Addicted to Being Stressed

by Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah, Australia

I am one of these people who will readily say that I hate feeling stressed. Thus, I will put things and rhythms in place to not let it happen and generally be of the opinion that I don’t want it in my life so much that I will do just about anything to prevent it from happening and running myself ragged. But then last Friday happened.

So what happened last Friday? I had four jobs lined up; starting early with a healing session at my home, then a few hours in ‘my day job’, after that a training session at a new workplace and then finishing off with another healing session at home. The two jobs in the middle required some driving – I also wanted a lunch break and the day was pretty full and rounded, by all accounts.

So what is the big deal, you might ask? Well, after returning from my morning walk I could feel how I had this urge to pack more things into this well structured day, how I wanted to make me more efficient and get more done, seeing I was ‘on a roll’. One thing I really wanted to get done was my washing and so I began plotting how to squeeze it into the gaps (including keeping an eye on it as showers were predicted for the day). But hey, I was going to be home between jobs, right? The other thing I decided I wanted and needed to do in order to feel really good about my day and me, was to do my grocery shopping, because hey, I had some gaps between jobs, right?

But somehow it didn’t feel right. I just knew it wasn’t a supportive and loving thing to do. But I could also feel how hard it was to let go of the idea of doing the washing and the shopping on top of everything else. On one hand I was very clear that it was crazy to pack more things into the day, on the other hand my mind was like a dog with a bone and didn’t want to let these potentially tantalising achievements go. What was going on? And why was it so hard to just do what I knew felt so right?

And then it hit me: there is a part of me that enjoys running myself ragged, no matter how strongly I might verbally state the opposite. There is a part of me that gets off on being a super achiever and being super organised, a part of me that gets off on doing more than is necessary in any one day.

This now takes me back to the beginning of the story: last Friday taught me that no matter how strongly I had always believed and verbally stated that I hated being rushed, stressed and hassled, I had been my own worst stressor by the impositions I have always put on myself in order to achieve ever more and be super efficient. Last Friday made me realise that I had always been addicted to being on a roll, addicted to being stressed, never mind the words to the contrary that I had been spouting.

So what happened last Friday? I chucked the bone (after wrapping it in cast iron) and just did what I needed to do – the sessions and my work assignments. I also had a lunch break. I enjoyed what I was doing and I was physically tired when it was all done. I also skipped the exercise class I had planned to attend that evening and just let myself rest.

So what happened Saturday? The weather was fine, I did my washing and there was no need to keep an eye on it or bring it back in and under cover. I went shopping really early and it was a breeze. Time expanded… it felt great and I felt great.

776 thoughts on “Addicted to Being Stressed

  1. It’s chilling and confronting to see that we actively seek and create scenarios that make us stressed and not feel great. No matter what we proclaim it’s like we are scared of simplicity. Perhaps because in this solid state we can’t help but be aware. It seems we’ll do anything to avoid this. Thank you Gabriele.

  2. When we take on too much and stress ourselves out, we ensure there is no possibility to feel what our body is communicating nor to realign to our body’s natural rhythm and wisdom that allows spaciousness in all our movements and a natural ease and harmony, grace and tenderness to all our movements.

  3. I know this one, there is a part of me that enjoys running myself ragged, like I can now say I have had such a full day and get that recognition. But when we follow the flow of feeling what is needed in each day, everything that is required to be done, gets done, without any exhaustion at all.

  4. Playing out the stress of drama is a ticket to the drama that we seek in others when we are not willing to feel the simplicity that is offered in every moment and the lesson that can be learnt in a far more humbling and inspiring manner.

  5. I am also used to be a super achiever.
    To learn that everything has a certain rhythm to it gives me to surrender to me.

  6. The fact that I’ve chosen and created much of the stress in my life is a big ouch but I know it is true.

  7. It is quite remarkable how much we as humans can get addicted to stress and the excess motion of it all. It is a dizzying process whereby we get to feel identified in the sense that the subtext to all this is us saying: ‘look at me. I did this. Aren’t I good?’ etc. As you have shown us by way of your example here Gabriele, there is more than enough space to get everything done if we use time and space wisely, but we have to want to be in this flow and not caught up in fighting it. For when we are in the flow of life, there is very little of ‘self’ involved even though there is more commitment and purpose on our part.

  8. I lived a very stressful life and made myself ill with a hyperactive thyroid as a result. Once I’d spoken with an endocrinologist, and asked was it caused by stress, when he said it could be I decided there and then to de-stress my life. I removed myself from major projects, and also took a long hard look at relationships and how I was in life in general. Gradually as I made more and more healthy lifestyle choices, my thyroid readings returned to normal. No surgery was needed and I came off the medication after six years and have stayed off it since.

    1. Just goes to show that our lifestyle choices account for our health rather than overhead wires, microwave ovens and genes.

