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Monday, October 10, 2016

Consciousness and the Day to Day of Stress

A long, clean and shiny red firetruck was in the lane next to me as we waited at the signal light. I got to contemplating about the ability of the firemen who drop everything at a moment's notice and then take their truck out into the neighborhood to do good of all kinds.

I thought about the stress that is incorporated in every action along the way, from keeping the truck in working, pristine, ready condition, the maneuvering of the big vehicle through traffic and tight road spaces and what all they will find engaged at their destination. They may not sense it as stress but it is inherent and what do their bodies, minds and heart do with it? Anything can become a stress. Being of service may take a toll.

Tension is inherent in any living dynamic. Stress is too much tension and Rest is less tension. Healthy is our ability to reset the tension levels. We all have different set points. Our modern societies and how we live now are full of stress we may acknowledge or not as such. Most of what we do day to day is no longer seen as stressful and worthy of paying attention to. Symptoms and illness follow. The level is allowed to keep rising. Ask any single parent and all they must take care of in a day and you know what I am talking about. Even with a partner shared burdens are still burdens.

Most of us don't want to admit to anxiety, panic or overwhelm or being beyond our means when we feel so. We would feel less than and we may think less than of someone else. To do so may compromise our ideas of who we think we are and expect ourselves to be. American culture is filled the notions that we are independent self supporting creatures and it is not true. Look at the power today of ethnic communities holding together by the past shared and current labels? There are many layers of community. How much do we appreciate the community found when the firemen arrive to help out? How much can we use the support of our neighbors or mental/physical health or city level services in times of strain? How many of us don't use them?

What is stress to you? How jaded have you become in your daily life? How often after work does one drink do the trick to relax or do you need more? Much of what we experience as stress and suffering is self created. Firemen and others deal with life defining man made and natural disasters of all sorts as part of their daily routines. Most of us don't.

The bulk of our challenges come from our daily choices and the difference between what we want to have happen and what does. It is the power of our expectations that is causing undo stress and suffering and anxiety and is self created. Or by someone else's unreasonable expectations and our willingness to play along. We control this.

First responders are trained to put aside their own emotional personal connections and respond with logic and a cool state of empathy and compassion. It is hard to do so when running hot emotionally. Any thing can be a trigger to a deeper hot running emotion. If you find yourself reacting without pause there is a trigger at play.

The best way I know to deal with sorting all of this out is accessing Heart Centered Awareness. Sit for a bit and let your awareness about something pushing your buttons come into play. You might surprise yourself.

Janet Barrett

Journeys Into Enlightenment