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, or whatever other word you have for that power you understand to be all around, out of sight.

A short time ago, I was speaking with a group of people who were preparing to undertake a Vision Quest, a powerful spiritual journey that includes some physical challenge. Some expressed feelings of discomfort or pressure because they had not been able to devote sufficient time to the tasks of preparation. They felt that they were letting themselves and their guides down by not being “on schedule”.

Here are three ideas I offered, things that I think are applicable in the lives of many of us:

First, regard everything that you see, feel, think, or sense in some other way while you prepare for this 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, allow yourself to learn. Be curious, not fearful. Step back and observe your resistance, your fear, your confusion as though you were looking at someone else – someone you know well and love a lot. Observe also your joy, your anticipation, your sense of purpose. Then, ask yourself these three questions:
1. What do I perceive or notice? What is 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 may notice that when I turn my thoughts to a certain step or activity that I need to do, I find a way to distract myself and avoid it. Perhaps I am also aware that there is fear within me, and that I don’t want to face that fear.

When I look for meaning, I ask myself questions about my perceptions. Am I in fact afraid? If so, of what? Am I afraid of losing myself in this process? Am I triggering from a memory or a belief?

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 create faith and confidence within myself. I need to take action. 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. 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.

Published July 19 2021

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