      1. Very true Gabriele and interestingly when we do not want to address these lifestyle factors we can become incredibly focussed on what we perceive to be ‘environmental contaminants’ because we do not want to look too closely at the quality of breath we choose to breathe.

  9. It is so true Gabriele, I know I used to have such a pride at fitting so much into the day. Friends used to struggle looking after 2 children and I had 4. People would relax after eating, but no, I was on a roll to fit more into my day, and I could go to bed at night, feeling self-satisfied and exhausted. Now I know that things get done when they need to get done, no more lists and no more exhaustion either.

  10. I am now in a position that I experience less drive than I even did quite recently. Even after years of being less and less stressed there is still quite a transition period to living with less drive.

    1. Yes, the work is ongoing and there is forever more refinement in the way we move and thus, don’t take on stress and disturbance any longer.

  11. It’s wonderful to get to this point of honesty Gabriele, because within the honesty a true choice can be made that is loving for the self. With each honest admission to ourselves we can see how we are responsible for our lives, and therefore equally able to change our life to one based on love = true empowerment.

    1. Yes, with each honest admission we get closer to the truth and the truth can sometimes be very surprising and beautiful.

  12. Such a great point to highlight Gabriele that we think we need to do something to feel better about ourselves and that it is only through establishing a quality of presence that we are able to naturally find our true flow and rhythm that makes getting things completed far easier and is stress-free. If it starts getting hard or complicated we know it is a sign that we have dropped our connection and we need to reconnect back.

  13. When we allow ourselves to just feel what to do instead of rigidly following our to do list, it is surprising how often the space simply opens up at another time to do the things we want to try to cram into today or right now. Allowing space in the day is a surrender that allows life to unfold at a much more natural pace than we often force it to go at. I’ve found that when I’m 100% fully focused and committed to what I’m doing, I have more energy, complete it quicker, and then there’s space for more than I’d even anticipated.

  14. This addiction to stress is very damaging but it has some attractive features – stress is very numbing and temporarily gives us lots of energy for which we pay later. It also gives us good excuses for many irresponsible behaviours.

    1. Stress makes us feel important in trying to let everybody know how important and indispensable we indeed are; stress is keeping people at bay, telling them to back off because we are oh, so very busy. Throw in a few audible sighs and sounds of distress, and the picture is perfect.

      1. So true. And stress often results in making mistakes and letting other people down too which can ‘get us off the hook’ by creating a situation where other people don’t want to count on us.

  15. There is not a single addiction that works in our favor even if they are there because we have said yes to. So, they are part of the package of life we have accepted to come after ourselves.

  16. When we try and squeeze things in, the messages we ignore and fight are just so in your face. We hit all red lights, get to the shop only to find we have forget our wallet and there is always a small something the causes less time and space to do what was planned. The whole day becomes busy doing nothing.

    1. That’s my experience as well – when time is at the fore and I rush and squeeze things in, my rhythm goes out the window and I basically turn around in circles, jumping at anything that presents itself without setting priorities or paying attention to what had already been there to do. Such a day then leaves me feeling very disjointed and incomplete.

  17. Great revelation that I certainly can relate to! It is so easy to override and want to be busy to feel important because that is sold very strongly by society! To call out our role in perpetuating this myth and colluding with it is a step in the right direction of breaking free.

  18. Yes Gabrielle, there is something about time and space that we need to re-discover, a truth that is known by us yet in a way we have misused it so by going off course with it.. A gorgeous blog that shares the value of what stress does when we go into it to our body and how it is actually a fighting and painful action towards yourself and all the cells in your body!

  19. The thing that springs to mind here in control, I look to fit things in and can often over extend myself and I feel when I’m very busy and stressed that somehow I’m bringing more value and well people can see that I’m busy and it’s important you know! But none of this is true and in fact it’s a huge distraction for in all of this there’s a control, a push, a wanting things to be a certain way and a distinct lack of surrender to what I feel and what is needed in the moment, and there is no space. A telling insight, it stops me from feeling space and truly taking time to appreciate and expand.

  20. I can so relate to being addicted to stress. A lot of us use stress as a way to motivate us to get things done but this just puts pressure on our nervous system, which in the long run really harms us.

  21. Feeling stressed can come about because we allow our movements to get knocked out of joint and thus lose our foundation of how we might usually walk, talk and have conversations with people, thus get into a state of unease and tension.

  22. This is very revealing, that you have made something you actual hate a need in your life, and I have the feeling that is what we often do and that is why it happens that though we do not like certain things we still do them. You show the importance of unraveling these everyday behaviours to be truly free of them and to be able to say what we truly love or not.

  23. I know very well about that sense of achievement, the adrenaline rush, the triumph of doing the impossible – that is pretty much how I used to work throughout my 20s and I was exhausted and burnt out. I remember how I was so unprepared for the unexpected. Everything was planned and organized and rather rigid. Today, I am still efficient and productive but it feels very different and I even have space for making mistakes.

