“COMBAT STRESS” was the instruction on a car bumper sticker I saw recently. We all know about stress in this day and age and none of us want it! But how to effectively deal with it when it arises? So, how do you feel when you know you have to combat something? Yes – stressed out. Is this really the correct strategy to dealing with this problem (or any problem), or does it actually exacerbate it?
STRESS, like all ailments, once given a label, starts to have a character of its own: You know, you’re living your life and minding your own business… and then along comes Mr Stress and ruins it all for you!
When we see things like this, our happiness seems to depend on our external circumstances and more worryingly, random characters called stress, over whom you have no control, turn up uninvited. Our usual behaviour to counter our stress is to pamper ourselves, watch TV, make positive affirmations, have a glass of wine – but does this stop the same thing happening again? No, because you haven’t tackled the root of the problem.
To empower ourselves and understand the mechanisms involved we need to first of all know what stress is. It’s actually very simple – it’s an internal resistance to what is currently happening. If we were ok with everything that occurred whether planned or unplanned – AKA going with the flow – we wouldn’t feel stressed at all. And when you think about it logically, exactly what can you do against current circumstances (people, events things)?
So why do we do this to ourselves, if we’re on a ‘hiding for nothing’? It’s because our formative conditioning, which is stored in the subconscious, has a survival manual. The instructions vary from person to person, depending on their childhood experiences and upbringing/genetics. Certain things are not allowed to happen or should happen in order for you to be safe, in simple terms.
Homeopaths say that there are 3 ways that we resist REALITY and that is either to combat (e.g. over-reactive anger), to grasp (e.g. co-dependant relationships) or to switch-off (e.g. shyness). So the stress has actually been triggered inside of us and not externally, as we are running away from the truth of the situation in the belief that we could ‘control it’. What it in effect does is limit our life-experience – we play the small game due to fear. It then also inhibits our inner wisdom, (your spirit), who wants to play the bigger game – which could lead us to a far more exhilarating, and fulfilling life.
My teachers, Sanjay and Jogesh Seghal used to demonstrate case taking whereby the opening question would always be “why are you here?” The answer they were looking for was not the description of the disease the patient was suffering from, but what they were resisting about the implications the illness had. A classic case was a man who had bashed his foot and was complaining that it stopped him from going to work – so his real issue was not the pain but the loss of business. The remedy prescribed therefore was not Arnica, but Opium, as they have major concerns about their business. Homeopathy is medicine that mirrors the reason why the Vital Force is blocked (the resistive action that the patient is making) which helps the patient ALLOW rather than RESIST his current condition. This then enables the Vital Force to flow freely again, to fully heal the body and mind.
A practice that you could try to demonstrate this for yourself:
Next time you feel stressed out just allow all the bad feelings to come up inside you and just ‘sit with them’, without trying ‘to do’ something about it. My experience is that after the initial shock of feelings, a feeling of warmth, connection and even wisdom about the situation can occur. When the Vital Force is allowed to flow again – which happens when we allow LIFE to do it’s thing (regardless of our survival agenda), then things return to order again.
For me Jeff Foster is one of the most potent modern writers about this matter:
“Fall apart completely
Make a mess
Get it all wrong
Open up to your glorious inconsistency
Embrace the perfection
of your fabulous imperfection
And you will be able to say:
I was there!
I was alive!
I was willing!”
– Jeff Foster