Monday, August 27, 2018

Stop Drowning in Stress and Anxiety

by Jennifer Heflin

I heaved my chest in exhaustion - I am so stressed and everyone is driving me insane! There is only one me and with three children, a husband, a myriad of animal companions, cleaning, laundry, carpooling, building a business…blah, blah, blah…I could go on and on but you get it.
Everyone has their own story. And let’s be honest. The stress factors above are the easy part of the game. These are the aspects of life in which you’re coasting compared to the underlying anxiety we feel about the not-mentioned-in-polite-conversation issues, which are truly the bane of our existence. 
I’m referring to the deep resentment, fear, and confusion felt as a result of hardship involving finances, illness, relationships, parenting and so on. And this pressure and worry can easily become a default state of being. We’ve become so used to it that we don’t even know we are weighed down by deadlines, expectations, fear and worry which slowly erode our body, mind, and spirit.
We believe that someone or something outside of ourselves holds the key to our peace of mind. You see, there is a generally accepted belief that our stress occurs because of other people and circumstances. 
Meaning, most of us think that our emotional state is controlled by something outside of ourselves usually other people’s behavior and circumstances:
*If he would change his behavior, I would feel better.
*If they would react differently, I would be happy.
*If I had more fill-in-the-blank, I would finally find peace.
*If I had less fill-in-the-blank, I wouldn’t be so anxious.
And that is the essence of the stress feedback loop which holds us prisoner in an anxiety-riddled state of being. So, let me pull back the curtain on that ferris wheel of misery and I say this from my own personal experience with it unless you choose a different perspective you are not getting off!
What I’ve discovered is that stress is a result of us not living with a greater purpose; not being aligned with the innate intelligence or internal compass which will always guide us in the best and highest direction if we would only allow it.
To really understand this concept, it’s important to know that there is more than one aspect of self. For simplification purposes, there is:
*Innate intelligence - Aspect of self which is eternal and all-knowing.
*Ego - Aspect of self which keeps us focused in physical reality.
The fly in the ointment comes in when the ego takes on more than it was meant to handle. When the ego is overworking itself trying to figure everything out, control, manipulate, and coerce, it becomes the dreaded 'Negative Ego'.

You can think of the negative ego as the monkey mind or the heckler in your head, constantly harassing you with all that is wrong. When that is the predominant voice speaking to you, you have fallen out of alignment with your innate intelligence and are usually knee-deep in stress.
What are the qualities of being aligned with the negative ego?
*You feel dissatisfied, disinterested and without passion.
*You hold onto grudges convinced you are a victim of other people’s behavior and/or circumstance.
*You take life personally as if everyone is out to get you.
*Life feels chaotic and painful.
*No matter how hard you work or what you do, you cannot find a way to feel the way you want to feel.
The exit ramp for the negative feedback loop of disempowerment is to practice quieting the negative ego by focusing on your purpose and realigning with the innate intelligence within.
What are the qualities of being aligned with the divine intelligence within?
*You are at peace regardless of outer circumstances.
*You are fully trusting the flow of life.
*Open to what is coming your way.
*You can participate in life without needing to control it.
*You are fulfilled by less and not desperately craving more.
When you begin to practice this on a regular basis that is, find yourself in the negative feedback loop, pivot to align with your innate intelligence, and observe as your experience morphs into peace and ease you will see what I mean.
You begin to surf the waves of life more effortlessly, rather than becoming trapped in the break and thrown around by the chaos and confusion.
You will quickly become the master which we are all designed to be. This is our destiny. No one is exempt from this divine right of peace and joy. Just choose it.

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