    1. I love that you say you “even have space for making mistakes.” How beautiful is that, to be open for mistakes and give them / yourself space.

    2. The rigidity you describe from holding ourselves tight and getting everything done is much like the drive for perfectionism, an impossible undertaking that does not ever let us catch our breath.

  24. I am becoming more and more aware of how I constantly try and squeeze more into my day just like the gap filler you speak of Gabriele – and how this causes much congestion and undermines the quality of all that I do.

  25. Creating stress in our life feels like a way of not taking responsibility in looking at what is not working nor listening to our body and what it is communicating. The more I am connected and present with my body the more I do not want to push or drive my body beyond its natural limit and just allow my movements to flow.

  26. I did an experiment with myself a while back to maintain the house chores – one thing a day. I found it very hard to do just one task, always pushing to do more and more. On reflection I felt the consistency was very stabilising whereas the pushing would push then crash.

    1. Great experiment and observation – the pushing can bring a momentary feeling of elation over having achieved so much but what goes up, must come down; three cheers to steadiness, presence and poise.

  27. At last after sixty something years of stressing myself unnecessarily on a hour by hour basis, I am starting to learn to not do this to myself. Realising that I do it to myself rather than circumstances or the world doing it to me was a huge turning point and one that I have Serge Benhayon to thank for.

    1. The moment we stop being a victim and start looking at our role in the circumstances we’d rather not have in our life, anything and everything is possible.

  28. I realise I allow myself to get stressed and feel this constant, underlying tension of always being behind, because I place unrealistic expectations of what I can get done in a day upon myself. I also slow myself down with my own perfectionism – wanting things to be exactly, perfectly right, so that I can hide behind it and prove myself with the perfect thing I’ve accomplished, rather than be real, raw and honest about not always being on top of it or having it all together. The latter is far more refreshing and makes my relationships much more real and honest, because I’m being myself, messiness and all.

    1. ‘Being behind’ or ‘running behind’ puts enormous pressure on the nervous system and our whole body as it changes the way we move through life.

  29. I love the honest sharing over your realisation that; ‘There is a part of me that gets off on being a super achiever and being super organised, a part of me that gets off on doing more than is necessary in any one day’. It just shows how much our ingrained patterns are running in the background (like an old record playing) and it is not until we expose it, nominate it can we change the record.

    1. That must be true circulation energy (as first expressed by Serge Benhayon) – the record going around and around endlessly and our motives never questioned, our ideals and beliefs never exposed. Until we decide to get honest and change our tune, that is.

      1. Yes.. appreciating the honesty of the body here in helping us to expose the beliefs that we’re holding onto that aren’t true. Untrue beliefs = untrue movements and behaviour, which has an impact on the body and eventually shows up as illness or disease, because we’re not moving in alignment with the universal flow.

      2. Fighting the flow of the Universe would seem to be a very unwise thing to do, yet that is what mankind has been doing for 1000s of years. Everything we view as bad such as war, murder, illness and disease etc etc can all be tracked back to this fighting the Universe, which of course, since it is love, does not fight back.

  30. ‘Time expanded… it felt great and I felt great.’ Don’t you just LOVE it, Gabriele, when you listen to what your body is telling you and you then get to feel the magic of time expanding??

    1. We treat ‘time’ as though it’s runs everything, like we have no control or say with it and yet we have all possibly had experiences with time ‘running out’ or time taking forever so how can this be. Who’s truly in the drivers seat with time? Or is time just a thing that has been created by us so we can run things by the clock when in fact the clock is just a measure of space and so it has no control and the only thing it has is what we give it.

  31. I loved what happened on your Saturday Gabriele, because you did not push your body to do, do, do on the Friday, which your body would have appreciated – beautiful lesson which is to listen and honour our bodies.

    1. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that both the rushing around and trying to accomplish things as well as the choice to not commit are one and the same energy, just at opposite ends of the spectrum. They both compromise quality and our livingness.

  32. Gabriele, I can also relate to what you share, although less so now. I lived that drive to fill in gaps and do as much in a day as I could that came gave me sense of achievement but also tension.. Super woman syndrome comes to mind, but in reality I was wary of gaps then and emptiness that came with it. . Whereas now I can appreciate space and how I can use it to just be and deepen my connection within.

  33. I’m learning the value of keeping things simple and listening to my body. Had a pile of laundry to iron for my client and a project assignment to complete, which coincided with a couple of days not feeling great and low in energy. I knew to just let both sit there and wait until I was ready. When my energy came back, it was the easiest thing to complete both tasks and enjoy them. The alternative would have been a struggle and resented. This way, supported by the universe, all flowed, \

    1. Given the right time and space, things truly flow and become effortless. Beats hours of misery and toil hands down.

  34. So timely to choose to re-read this great blog. I can relate to having a very old pattern of ‘filling up’ any spare moment. Like always carrying a book, a magazine when going to an appointment just in case I would have to wait. What I have been noticing lately is how this ‘pre-occupied’ behaviour was not only exhausting me, but also making me less open to people and opportunities due to the already created busy-ness.

