’m here to tell you:
No one is immune. No, not even you.
I can hear the outcry, the defiance – from here. And I get it! You really do have to work/drop off the kids on time/pay the rent/make the deadline. I know you don’t make this stuff up! I get it – I live in 2017 too!
We live in a culture where productivity trumps self-care.
So, in the middle of clamouring toward the promised land, it’s easy to miss the signs, because A) we’re waaaaay too busy, and B) we don’t even know what to look for. We are so brain-washed by pop-cultures charade we don’t know what’s real anymore. And stress can be sneaky, silently creeping up on us in its fatigues (pun intended). Plus there’s our flat-out refusal to admit we’re stressed when we know we are. We by-pass the truth, the stigma and shame it carries: “Oh I’m FINE! Really!” We’ve all done it.
Again, It’s a lie and we know it.
So, the reason I keep showing up here? With my love-soaked rants, my over-sharing, my pleading? Because I want you to get it, before you burn out, like I did. 2011 was the year I broke down. And in some ways it was the greatest thing that ever happened to me, because it got my attention. It was the turning point, and I ain’t never looked back. Life just keep s getting better! And those of you who’ve been here a while know I’m not bragging so much as bearing a torch of hope. Living proof that you can turn it around.
I want people to know what to look for. I want to make it OK to talk about it, to ask for help. I want to shine a light on something that I know in my bones is gonna take a lot of people down in the next few years. Harsh, but true. I’m not here to make you feel better by sugar coating it. I’m here to tell the truth. We. Are. In. Trouble. And if you are feeling stretched? If you are exhausted, having trouble sleeping, fighting anxiety, moaning about not having enough time or energy for the things you love? If to-do lists dominate your daily life? Chances are you are already in trouble. There, I said it.
I get you might wanna break up with me about now. But just hear me out. Yes, I tell it like it is which can be a bit tough-love-ish. But pouring on a little truth to prompt you to slow things down is my thing.
I’ve asked before and I’ll ask again. What’s it gonna take?
You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. – Mary Oliver
S T R E S S : W h a t a r e w e l o o k i n g f o r ?
The stats are in. Stress is on the rise, and chronic illness is following suit. It’s an epidemic.
Yet predictions say we’re only just beginning to see the effects of our global stress-induced health crisis. It’s starting to snow-ball. And I don’t want you to be another statistic.
Stress indicators can include physical, psychological and behavioural symptoms. No part of the body is immune, but, because people handle stress in different ways, symptoms can range from being more emotional than usual to headaches, low energy to an upset stomach, insomnia to frequent colds, muscle pain to procrastination. It’s so broad that if we don’t really know our selves that well, we’ll probably miss it when something out of the ordinary shows up.
By slowing things down and being curious and kind with ourselves, we can begin to tend to ourselves in new ways. To transform our relationship with stress, which includes how we treat ourselves, our habitual ways of responding, so we can heal. We get to live into new possibilities… The life we ache for.
That’s where I come in. Like a midwife, I can help you birth a new way of being. Learning to rest is just the beginning.
I’m not going anywhere. I’m gonna give you all the love and permission you need sweetheart. THAT IS WHY I’M HERE. It’s the reason I write occasional emails (which always unwittingly turn into a blog), record little audios and videos for you, post in my Facebook community with daily prompts, teach classes and workshops, run personal retreats, offer Skype sessions with people around the planet and the reason I’m writing the juiciest Teacher Training that exists (and a much anticipated e-book)! God I need a nap!
It’s all for love. It’s all about teaching people the secret-sauce so they can regulate with ease, create safety on a cellular level, dissolve pain, drop into profound states of relaxation, and recalibrate the way they ‘do’ life. Amen.
And it’s also why I nap every single day! Research, of course!
The big take away?
L E A R N T O R E S T : Before stress. During stress. After Stress. It’s the only way.
I N V E S T I N R E S T : Your future self will thank you.
“Nothing ever goes away until it has taught us what we need to know.” – Pema Chodron
Share your wisdom and war stories below. We need you to show up and shine your light too.
Fiercely loving you.
You know it.