I recently went through a pretty stressful life situation that literally turned my world upside down. It caught me off guard because things had been going really well, for a really long time. I was one of those people that you might describe as "annoyingly happy". What can I say? Life was good.
I felt like I was in "the zone" most of the time. My personal consulting business wasn't exactly booming, but things were flowing to me, my life was exciting, and I had just met the man of my dreams. And then all of a sudden, I was literally hit by the metaphorical equivalent of a "Mack Truck" and I got a reality check that something was definitely OFF in the vibration that I was putting out into the Universe.
I came across this quote and was struck by the clarity in which Lisa Rankin was able to redefine "stress" and the role it plays in our health and well being.
"We have a very unhealthy relationship with even the notion of stress. We think we’re stressed, therefore we’re busy, therefore we’re worthy and important. What many don’t realize is that stress is not what you think...
Sure, stress is running around like a headless chicken, trying tirelessly to check off your to do list. But as far as your nervous system is concerned, stress is also social isolation and loneliness. Stress is selling your soul for a paycheck. Stress is a pessimistic world view. Stress is fearful, anxious, worried thoughts. Stress is toxic relationships. Stress is money worries. Stress is knowing that you have a song within you that has yet to be sung. Stress is feeling out of touch with your life's purpose. Stress is negative beliefs about your health. Stress is overwhelm. Stress is feeling like nobody really gets the real you. Stress is pretending to be something that you're not. Stress is feeling disconnected from Source.
Your brain can’t tell the difference between the thought, “I’m getting chased by a tiger!” or the thought “Nobody loves me” or the thought “I’m never going to get well from this illness.” As far as the nervous system is concerned, all signal imminent danger, and that is what stress really is, at least as far as your body is concerned."
~ Lissa Rankin, MD
I began to take Lisa's quiz, confident I'd pass it. I mean I'm trained to TEACH other people stress reduction techniques.
I totally got this.
Get connected to Source: Check
Quit soul-sucking job: Check
Shorten and prioritize To-Do List: Check
Get rid of toxic relationships: Check
I began meditating in 2007, so my relationship with stress has improved steadily over the past 6 years. These days, annoying people hardly phase me, obnoxious sounds fade into the background, missed opportunities are now seen as strokes of good luck, and I've rewired my brain (for the most part) to look for the good in everything at every moment. I always considered "other" people to have stress issues and suggested meditation and breathwork wherever I could to give people tools that had already worked wonders for me.
But then the quiz got more challenging.
Stress is fearful, anxious, worried thoughts...
Stress is money worries...
Stress is knowing that you have a song within you that has yet to be sung...
Stress is feeling out of touch with your life's purpose...
Stress is pretending to be something that you're not...
I realized that even if I was not stressed in all the ways that society readily recognizes, I was living a unauthentic life riddled with low vibration emotions: fear, worry, and doubt. And the Universe will always reflect back to us what's going on inside of us -- it's a natural law. Like gravity or something.
My fear of being vulnerable and authentic was keeping me from the connecting with the types of clients who were actively seeking the services I offer.
My fear of failure was keeping me from being more dynamic in growing my business.
My fear of ridicule and rejection was limiting how much of my knowledge and training I allowed myself to publicly share with the world.
My worries about money and not being able to support myself as an independent consultant, were keeping me from taking risks.
I wasn't aware of it before, but all of these fears where keeping me apart from who I truly was and out of alignment with living my Divine purpose. And that was stressful for me on a subconscious level, which over time steamrolled into my recent reality check.
Having my life turned upside down was painful at first, but it did ultimately create some good. (Thank God). I'm stronger, I'm more aware, I'm way less fearful, and I'm motivated in a way that feels good, and most importantly authentic. And I'm pretty sure all of that is good for my mind, body, and soul.
In what ways does Lisa Rankin's quote bring more awareness to "stresses" in your life that may be unconsciously affecting your health and well being? In what ways do you feel unauthentic or misaligned?