In our childhood many of us unwillingly absorb our parents’ inefficient ways of thinking and handling stress. These patterns are continuously reinforced by cultural codes of behavior and limited emotional repertoire we have adopted from our parents.
I grew up in a family of worriers in a society that has equated worry to love and caring. Since a very tender age I have been intimately familiar with the way insecurities, fear, worry, mistrust and the never-ending stress manifest themselves as stomach ulcers, skin rashes, body aches, insomnia, and heart disease amongst others. This list can go on and on.
How about you?
How does your family handle stress?
How does worry feel in your body?
My parents had always found traveling to be exceptionally stressful.
I, too, had my fair share of travel – related worries. Would I make my connections? Any delays? What if I miss my plane? What about my luggage?
Still, one of my very favorite things when I travel is getting a cab from the airport to my hotel. Happy to leave the chaos of the flying behind, I gladly turn the reins over to the cab driver and trust him to deliver me safely to my destination.
Ahhh, finally! I sink into the shelter of the back seat, soak up the moment and enjoy the ride… My breath softens, shoulders relax, body unravels itself after being contorted to the awkwardness of airplane seat, as I watch New York, Vienna, London, Cusco, San Diego, Vancouver, Milan from the window of the taxi…
Christmas 2010. Yet again, I find myself in the minivan traveling from the small resort town on the Black Sea coast, where I was visiting my dad, back to my hometown. The windy mountain road is narrow and congested. My driver, a man in his early 60-s, drives like Russians do in bad Hollywood movies. Way above the speed limit, he weaves in and out of traffic, leaving screeching breaks and annoyed honking of his fellow drivers behind. All the muscles tighten in my face, my breath grows shallower and I can just feel my shoulders starting to freeze into all familiar “ OMG, what’s going to happen now?” shape as I watch him barely making the turns.
I take a deep breath in…
And then another one…
I imagine getting in a cab in an unfamiliar city and worrying about every single turn the driver makes, stressing over every twist of the road, every road sign, every detour, stop sign and traffic light. That’s when it hits me: I realize that not worrying about HOW I will get to my destination allows me to be fully present and enjoy each and every ride.
Is our life really that much different?
Stress, worry and mistrust rob us of our vital energy, leaving us listless and fatigued, plagued with a myriad of chronic diseases. Yet, we grow so attached to our limited, familiar ways of thinking, we continue to live our lives imprisoned by insecurities, fear and anxiety. The sad truth is that every time we allow this habitual reaction to hijack our decision making process, we strengthen the toxic emotions and begin to create subconscious beliefs about what is possible in our life.
There’s no easy way out of the vicious circle. You need present moment awareness, courage to face your deep, dark, shadow thinking patterns, strength to change them, community of people that will support your on your quest and a set of tools to propel you forward.
Sounds like too much work? You bet! What’s the alternative?
Discover what is possible by Mastering the Art of Stress – Free Living.
Join the community of like-minded people.
Share your journey…
Recover from toxic thinking…
Bring your shadow back to light!
Grande Prairie, 2011-02-13