    1. Love this Priscila, especially how ‘pre-occupied’ behaviour, made you less open to people and opportunities, I’ve stopped carrying certain read material on tube trains, because I used them to ‘block out’ and it became a habit,. Now I sit quietly, with me, super aware of what’s going on around me or preparing myself for the appointment or meeting I’m going to. This choice means I’m less distracted and steady within myself.

      1. When we are forever pre-occupied, eyes down and glued to a screen or catching up on some reading, trying to ‘make time’, we miss out on connecting with others and feeling what is going on. We dismiss our sixth sense at the expense of sight and the images we are being fed.

      2. Its a whole different experience to connect with self and others as we travel, otherwise we totally miss the magic of the moment.

      3. Same here Kehinde! I am also no longer carrying reading materials around although I have to say that I can still find things to read/do on my mobile phone. It’s been fascinating to observe this behaviour and to make different choices. As I stop filling the day in advance, pre-occupying the moments, I feel not only more spacious but also more complete in a day.

      4. Great point Priscila, On-screen devices can also capture our attention and their effect the same as reading printed media, unless we’re reading something inspirational that supports us to stay connected.

  35. I can so relate to what you have written Gabriele,
    I have had a similar experience where I fitted everything into the day, but got very stressed by trying to achieve the impossible. I developed a stonking cold and had to rest. This was a huge learning for me as my body showed me quite clearly I had not taken care and over worked myself.

  36. The more we squeeze into our day, the more likely we are to focus solely on the tasks to complete and be so busy that we don’t have the space to consider that how we attend to our tasks is even more important that we realise.

    1. Spot on Jennifer, it is like we are uncomfortable with ‘space’ or the gaps….having to fill up every moment which is a movement that comes from the mind, whereas the body loves space and in the space there is always a flow.

    2. Yep the focus becomes just getting it done and before to long you wake up one day resentful and possibly depressed because of how life feels. I remember this and I can get things done as we all can and yet now the key is the quality. It’s one thing to do things and yet another to do them with a quality that is ever lasting.

  37. The most delicious part of reading this is the bit at the end when we get that confirmation of a true choice made when the next day turns out to be perfect for washing! I often used this kind of example with my clients – that is – you know when you get one of those days where everything flows and you get a load of chores done effortlessly, or other days when nothing works out because you forced yourself from your head that you should do this or that, without feeling when it feels true and flowing. There probably is a true moment for everything that does require our attention, and when we feel and discern then we can just let the rest go.

    1. Agree Shirley-Ann and I love the honesty from Gabriele to go into the ‘why’ behind the filling up of her days: to be seen as efficient.

  38. Awesome! I just love this, I must have missed this blog previously too and really appreciate it now as something I can really relate to, and I can see how much progress I have made with that too. I must admit I have judged others too who just refuse to muti-task without discerning whether or not that has been a true impulse.

  39. Super simple, super honest and super inspiring… knowing only too well the attraction of cramming ever more into my days, I am loving the letting go of the bone and the inspiration it offers me.

  40. As others have shared Gabriele this addiction is one I have chosen to indulge in, its especially challenging when space opens up and I can often want to complete more, do more and in that time avoid the confirmation, the appreciation of being all of me. It’s something I’m very much working on, today I don’t like stress or being stressed so I’m working through how to life and ask ‘whats next’ whilst not getting caught up in doing doing doing.

    1. Good point – when space opens up, as it invariably does, we can get a little lost for lack of confirmation and appreciation and thus, the old behaviours take over and we allow ourselves to be pushed back into time.

  41. Last years I realized how much I was addicted to live in a stress. It made me feel important in a way. And it was a great way to avoid feeling my own body and the hidden hurts i carried with me all my life. And quess what, just by some amazing Esoteric Healing Sessions you can easily let go those hurts in sometimes even a few minutes. Then we feel more love in the body and support us to live according to our soul.

  42. I recognise this one Gabriele. I will tell myself that today is the only time I have to do things so I need to get them done. There is definitely an identification in this for being efficient, but in truth it just creates stress. Not very wise really!

    1. I remember Rebecca once reading a blog on Women in Livingness blog website and one particular point stayed with me since then: the lady was describing how she was becoming aware that just ticking all the boxes of her to-do list for the day was actually, comfort. When I see myself wanting to finish tasks only for the sake of finishing them (very comfortable for when I identify myself as ‘efficient’) without the quality of joy and completion, I know something is really not right and the approach needs to change. What I am learning also is that a task, even if partially completed, can be felt complete in what has been done. Or that sometimes there was a more dedicated moment to complete the task or it required something else or someone else.

