Stress as Inspiration
Stress is the defining disorder of our time; disorder also defines stress.
Disorder is the same whether we are looking at mind or body, engineering a building or designing our living space. We look at alignment, as well as quantity and quality of our working materials.
When we have improper alignment, we feel disorder, stress. In the mind, it comes through as mismatches between action and values; thoughts and speech; feelings and present reality. In the body, the stack of bones need to be smooth and straight with respect to gravity, balanced around the center line (spinal column) and center point (hara/ center of gravity).
In order to create that alignment, we need to be able to see the structure and energy. When we have too much, this is impossible, and stressful. The too much can be anything: too many thoughts, or actions (being busy), or carrying too much weight on the body (very stressful on the bone), or too many possessions, too many feelings. It’s difficult to discern the structure that upholds, and impossible to sense the potential energy.
The answer, when we have too much, is to reduce. With a sense of less stuff and more space, there is greater circulation and clarity, far less stress on the structure, which becomes visible in the body as bone structure, in the mind as values/principles, and in physical space as walls, etc.
In this process of unveiling the structure, we must add energy to create the changes, and then to maintain the changes, otherwise we turn to the normalized, baseline, state of overcrowded, chaotic. The energy we apply will amplify itself as circulation improves, so that adding some energy will feel like a return of even greater energy.
The clarified structure will show us what has been hiding below the stress/disorder, what was buried. We discover our own secrets, and have the opportunity to embrace them, show them as strengths, or to work through them and feel lighter as a result. Both will help empower the structure within.
This sense of looking at and strengthening is important as we look at the quality of our working materials. Often we find structural weaknesses: muscles that are stiff/tense and therefore weak, or old ideas in the mind that are holding us back from moving in the positive direction of future growth.
In engineering, when the structure is weak, bolstering, scaffolding is required to shore up the structure. We do this to ourselves, cleverly creating safety mechanisms that we can let go of when we recognize the possibility of becoming strong from the center, from the structure itself.
These changes naturally lead us to having less, being stronger, and feeling clearer. Knowing this, we can welcome times of stress as times of awakening. We are presented with the pressure that we need to press through the blockages, to unlock what was unexpressed within.
Our lifestyles become clearer, more focused as we recenter on what we love, what is essential. We find a natural flow between the systems that create stress, and the way we structure ourselves and our lives in response. We create clear alignment between ourselves and our work, our feelings and our intentions. Our energy lifts, strong, fluid. And with this balance between center and directed energy, we are able to do all that inspires us.