Don’t Be Stressed, Be Blessed

We are all loved, small as we are. That love comes unconditionally and generously from Source, God, the Mystery, the Creator, Universe, Guides, or whatever other word you have for that power that is all around you but out of sight of your eyes.

One time I was speaking with people who were preparing for a Vision Quest, a powerful spiritual journey that includes some physical challenge. Some admitted to feeling discomfort or pressure because they had not devoted sufficient time to the tasks of preparation. They were letting themselves and we guides down by not being “on schedule.” They were apprehensive because they didn’t feel fully ready (Disclosure: you’re never fully ready for an experience like that).

I offered three ideas to them. I offer them again to you because I think they’re even more applicable today when we embark on a Quest of whatever kind:

First, regard everything that you see, feel, think, or sense in some other way while you prepare for your journey as a gift from that loving Mystery, an opportunity and an invitation for you to grow.

Second, have compassion and patience for yourself and your process.

Third, be curious rather than fearful. Step back and observe your resistance, your fear, your confusion as though you were looking at someone else – someone you know well and feel great compassion for. Observe also your joy, your anticipation, your sense of purpose. Then, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. What do I perceive or notice, inside and outside myself? What’s actually happening? (The facts)
  2. What is the meaning of what I observe? (The interpretation)
  3. What is this teaching me? (The learning)

For example, I notice that when I turn my thoughts to a certain step or activity that I need to do, I may find a way to distract myself and avoid it. Perhaps I am also aware that there is fear within me that I don’t want to face.

When I look for meaning, I ask questions about my perceptions. If I’m honest, am I in fact feeling fear? If so, of what? Am I afraid of losing myself in this process? Am I triggering my fear from a memory or a belief I’m holding on to?

When I have answered these questions as truthfully as I can, I look for the learning, the deeper understanding of myself and what I must do to grow. Perhaps I have a tendency to avoid things that challenge me. I need to ask others for help, encouragement, and wisdom. I can trust in the Mystery to guide me as well as in my own ability to figure it out – applying the old saying “Pray for potatoes, and reach for a hoe.”

There’s a practical piece to this as well, a technique that can help you to begin a task that you have been avoiding in order to create faith and confidence within myself. You need to take action.

It’s very simple: take 15 minutes, on a timer, to do a bit of the whole task. When the timer tells you the 15 minutes are over, set aside not only the work, but also the need to do it all. In other words, set aside the stress.

Or if you’re on a roll, give yourself permission to ignore the timer and complete the task.

Now, ask yourself those same three questions again. Be prepared for some very different answers!

Don’t be stressed, be blessed.

November 8 2022

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