      1. That’s quite an eye opener – the discomfort of being in comfort and in this particular instance, the comfort of doing how it has always been done and the recognition garnered via efficiency.

      2. That’s a great reminder Priscila. There can be completion even though the task has not been completed. It is complete for now. This is beautiful. It erases all the stress.

  43. Overdoing things does come with the sacrifice of our own well-being and we inevitably lose out. Many times I have overridden the bodies messages to pace myself and to not take on too much when I am not up to it, and then suffered the consequences of my actions. Looking at our relationship with stress, recognition and acceptance is a great place to start.

  44. I don’t think anyone likes to be stressed! But then again some people may thrive on it to keep them going or make them feel busy. My understanding to do with reducing stress is our momentum. In that if I am stressed it is because of the choices I have made and how I have been living meaning I am not planned or prepared for the next moment, or I am not with my body and me in every movement (conscious presence) but getting ahead of myself. This is awesome for me to express as I have just seen I do not allow space for the unknown in my life which could be completely magical.

    1. In truth, nobody likes to be stressed because it feels hard and jarring in the body; but many people get off on running themselves ragged because it makes them feel important. This can often be accompanied by well-positioned sighs at calculated intervals, I have noticed.

      1. I agree Gabriele. I know I have used not only being busy, but letting other people know how busy I am to get recognition for being capable. I find the stress comes when I don’t get what I am looking for. Although not great to feel, it’s also important to feel as in that I am being asked to reflect on my own behaviours.

      2. How we do what we do, the energetic quality we do what we do in, is the most important factor but it can take a while, a long while, until we realise this as the world is focussed on lineal outcomes and has us rush from one tick box to the next.

  45. When we are honest about our investment in something that we say we don’t like but keep choosing, so much can be revealed and let go of…

  46. Yesterday I played the busyness card in order to not feel the sadness within and it is really interesting to feel how I created the tension and busyness when I actually had very little to do.

    1. I agree and what I saw when I read your comment was how I always think once I have seen something once that that is the end of it, I achieved something and now moving forward to the next part. Yet life doesn’t move forward on a line, it is forever cycling back to us. In this I can see another whole life change in how to look at things, myself and the world. Take my time and keep moving with the care I know naturally as something need the space or a number of cycles to clear after being wound up so tight. In this these things or energies like “busyness” are always there at this point and you can dip your toe in them at any point if you’re not careful, again this confirms the cycles we are in.

      1. The existence favours the step by step, from a to b trajectory whereas our true nature is imbedded in and part of a multidimensionality that, by the postulate of free will, allows for linear progression but is not of it nor supports it.

  47. Allowing ourselves the space to be honest with how we feel and allow our bodies to lead the way, not only brings surrender to the present moment, but a flow and rhythm to our day. We not only feel what is needed at the time but also a great clarity and ease is felt via our movements when we live from our rhythm and not allow the drive and or stress to hold.

  48. I fully recognize this Gabriele. There is part in me that like to feel stressed and thinks that then I am doing job then. Not feeling stressed, seems like to easy, than I have to do more. A total lie. There is exquisite balance in doing too little and doing too much, where no stress is involved, and we keep on being connected to our beautiful essence.

    1. Our need for recognition and acceptance is big and we are mostly only too willing to offer our health and wellbeing as a sacrifice in exchange.

  49. We can run our life in whatever way we choose, there can be a list a mile long and we can push and push to have it all done by noon and drive ourselves into the ground or we can choose to allow life to come to us, to unfold back to us. We are seeing more and more we are going around and around and not forward and so in this way it’s the key to live our lives. Same as the earth spins around, all cycles around and this is our movement to life. The more we push forward the more life reflects for us to settle back. We have an ability to ‘do’ a lot but the key is for us to be first, be naturally who we truly are and from there look back to life and deal with everything from there.

  50. I can totally relate to this: if there’s even the tiniest space of a gap, I want to fill it. I used to want to maximise each moment, by filling it with an activity – even on the weekends, it never felt like the day was complete unless I’d filled it with activities, and I’d stress myself out trying to do them all. Letting go of needing to tick things off a to-do list has been and is a huge work in progress, but I’m starting to appreciate more and more how much more amazing it feels to just feel what to do next from my body, instead of adhering to my mind-driven controlling task list.

    The body way is expansive and joyful, and there’s always enough time for whatever is needed (not the insane list of things I ‘think’ I have to get through); the mind way is hard and driven and leaves me feeling squashed and resentful that I don’t have enough time for ‘me’. When I’m with my body, I’m already with ‘me’ and so I don’t need to make extra time for this.

