There are so many stressful things in my life. How do I cope with them?
Almine’s Answer: Let’s look at what stress is and how to cope with it. Hans Selye (1978) defined stress as the wear and tear of the demands of existence on an organism. This is not dissimilar from Toltec mysticism that describes stress as follows: Their teachings claim that the life-force of an individual is contained in an oval shaped field ( called a Luminous Cocoon ) around an individual’s body. The movement of the subatomic field grinds against this Cocoon, causing wear and tear (this grinding motion is called the Tumbler) . This stress wears the individual down until it finally cracks the Luminous Cocoon and death results. The very applicable part of the Toltec explanation is : The friction between the Tumbler and the Luminous Cocoon only exists because of resistance of the individual to life unfolding along his journey. When all resistance ceases, so does stress. The question is therefore not how to minimize stress, but how to minimize our resistance to life.
The first consideration in living a life of surrendered trust, comes from a quote often used by my family members, which has inspired me for many years:
” God grant us the patience to accept the things that cannot be changed, the courage to change what we can, and the wisdom to discern between the two…”.
The second consideration in surrendering to what life brings, is to realize that even though most wish for their life to change, few are willing to change themselves. One of the primary causes of resistance is our fight to keep the status quo. Change is an inevitability, which when resisted, becomes forced change. This results in discomfort and pain. The other alternative is a life of fully cooperating with change and living with grace and poise.
” Man in his own place, and of himself, can make a heaven of hell or a hell of heaven…” Our stress level is predicated by our attitudes. We are not its victim, but it’s cause — we are the architects of the quality of our life’s journey.