Stress may not seem like a decision, but over time, we begin to see where it is. Fight, flight or freeze responses are immediate, but when we take a step back, we do see that we have choice in changing our responses…. do that enough times and we have improved our lifestyles for the better. It all begins with baby steps and being more mindful…. paying attention on purpose without judgment in the present moment. In a world gone mad with deadlines and getting things done at all costs, we must be vigilant in honoring our values. We must ensure they are not being eroded by inner and outer forces that at first glance appear noble, but over time, diminish our quality of life.
Peace of mind = effectiveness. But all too often, our definition of effectiveness can get skewed if we focus on results at the expense of our values.
In his book “A Life of Being , Doing and Having Enough,” author Wayne Muller starts out with these comments: “we have forgotten what enough feels like…. So we work and add and never stop, never back away, never feel complete, and we despair of ever finding comfort, relief, or sanctuary.”
Step #1 – Evaluate Be truthful, honest and brave… If you keep your same daily routine, where will you be in the next 5 years? Is that a YIKES! or a YES! response? What one small thing can you begin to do in your daily routine?
Step#2 – Choose Peace When we dig deep into our core, we find the strength to identify and drop old ineffective patterns. When we focus on cleaning up on the inside, we find the strength to clean up on the outside too.
Muller’s take on this is profound:: “Here is the final thing we must know. We carry within us a fierce grace that will not be extinguished, does not break and cannot ever leave us comfortless. It lives in us. This life force, whatever it is that allows a blade of grass to push up, up through concrete to reach for sun and warmth. It lives in us. This is what we are made up of. If we trust in this impossibly resilient capacity to bear all we are given, and re-calibrate our speed….”
Step #3 – Re-calibrate Your Speed Harness that “fierce grace within you,” it’s the booming voice that says “You can DO this!” Fierce grace wins over the internal critic every time… it does require that you slow down to hear it, however…. it is always there…. it’s your noticing it and inviting it to lead that changes the trajectory of your life. It’s your willpower to Take You Stand for lasting change.
Step #4 – Use the power of Imagination! Imagination is the bridge from the unconscious to the conscious… it holds the secret solutions beyond the rational mind. It’s fun, refreshing and very effective… get relaxed, imagine what ease, effortlessness or flow would do in any given situation and notice the ideas or mental images that flash across your internal screen!
Step #5 – Breathe! If you kept a “breath log,” you’d be amazed at how little you maximize this incredible energy booster! In order to access clear thinking and relieve anxiety and tension—like a plant needs water—your brain needs oxygen. Remembering to breathe helps take the edge off, so you can respond from a more centered place which over time, creates a habit of calm and mastery in effective and accurate decision making.
Stress actually serves a purpose other than survival; it lets us know where we need to loosen up, let go, and enjoy the process of life and business rather than feel bound by them. Every challenge is an opportunity, every dilemma holds a a creative solution and every heartache over time can be healed… the freedom to choose is our greatest gift, willpower our greatest tool, and “fierce grace” our greatest birthright. Self discovery and self development are the twin flames of personal effectiveness; they hold the keys to what is sacred to us. They help us create a legacy rather than just get by. They are fed by the flames of fierce grace – that intrinsic desire to express our creative genius.
Cheryl Brewster is a Business Intuitive, Coach and Speaker. She specializes in supporting those keen to expand personal and professional effectiveness through the power of intuition and soul-centred business practices. To join her mailing list, daily inspiration or to learn more: TheIntuitiveLife.com+