    1. When we stay connected, there is no need to rush or be ahead of ourselves (which in truth is not possible, but we keep trying) and everything that needs to get done, gets done. It is all quite simple, really.

  51. “I had been my own worst stressor by the impositions I have always put on myself in order to achieve ever more and be super efficient.” I know how this feels I use to get caught in this myself, but have learnt this does not serve oneself anymore.

  52. I found that getting stressed is a great way for me to deal with things when I felt tired. Recently I noticed that when I do certain work I get energised even when I am tired.

    1. Yes, there are many forms to keep pushing us, may it be coffee, sugar or stress or any other substance/activity that keeps us going for that moment or a little longer. What I love about what Gabriele shares is how she feels the next day, thus bringing it back to the quality of life instead of the forever sought after achievement that has us not care for our bodies and well-being.

  53. So often I hear the words ” I work best when I am under stress” yet the movements that go with this comment reflects poor relationships with peers and a tension that is internally disruptive to the body as it is constantly working against its natural way of being.

    1. Is it possible that ‘working best when under stress’ is a lie and an excuse for procrastination and being out of rhythm?

    2. When the focus is on just getting it done or the outside result of how things look then we set things up to be that way. Little regard for the quality of the whole interaction based on how it feels for you and then everything else. In this way we can pretty much get away with saying anything we like as it matters only how it looks and if we get it done. It doesn’t matter what we are doing or where we are doing it ‘all’ comes from that part or moment and how you will be next is set up from that movement.

  54. Great to highlight Gabriele how we get caught up holding onto a belief to get things done that we push our body well beyond our natural rhythm effecting all our movements and the quality of what we do thereafter, until we reconnect back with ourselves.

    1. There is another part of the game here surely, if we know there is a “natural rhythm” to life, a flow that truly supports us then why would we ever walk away or not connect with this? We are possibly walking parts of life and have walked parts of life over and over in a certain direction away from this truth in our for us not to fully walk back to it at every point. In other words we have spent a lot of energy living another way that is not in connection to this “natural rhythm”. This is not a critique but more a realisation that it’s not a perfection thing or a thing to get yourself down but more an awareness that every step away from this truth will need to be re walked or cleared in order for us to fully return and in this way every moment of every day is the possibility for us to bring ourselves clearer and clearer. There are no good and bad days or moments, just points for us to completely return.

  55. I’ve been noticing the wanting to squeeze more in than is necessary, and also doing different chores too close together (instead of resting in between) to get into a state of busyness and overdoing it. It’s a peculiar thing because I don’t like how I feel at the end of it and I’ve noticed in my case it’s often because there is something I don’t want to feel or take responsibility for.

  56. I can so relate to this Gabriele, my addiction with stress went hand in hand with my addiction to being a martyr. Keeping myself so busy I didn’t have to feel the sadness that laid within.

    1. It is interesting how so many of us run from feeling the sadness that lay within so we keep ourselves busy all the time so we don’t stop unless we are forced too. I was so a martyr myself.

      1. Martyrs exude an insidious and twisted force which they inflict on themselves first and then on all and sundry.

    2. Stress, drive, intensity all are a cover for us to not feel. It’s not even that there is something huge to feel or significant etc. It’s just that life or everything comes from a feeling first and so to not honour the ‘feeling’ is leaving a large part of what is going on out and from there we can create whatever we want. This creation occurs while we are still feeling everything but building a creation to cover this awareness. So it’s a world created within a larger world that curbs your view so you only see what you have last created, your view is controlled so as to not wake yourself back up to a bigger or large part.

      1. Wow Ray, very well said. You have pretty much covered my way of living. It’s like the constant chatter we allow in our minds to avoid the stillness within.

      2. I agree and sometimes it’s obvious and more so starts subtly. You know how the saying goes similar to, ‘from little things big things grow’ well for me life or how we are is like that. If things started to slap us in the face then we could see that and you would take note of why it’s there but the set up is all the little things that appear unimportant or are dismissed easily that then build momentum and before you know it it seems things are slapping you in the face and the little things have added up and it appears you have no idea how it occurred. Yet each step has been clocked and we are simply avoiding walking and feeling our way back through it.

      3. That is true, I have found that also. Every effect has a cause, a chain of causes, no matter how seemingly small or even erroneously judged as insignificant. In an existence where everything is energy before it is matter, nothing is just nothing.

      4. Exactly and yet even with this awareness it’s not how I live fully. I do my best to honour this but there is always parts of my day dismissed or walk past with little regard. I can say all is energy but there is a part of me that obviously thinks it’s not the case and from what we are saying this part has made a lot of little steps in many directions that are still being undone.

  57. The stress is harmful for our body and so when we truly surrender our body can heal the stress we at first have created. So our body is alWays healing — rejuvenating if it gets a chance.

