I just had this anxious feeling, like I was fighting with myself. I felt like I “should” go work out, but my spirit said “no!”
For once, I decided to listen.
It made no logical sense, really. I could have easily gone to work out for 20-30 minutes, and then done the rest of my errands.
I just didn’t want to.
So I didn’t.
Instead, I went to the video store and rented 2 funny movies. Then I went to my favorite upscale grocery store and bought exactly what I wanted. (This was not binge food – it was 4 kinds of Salmon (premade in the deli) and crab cakes, and asparagus and the big, expensive shrimp that I NEVER splurge on.)
Then I went home and sat outside and read a book. It was 1 of those perfect days – not too hot . . . not too cold. And I relaxed. I ate the crab cakes for lunch and some of the salmon for dinner. I guess I had a thing for fish that day; but even before then, I felt completely *fulfilled* . . . just by saying yes to me.
It was liberating really . . . I had NO urge to overeat . . . no urge for sweets . . . and the feeling lasted through the entire weekend.
Here’s The *True* Cause Of Stress
It’s amazing how much stress is caused by the gap between what we believe in and how we live our lives. Stress may be less about time pressure, and more about expressing our personal integrity.
There’s a gap between our stated values and what we actually do in our lives. This may be the reason why people with overwhelming stress or catastrophic circumstances, such as a life threatening illness, report their stress levels have reduced and they actually feel joyful. Sometimes people even say becoming ill was the best thing that ever happened to them.
Through their suffering, these folks have identified in a very deep way with what’s most important in their lives. They have a deep sense of what’s important and suddenly are blessed with the courage to bring their lives in alignment with it for the first time.
Rather than use their strength and energy to endure jobs or relationships that betray their deepest values, they are now able to make the needed changes without fear.
Rachel Naomi Remen tells the story of a woman in treatment for cancer:
“For the first time, I am sailing my boat by my own star. My God, have I sailed it by everything else! And allowed everyone else to take a turn at the tiller. All of my life I’ve headed against myself, against my own direction. But now I have a deep sense of my way, and I am loyal to it. This is my boat, and it was made to sail in this direction, by this star. You ask why I seem so much more peaceful now? Well, I am living all in one piece.”
The real cause of stress is not destructive relationships, unruly children, or critical bosses. It is the loss of a sense of ourselves and a connection, in a spiritual sense, to all that is. If that is true, then the ways that we have attempted to deal with stress (both positive and negative) cannot heal it at the deepest level. Stress is just an indication that we cannot be removed from our soulful selves without paying a price.
There are many practices that can increase awareness and deepen the sense of ourselves and our connection to the universe. Among these are prayer, meditation, EFT, hypnosis, and experiences of great loss. There’s nothing quite like losing everything you thought was important to you to help you sort out priorities fast. And drop responsibilities and obligations that no longer serve you.
How many people live in a cluttered house when they want to live in an uncluttered house? You want a simpler lifestyle with plenty of money, but there are pressures at work, the kids drive you crazy, the boss is harassing you, and you worry about losing your job. How many people tolerate a bad relationship because they are afraid to leave? This leaves a gap between what you want and what you have. That equals stress and imbalance. When life is not balanced, things go wrong.
That’s why I encourage you to clean up different parts of your life. Let go of responsibilities, relationships, etc. that no longer serve you. Clean a closet . . . clear off your desk. You’ll feel lighter already . . .