Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are. – Chinese Proverb
How do you react to your busy life, hectic relationships, commitments and the things that spike up your stress levels? What do you normally do?
What do you do when your life is somewhat stress-free, and all of a sudden something unexpected blows up, and you find yourself surrounded by chaos and uncertainty?
Here’s the perfect time to pause, reflect and deepen the skill of letting go.
Let’s say; I have a serious deadline approaching at high speed. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am at that moment. What I need to question is the source of that stress. Where does it come from? Work? No, that’s not it. Work is just repeated actions step by step. It has nothing to do with the deadline itself; it’s just some constant in time. What truly stresses us out – is the way we react to things. It might be the fear of looking foolish and inadequate. And that fear takes its roots from a humble wish for the things to be in a certain way and to look great, almost perfect and spotless.
What would happen if we dared to let go of aspirations for things to be just the way we pictured them? Can we let go of that fantasy we were grasping for so long? Yes, there is a good chance that things might turn out the way we wanted. But they can also turn out in a million other ways, and guess what, we can’t always control how things will turn out in reality.
When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life. – Eckhart Tolle
The only thing we can do is keep on going. Then we shall let go of that fantasy. And I believe that the fear and stress will dissolve accordingly.
By letting go, we gain our peace and tranquility back no matter what’s going on around us.
Stress Relief in the Middle of Chaos
1. The Source
What stresses you out? Busy work routine, family commitments, personal life challenges… What is the root of your fear? Why did this fear appear and what is it trying to tell you?
2. Mind Note
What is it that you are holding onto so passionately? It might be something you wish to control that is beyond your control. It might be things you wished to be in a certain way, and they turned out to be opposite to your aspirations. “No-no-no! This SHOULD BE this way…”, “She/He should do this perfectly,” “Why can’t things just be NORMAL” – does any of that sound familiar? It indicates that we are holding on to fantasy (that we need to let go of) that is giving us grief when it never turns out the way we imagined: ideal –> aspiration –> result.
3. Identify the Sham
Realise that the whole fantasy of wanting things to be in a certain way is an empty bubble sham. Let’s be fair, we all do that. But as long as it’s not a real thing – it can be easily let go of… and then you would feel the release.
4. Release the Suffering
Notice what’s hurting you. That thing that was completely made up in our minds is causing us stress which in fact shortens our life… Furthermore, it makes that reduced life extra miserable and in no way enjoyable! THINK about it for a second.
5. Kicking it out
If there’s something that causes our pain, why do we hold on to that? Have you noticed how irrational that sounds?
When we let go, the pain goes away with it. And we are left with the things we keep insisting on, working on to make our lives better and more enjoyable.
Originally published on Jan 8, 2014