    1. Yes it is and at any point when we push or drive ourselves it brings us out of what is a natural flow to life. It’s like a flock of birds flying in the air and one decides they need to do more. Not only would it throw all the others out momentarily but it would also make is harder to fly itself. Life naturally pulls us in a certain way that is in deep honour of everything and if we go into any behaviour that allows us to loose sight of this flow then we are literally flying on our own and the flying becomes something we need to do.

      1. Great allegory; flapping our wings like mad rather than glide effortlessly and be part of the bigger picture.

      2. Exactly and we saw a flock of birds yesterday and even in big head winds they always look like it’s an effortless thing to fly like they do. There is a part of life that they are symbolic for and to me. I am always watching them and reflecting it back to how I am at that very point.

      3. Which is exactly the purpose of symbolism – to observe and reflect and then ponder how the symbolism applies to our life and what the lesson is. The Magic of God in action, at play.

      4. This makes completes sense when we talk about it like this and yet it hasn’t been how I have looked at life and there are still levels of things to this. In place of looking at life as life it’s possibly to ‘use’ life as a mirror and no matter what crosses or doesn’t cross your path reading it all as “symbolism”.

  58. I was addicted to being stressed for most of my life and I ended up taking a year out at age 50 to try to get the stress out of my body. Seven years later I still had not returned to work and was still stressed all the time despite not working which I had attributed the stress to. Perhaps there was another cause? Maybe it was the caffeine I was consuming all day and the alcohol I consumed each evening? Perhaps these drugs were stressing my system and giving me the high blood pressure that I also had.

  59. I recognise that propensity to want to fill up space with more activity very well. I’ve realised that my mind is constantly monitoring what else can be done, and hey look there are 5 minutes to do this here, and another 5 to do this over there. But as you’ve shared Gabriele, it feels very wrong when we start to feel what spaciousness is like, how our bodies respond to spaciousness and expand. So yesterday I looked at a pile of washing I needed to put away whilst I had some chops frying away for dinner and clocked that sneaky thought to hurriedly sort the washing while the fry-pan was doing its thing. I let the clothes be, returned to the kitchen and enjoyed the cooking activity with lots of fun and no time imposition, and the clothes were gracefully put away in their own time in what was the natural sequence of the day. Plus – I got myself snuggled into bed even earlier than usual 🙂 Time expands when we do not choose to cram.

    1. It’s the perfect setup – the notion that we won’t get everything done unless we double and triple up and go into overdrive. But time doesn’t play this game; its order and rhythm play to a very different tune than what we have been led to believe and have subscribed to.

  60. When you are open to doing a bit of detective work with yourself, it is quite amazing what you can find lurking underneath the surface.

  61. Being busy, busy, busy and feeling stressed is a cunning trick to stop ourselves feeling how amazing we are just being who we are.

    1. Absolutely Mary, we get off on being busy very deliberately so that we do not let ourselves deepen into the stillness that our body is calling us to surrender into.

    1. We get the opportunity to live each moment with presence and let the next moment unfold from there when we take the pressure off and stop focussing on the outcome.

  62. When we let go of what we need to fit into the day, it is amazing how much we get done because when we have no picture there is no expectation, and things naturally have their own flow and there is nothing for us to get stressed over.

  63. To go in the stress is a way to feed the spirits existence.
    IT takes us away from feeling our body and all what is around us.
    And it makes the body ill.

  64. And I may add – I have realised now what I can let go of in my two very busy days ahead to create the spaciousness that will support this day, the next day and the week ahead. It’s so simply a case of observing what we are attached to, and asking ourselves if this thing, task, whatever it may be, is on par with how we really want to feel, whether it will support us to feel expanded or not.

    1. A great point – taking a moment and assessing where we might be purely outcome or success driven rather than plodding through a to do list like an obedient servant of our own agenda.

  65. A very timely article to read this morning, as I had already been plotting my two busy days ahead and what I would do in between the tight little gaps I would try and find. Time can and will expand, if we let go of the internal rushing and stress that we create for ourselves.

  66. I also in truth do not like to feel stressed, yet I have observed that there is a part of me that relishes the identification that is offered through stress. The identification that believes that I am valued through how much I can achieve, or that I think I am ‘alive’ if am on the go, or even the exhaustion that follows offers me recognition for ‘all’ that I was able to do in a day. However, the more I honor what I feel is true and allow myself to be guided by how my body feels, as you have wisely shared, ‘time expands’ and the space for us to bring our presence to every moment is available. Moving with this quality is what represents, defines and confirms who we are like nothing else can in this world.

  67. A brilliant blog to stumble upon this morning – I can very much relate to hating being stressed but getting off on it at the same time. When I feel spacious and expanded there is nothing to dramatise about, so I’ll look for something more to do, to bring in the squeeze of time so that I can run around like a headless chicken and create a drama I can write home about – until the next drama, and the next drama and so on.

