Probably you are experiencing a lot of stress these days. How could you not? Between a global pandemic and the economy crashing, our finances are affected, our work and social life too, and the worst is a lack of certainty about everything.
It’s different for each of us. Some of us have underlying issues and are at risk. Some of us are essential workers exposed daily to this corona virus. Some are on EI, and many of us are self-employed and struggling.
Life is always uncertain.
We are not safe and stable at the best of times. You may lose your job, have to move, or split with your partner. Our children struggle, our relatives die, we get injured or ill- we’re not safe at any time.
Many of these fears live under the surface and we maintain an illusion of safety until it’s front and center- like now.
As a spiritual seeker you believe that abundance and prosperity are a mindset, that the Universe backs us. We want the freedom to fail or thrive on our own terms. In our present situation, we can only keep Stress and Overwhelm down for so long.
What to do with the feelings of stress and overwhelm?
In yoga, we practice self-awareness at a basic level. I loved it when my teacher called relaxation self-observation.
I was so uncomfortable with who I was! I suffered because I received judgement- You’re too loud, interrupt people, laugh at the wrong moment. Pushy, insensitive, self-centered. These criticisms had me cringing in all my relationships.
You could be the opposite, shy or sensitive, but most people are trying to prove their value, and it comes out in many ways. Observe myself? It was an exercise in self-criticism, in confronting the pain of not being good enough- it was asking, ‘what more should I keep bottled up, how should I change so I will be loved?’
When my yoga teacher said, ‘notice the breath in your body. That is self-observation’. It was such a relief. How could my breathing be wrong? It couldn’t. Nothing was asked of me but to observe my body and my thoughts, passing through me like clouds.
I learned to notice my emotional and energetic state through my breath- I am agitated, or I am calm- not to change, but to be alert in a state of relaxed observation. This is truly the gift of yoga.
I was less anxious and calmer. I learned to use the tools to feel better.
We often try to push away negative feelings. When we observe our feelings in relaxation or meditation, we let them flow through us. Do I feel rejected, angry, stressed or overwhelmed? Well, that’s only natural, I am in the middle of a divorce, or my children are small and I don’t get much sleep. Or, I am working very hard to realize my dreams and I get afraid.
No big deal. My weaknesses and faults are my strengths. In the overall movie of my life, I am a kind and loving person. I am worthy of love because I exist. I learned to relax into new beliefs like these.
Stress and overwhelm tell us to slow down. To take some time to allow for recovery. From this quieter more accepting place, we see things more clearly. Our own solutions arise. We can meet our problems as obstacles to overcome instead of failure or disaster wrought on us.
Who you are is a deeply feeling and responsive being.
What control we have is to release our negative beliefs and the excess doing and striving. Take it easy, step by step. We live in world of love. We can ask assistance, we can receive, and when we stick together, we can make sure that we are all cared for in this time of need.
The Universe has our back, and we are the Universe.