“It’s very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
If you regularly read my blogs you already know that this teaching from Tich Nhat Hanh is at the heart of all I do. I am all about helping heart-centered women leaders to come to a realisation that we only have this one precious life, that stress can be dangerous if prolonged, and that we can come out from under that burden with ease and grace. The ease and grace comes from getting into flow in simple ways with the gifts we have at our disposal from Nature, Neuroscience and Ancient Wisdom Traditions.
We all know that stress is a natural response of the body against danger. It is our old brain’s natural and proper response when we perceive a potential threat to our well-being.When we face this stressful or threatening situation, several hormones are triggered that prepares our body to evade or confront the danger. The trouble occurs if we are under stress for a longer time, so that our body stays in this super-charged state, and our reservoirs of energy begin to deplete faster and become weaker and weaker every day.We all know that the best way to avoid stress is to pay attention to the warning signs: forgetfulness, reduced creativity, lack of concentration, angry outbursts, sleep problems, and overeating or undereating, unhappiness and extra strong inner critic undermining everything we do.
We all know the evidence based tips to better manage stress in our lives:
Move the body
Eat nourishing food
Practise sleep hygiene
Forget multitasking- instead focus on one thing at a time
Learn the art and skill of pausing
Practise self compassion
How do you deal with stress?
Most of us when faced with a stress crises look for a fix, -a sleep app, mindfulness app, a short timeout at a wellness centre, or unpaid leave to travel the world.
I am here to tell you today that these are temporary fixes, short-term relief, but our 21st century malaise is what all these things have in common is that they are not fixes, they merely provide a temporary relief. To really manage our stress over the long-term we need to build and cultivate our resilience skills, and re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. And if you are working with me you know that the first step in this ‘unlearning’ all that we have taken on as super women of the 21st century, and that this step is remembering that we are not super productive machines, but rather we are amazing human beings .
Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle wrote this a while ago and I invite you now to make this your start place for your own journey of ‘unlearning’.
“This moment that humanity is living through can be considered a door or a hole. The decision to fall into the hole or go through the door is yours.
If you consume information 24 hours a day, with negative energy, constantly nervous, with pessimism, you will fall into this hole.
But if you take the opportunity to look at yourself, to rethink life and death, to take care of yourself and others, you will go through the door.
Take care of your home, take care of your body. Connect with your spiritual home. When you take care of yourself, you take care of others at the same time.
Do not underestimate the spiritual dimension of this crisis. Adopt the perspective of an eagle that sees everything from above with a broader vision.
There is a social demand in this crisis, but also a spiritual demand. The two go hand in hand. Without the social dimension, we fall into fanaticism. Without the spiritual dimension, we fall into pessimism and futility.
You are prepared to go through this crisis.
Grab your toolbox and use all the tools at your disposal. Learn to resist by the example of the Indian and African peoples: we have been and continue to be exterminated.
* But we never stopped singing, dancing, lighting fires and having joy.
Don’t feel guilty for feeling lucky in these difficult times. Being sad and without energy doesn’t help at all.
* Resilience is resilience through joy!
You have the right to be strong and positive. You have to maintain a beautiful, cheerful and bright posture.
This has nothing to do with alienation (ignorance of the world). It is a strategy of resistance.
When we walk in the door, we have a new view of the world because we have faced our fears and difficulties.
This is what you can do now:
– Serenity in the storm,
– Keep calm, meditate daily,
– Make a habit of encountering the sacred every day.
Demonstrate resilience through art, joy, trust and love. ”
Hopi Indian Chief White Eagle
Here is a very short to practise to ground during this week as you absorb white Eagles words into your own particular circumstances. I invite you to take three minutes twice a day to do this.
Quick Body Scan: feel your feet, wiggle your toes, take a deep breath, roll your head from side to side, relax your shoulders and face. Take one more deep breath and resume your activities with ease.
How to Sleep Better – part of the Banish Burnout and Blossom Masterclass Feb 16th
Join my powerful free masterclass for heart centred women leaders How to Sleep Better as part of the Banish Burnout and Blossom series on Feb 16th
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