    1. Being stressed and squeezed for time is an addiction when there is spaciousness, we often attempt to recreate the limitations.

      1. In spaciousness there is no panic, there is no ‘I’ running around getting off on how busy I am, important, unimportant etc. So – we switch on the stress button again to go back into that familiar pattern where ‘me, myself and I’ become the centre of our own world once more.

  68. I feel that there are many many people who will relate to what you have shared here. Being addicted to achieving things and stressing ourselves out over it all. We have a long way to learn that there actually nothing ‘out there’ that can dominate one’s choice or be blamed for any stressed action. It is always our choice as to how we deal with and manage our life.

  69. Gabriele, I can relate to the addiction of being ‘on a roll’ focused on the achievement in getting things done and not allowing myself to settle fully in my body first and from there enjoying moving with my body’s own flow and rhythm instead of from my mind and mentally ticking off all the jobs when completed.

  70. I love this sharing Gabriele! I have often found myself ending up with a stacked day after starting with what seemed like an easy day for me. What I have noticed is that I tell myself its OK I am only doing as few things for myself on the day but It snowballs because I haven’t said no and each event took twice as long to accomplish as I expected! Not looking after me first does backfire and exhaustion follows.

  71. The super organised super achiever in me squirms reading this. It’s funny you use the example of washing as often I notice myself thinking about putting washing on and if there isn’t one to wash I’ll check again just to make sure. If I keep busy then I don’t have time to feel what is really going on, let alone connect to the quality of stillness.

  72. Great blog Gabriele. I certainly know what you are talking about here, especially this part – “There is a part of me that gets off on being a super achiever and being super organised, a part of me that gets off on doing more than is necessary in any one day.” I know this well. It has run me ragged many a day. But like you it is lessening its grip and I wash more on Saturdays now 🙂 It is a loving work in progress to bring more self-love and self-care into my day, and realise that my being is more important that my doing.

  73. This is a feeling I have too Gabriele. Often when I am about to have a healing session, I look back at recent life events and feel how intense they’ve been, and I get the strongest feeling that things needn’t carry on this way. By the time I come to speak to the practitioner it’s sounds really odd to say ‘I have this big issue’ when it is clear in my heart I do not. Your words here makes it so clear, there are two possible ways we can live, one which worships complexity, difficulty, upset and strife and the other that knows simplicity, sweetness and truth. It’s just up to us which way we will go, and whether we are prepared to give up this overwhelm drug which is as potent as anything chemical we have made.

  74. Stress is such a cheap and easy drug of choice if we want to consume it. How we deal with a situation or experience says more about us as a person than about the actual experience at hand.

  75. What a learning Gabriele , the washing was a good one , a good way of maintaining stress in the body .
    It great you have got rid of the bone. Everyones day is full, its full of what needs to be done .

  76. Gabriele it can sound strange to be addicted to stress yet that is exactly my experience, I was very much addicted to stress! Today the opposite is true but for me the highs and the lows are what used to make life.

  77. To stay with what we feel is true and bring our focus or dedication away from just getting it done or doing it is what will support us all ongoing. As the article is saying too often we override the feeling to get into the doing and then loose track of time or we are cramped or stressed with time. The only way to sustain or to honour ongoing what you are feeling is to live that way, to dedicate as much as possible to feeling what’s going on around you. Then when the pressure is on or the stress meter goes up you will see everything for what it is.

  78. I can relate to that running ragged behaviour in the past Gabriele and I also had an arrogance that I was so great to fill so much more into my life than others. I now understand there is a flow to everything we do, and feel what is going to be sorted today and what is going to left for tomorrow.

  79. Wow! Stress can be an addiction… now there is a psychological mind bender for you! It shows stress is a choice and is very empowering to feel it this way.

  80. Awareness is the key to feeling when we leave our natural rhythm and go into a drive to get things done that puts the body into tension and we feel stressed and anxious so that we can choose to come back to our quality of connection more and more.

  81. This blog is gold Gabriele. The cycle of work hard, crash hard is well known to me. I know that I exhaust myself so I try to do absolutely everything while I am feeling ‘good’ in the mistaken belief that I will be able to rest later. I can see that it would be much wiser to live consistently committed to life.

    1. A bit like our self-inflicted economic cycle really, boom and bust – in this case, overextend and crash hard and do it all over again. As you say, consistency is key and not the wild gyrations that take us from shallow gratification to contraction and exhaustion.

  82. I have found that stress can be my best friend and not something that I have to judge as bad, its like a very uncomfortable change point where you get to be honest and say, if I’m not with my body, then where’s the love?

  83. Stress is a great way to avoid what we are feeling because we tend to then focus on the stress rather than what is causing the stress in the first place.

  84. Being honest with ourselves and why we choose what we choose is a very needed foundation to start to change the choices that don’t work towards or benefit our well-being.

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