Sign up for
Key Updates

Archive for August, 2009


Tuesday, August 18th, 2009

We feel stressed or anxious when we think about the future.  The future is one of those things that never “goes away” and, yet, never arrives. It just seems to sit there looming over us. What will happen in the future? We don’t know. We can make some guesses, but we truly do not know what is going to happen. We can plan and plan and plan, and yet the future remains untouchable and unknowable.

Fear is another word that we could use to describe stress or anxiety. It contains an acronym that holds its definition. The “F” in fear stands for “false,” the “E” stands for “expectations,” the “A” stands for “appearing,” and the “R” stands for “real.” So, fear is “false expectations appearing real.” The feeling of fear or stress is real; the source of the fear or stress is what is false. The source appears real, however, only in rare situations is the source deserving of the emotional reaction of fear or stress. One situation that could be considered appropriate would be when a saber-toothed tiger jumps off a cliff in front of you. Another situation would be when someone is threatening your life. Luckily for most of us, these things will never happen.

What most of us do is fantasize about what we think is going to happen in the future, and respond to our negative fantasy with stress. We could say that we are choosing to lose in our fantasies. We are creating false expectations that appear real. We are living in the future and not in “the moment.”  The way out of stress or anxiety is to be in the moment.
In order to be in “the moment,” we need to contact our senses and identify exactly what is going on now and not what we think is going on, but what is actually going on. This might sound simple; however, most of us erroneously think what we “think” is correct. Many times it is just our opinion or point of view of what is going on. When we contact our senses and identify what we see, hear, feel, taste, or touch, we move out of our subjective reality and into an objective reality.

We have a part of us that will not want to be in “the moment.” It will want to stay in “the created fantasy” because it is convinced it is right. If this is the case, know that you are again out of the moment and into the future, pretending or fantasizing about what you think is going on.

You might be saying, “Yeah, but if I am always in the moment, how can I get anything done?”  If you are truly in the moment, you will no longer be stressed, and that is movement. And it is only in the moment that we can do anything. It is truly the only place in which we can respond to our environment. It is the position of action and strength.
Let’s explore another effective way of expressing our stress.

Stress seems to be stored in four places: the physical body, the emotions, the mind, and the unconscious. The exercise that I am about to share with you will clear all of the areas except the physical body. This exercise will lessen the tension in the body, and therefore effect how your body feels, however, it will not give you a physical release that you might receive from a brisk walk or a yoga class.

I want you to do some writing. I want you to write from the point of view of you being a victim. I want you to blame others for your troubles, your pain, your anger and your stress. I am not suggesting you run your life from this point of view. I would encourage you to be responsible and accountable for your life, but in this exercise I want you to write from the victim’s point of view. There is a part of us that I call the basic self or the child within, and that part feels it has been victimized.  I am asking you to allow that part to speak its truth.

As I stated, I want you to write from the victim’s point of view. I also want you to use a lot of four letter words! When we start using those swear words that we’re not supposed to use, but that we all use, it begins to allow us to express some of that stress that is just sitting there below the surface. As you are doing your writing, there might be a time when you are just scribbling words on the paper and you can’t even read what it is that you are writing. That’s just great because I do not want you to read what you write.

The process of writing gets all the negative stuff out. The process of reading puts it all right back in. Many people are not aware of this and they write in their journals and they keep them on their shelf to be read later, to think about, to analyze their issues, and then they just seem to keep going around and around the same issues. They keep reclaiming the negative and they hold onto it.

Do not read what you write. Some people are real creative and say, “But sometimes I write real neat stuff and I want to keep it for a poem, or a song, or something.” That’s fine. If you are this type of person, then all you have to do is keep another sheet of paper next to you as you do your writing. And if something comes up that you want to keep, just write it on this separate sheet of paper.

Once again, do not read what you write. I want you to do one of two things: tear it up and throw it away or burn it. Some safe places to burn your writing are the kitchen sink, the toilet, an ashtray, or the fireplace. Be careful and do not burn yourself or your house. Some smoke alarms are very sensitive so just be aware. I encourage you to be a scientist and try both. See which one you like best. Some people like to tear and some people like to burn. Some people like to tear and burn. Find out what works best for you.
There are two reasons why I want you to tear or burn your writing. The first is:  if you think someone just might read what you are writing, then you will start censoring what you write. There is another concept that comes into play here. We are not held responsible for what passes through our minds, we are however, held responsible for what we hold onto. So, you could be writing some pretty foul stuff and if you are afraid someone might read what you are writing, including yourself, you will hold onto those thoughts. If, however, you are certain that no one will read your writing, then you will begin to feel free to write what ever comes to your mind, no matter how ugly the thought. You will know that those ugly thoughts are just thoughts. We all think ugly thoughts from time to time and it is just next. More stuff. Next.

The second reason why I want you to tear or burn your writings is a little more subtler. You will have to watch for this one. After you have written out your stress and you have torn or burnt the writings, there will be a little feeling inside that will say “That’s gone.” However, that doesn’t mean that you will not have to write about the same subject more than once. Some subjects run so deep that you might have to write about them 100 times. Each time you write on it however, it will be complete and you will have peeled off another layer on the proverbial onion.

There is another part to this writing exercise that is very important. We are like whole people and, as we start letting go of our negativity it will feel like there is a hole inside. For some people this hole feels like a void and a great sadness can be felt. It is like, “Wow, a lot has happened to me.” And with this void can come tears. If that happens, that’s great! Now the body is coming into the process, and it is beginning to heal itself as well as your emotions, mind and unconscious.

Beyond feeling the void I want you to plant a seed. The seed is going to be in the form of an affirmation. In the big picture what you are doing is getting rid of what you don’t want, and putting in what you do want. The affirmation that I want you to work with is very specific. I also want you to hold onto your abdomen with both hands as you say the affirmation. When we hold onto our abdomen, there is a feeling of protection and nurturing, and our little basic self or child within says, “Yeah, what do you want?”
Now that we have its attention, the affirmation is this: (Your name), I am loving you. I am loving you (your name). The wording here is very important to note. You are not saying, “I love you” to yourself, because you just might not be in a loving place with yourself and that part that knows, would say, “You don’t love me, you hate me!” However, if you say, “I am loving you,” the very statement is a loving act and it can not be denied. That little basic self or inner child will say, “Thank you. I needed that.”

For some people the idea of talking to our “self” is a very uncomfortable thing and again, I would ask you to be a scientist and just check it out. Hold onto your abdomen and either, out loud or to yourself, which ever is most appropriate for you, and say: “(your name) I am loving you. I am loving you (your name).” Say these affirmations about 20 to 25 times or until you feel full inside.

I would encourage you to write, tear and burn, and say your affirmations at least once every day for two weeks. When you do this process for this length of time, you will be able to release old stresses that you may have been holding onto for years.

If you find that you are not stressed one day, just let yourself write about whatever comes up in a free form writing style. Look at issues of stress with your parents, past lovers, past or present bosses. Whatever comes up is just fine. This can become a very enjoyable process and a very healthy and effective way of dealing with your stress.

Web Design by PlanetLink