The Miracle of Stress through the Eyes of a Five Year Old
With summer soon simmering to an end, we prepare to fall back into the season of simplification: Autumn. This new season, meant for lazy days and lingering leaves, is a time of gentle calm nurtured by cool breezes and rustling trees. Sounds all wonderfully poetic, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, modern day prose is usually punctuated by the hustle and bustle of a new school year, work deadlines and pre-holiday planning. We've all lived it, cringed over it and braced for it. This year, let's do something different. Let's befriend the miracle of stress.
No, I haven't gone loony. First, let's define miracles. I think my meditation teacher Johnny O'Callaghan says it best, "Miracles are simply ideas outside our current belief system." Don’t know about you, but this spiritual realist loves the idea that WE are EMPOWERED to make MIRACLES happen.
Now that we're square on the definition of miracles, let's cozy up to stress because:
- We're alive so stress happens.
- Our bodies' reaction to stress is meant to keep us safe.
- When we, yes me and you, keep our stress response working overtime it often leads to a bevy of unwanted symptoms.
- Our unwanted symptoms are trying to catch our attention to ease off the throttle.
- We aren't victims to stress. Controlling stress is about identifying our triggers and choosing how to respond.
Are you with me? Well, there's more...
We All Need Our Picassos in the Sky
When I was about five years old I started flying solo between Florida and New Jersey to travel the divorced daughter visitation route. I loved it. It was my chance to get a bag of airline goodies and bonafide VIP treatment from a crew of doting flight attendants. Feeling mighty special in the kids'-only row, I colored life into the black-and-white pages of my coloring books and squealed with laughter during Go Fish tournaments with newfound friends.
When I was lucky enough to get a window seat my head got lost in the clouds. Fluffy. White. Some stacked, others flat. My favorites were the recognizable ones that magically morphed into curious creatures. I was captivated by their grace and smooth transitions from one form to another. Completely mesmerized, I spent countless hours with my nose pressed against the window. What were clouds? Were they alive? How did they get there? Who made them look that way? After hours surveying the cloudscape without a single, solitary clue I resorted to my own explanation: people in white jumpsuits stood on airplane wings to sculpt each and every cloud with giant glass containers. There was no Google back then.
Although my miracle Picassos in the sky didn't earn me an honorary nephology degree, my daydreams were made possible by miracle visionaries. Without the Wright brothers, those precious memories would have never been mine to share. They saw beyond what was and believed in the possibility of their ideas. They also understood the secret of miracles: everything needed to make ideas reality already exists.
How Limiting Beliefs Keep You Grounded (In the No Bueno Kind of Way)
If you want to change something, but don't believe what you want is even possible (aka miracle) then I hate to break it to you but you're not going to get where you want to go. Limiting beliefs, aka toxic beliefs, captivate your attention 24x7 on your internal radio station. Since energy flows where thoughts go, this also means the only miracle you're working on is materializing someone who's justifiable not enough. Girlfriend, I think it's time we start working on a new miracle because you're SO not that person.
I have no doubt there are reasons you feel and think the way you do. I'm hoping you'll consider a minor shift in your beliefs that could majorly transform your life. Since it can take time to do a 360 on personal beliefs, been there, let's start with our peacemaker miracle and call a truce with stress. Look, a flying pig. Sorry, not letting you off the hook.
Playing Switzerland in this scenario will take the edge off your relationship with stress to break you out of 'what you resist persists' mode. The other thing your truce will win you is a chance to get to really know your stressors rather than wasting time running from them.
Beware of Your Stealthy Stressors
Did you know most women are unaware of the real stressors impacting their weight loss, eating habits and digestive dis-ease? Toxic beliefs, along with more than 15 other stressors, often fly under the radar. No less draining, they're often overshadowed by the in-your-face demands of finances, work, relationships and time. Until you're clear about your silent stressors, which may also be related to past events, it can be very difficult to step off the treadmill of chronic stress. Life doesn't have to be this hard.
Your body's really only meant to 'have your back' in short spurts of time so you can fight, flight or freeze. When exposed to stress for hours, days, weeks and years your body has no choice but to struggle. Let's face it, your body has lots of other things to attend to with a limited number of resources. So when your stress response borrows resources indefinitely from other areas, like digestion, things start to get out of whack. That's when unwanted symptoms surface, here are a handful that may be familiar to you*:
- Curious cravings for salt, sugar and carbs
- Allergies or food sensitives
- Digestive challenges, gas, bloating, heartburn
- Inability to lose or gain weight
- Increased fat around the belly
- Inability to build or maintain muscle tone
- Low sex drive, mood and energy
- Brain fog, memory challenges
- Unstable sleeping habits, inability to feel rested
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome, auto-immune diseases
Are you ready to stop believing in the wrong miracles? Imagine if you were clear on your triggers and had a plan to silence your stressors one goal at a time. What would your life look like then? Sign up for the next Dream Catchers Stress Detox webinar so you can stop being a dream chaser.
* This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure your condition and should not be a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare professional.