Honor Your Stress

This may seem like a strange thing to suggest, but…are you truly honoring the amount of stress you have in your life?

Honoring, yes…Acknowledging, seeing, appreciating how much you're taking on.

It seems that in this time of change we're all constantly expecting ourselves to do more and more. Friends, clients, myself: We all wake up with lists in our minds, jump into valiantly trying to accomplish those tasks, and then at day's end evaluate ourselves as to how much we checked off.

Ok, that's not totally horrible. But here's what is distressing: No matter what happens in a day. whether we have new challenges come up, or other people not playing their part, we still expect ourselves to accomplish that list. No matter what happens, we're always supposed to stick to the plan. Unexpected challenges? We buck up, be good soldiers, keep on and on, keep on going.

And then we wonder why we're tired, discouraged, depressed, or just not feeling the joy of life. 

Is this how life should be lived?

The first week that I saw clients after Hurricane Ike hit Houston, I was struck by how many came in "apologizing" for not doing their homework. They were disappointed, discouraged, and feeling "less than" that they didn't accomplish things like send out a resume, do the research to further their dream, or practice their new meditation every day.

I had to laugh and I had to cry. How much can people take?

"You've just been through a major hurricane!" was my response. "You've been a little busy…."

How hard are we  on ourselves? If you're in Houston, did you expect that one week after experiencing fear, destruction, no electricity, water (and some of you were out far longer than that) that you should  jump back in immediately for "business as usual?" Are you still expecting yourself to now be happy, full of energy, and ready to tackle new projects, while you're still dealing with insurance companies, construction, and the physical and emotional effects of loss?

And hey, you who are outside of Houston: Are there no exceptions? Is there no down time in your mind when you can let yourself veer from "the list?"

We expect far too much of ourselves in this life full of surprises, changes, and unexpected challenges. We need to live life more in the flow, not march lockstep to some set of rules that don't always apply. To make it through life gracefully and with the least amount of stress, you need flexibility, the ability to change strategies when needed. You need to be able to flex with the "exceptions"…and often you have exceptions every day.

Make a list right now of all of the things that you're juggling, or have been dealing with in the last two weeks. Look at it clearly, and truly give yourself credit for all that you're doing. If your friend, spouse, or child were going through all of this, would you have compassion for them? Have compassion for yourself.

Then take one step today that helps you to relax, nurtures you, or makes you laugh.

Honor your stress; then try to drop it and step into the flow.

Life is good, and it's not all about lists.

Explore posts in the same categories: Inspiration

176 Comments on “Honor Your Stress”

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