Below is a letter I recently sent to a client who has been struggling with being in stress for over two years. The take home is that she had no idea that the accumulation of all the little stressors we accept as “normal” created an allostatic load that prevented her from escaping the overwhelming effect of stress when we see it as a necessary part of living that we have no control over.
Because we are not aware that we can be in control of our stress response, we are a victim of that response and all the devastating effects it has on our mind/body and our ability to be at our highest and best. In short, to choose to enjoy life in a positive mind state.
If something in this letter speaks to you, I encourage you to pick any of the hundreds of approaches available to learn to be in charge of your emotions and choose how you feel moment to moment throughout your life.
I would like you to list all the wonderful blessings you have for being grateful and for being you in this moment. Once you allow yourself to start listing your many blessings, and open your heart to being present for each of those reasons you will begin to be aware that you can let go of those feelings that don’t serve you. But, more than that, you have and are experiencing the worst of what depression has to offer you. Yet, you continue to reach out to seek an answer, a way to break free of those negative feelings that cascade into your mind and body that feel like you have no control in the matter.
This is the challenge of being under the influence of cortisol and the other associated hormones for a prolonged period. Because you are not aware that you are staying in a fight or flight mode, you do not realize that it does not serve you to live life at the mercy of how your physiology interprets events based on the reptilian brain’s response to external events. Your physiology has done its job to support the mindset you are choosing. NOT that you want to choose it, but you are struggling against the millions of years of evolution that created the negative bias in your physiology for the survival of your species. That challenge has left you believing there is no hope. The stress response is directing blood away from your prefrontal cortex (the “smart” part of you) so you are unable to “make sense” of what you are experiencing.
This is key. You must use the HeartMath and Positive EFT Skills that you have learned every minute of the day if that is what it takes for you to begin to take charge of your mind state.
Little by little you will get better at it and it will take less effort. For now, you accept the challenge of staying focused on what is happening “right now”. As you realize you can easily and naturally reduce all experience to “this moment” with no reaching to the past or the future you become aware that you are capable of “staying in the moment” as long as it takes to take charge of your physiology and stop the flow of cortisol that prevents you from having access to your highest and best, ideal self.
This is what you do to be here in the moment celebrating your blessings now. You have many compelling reasons to celebrate the moment. It is a learned skill, and only you can commit to the process. You can start now to realize a life of experiencing the choice of being in the moment now.
I know that we both believe that you have chosen this particular challenge, in this time of your life, to experience the growth, joy and freedom you intended during this journey on the physical plane. Since we know that to be the case, then we know that you know what you wish to discover already. It is a matter of opening yourself to spirit and listening. Looking inward instead of outside of you for the guidance you seek.
Meditation is a powerful tool to aid you in this goal. You cannot do it wrong. Open your heart to being open to the information you need for this particular challenge. It has worked for others and it will work for you.
Project Meditation is one of the hundreds of programs that are available to learn about meditating. Pick one of them and start a life-long practice of meditation. It will change how you are experiencing life now…. to the way you intended.
The more I think about choosing what I am experiencing in this moment the more I realize that I can easily choose how I feel now.
Institute of HeartMath Certified Group Trainer and Personal Mentor
Trainer of Trainers for the Association of Meridian and Energy Therapies