I made it a solid 2 days. Solid. Stress rolled off me like grease off a non-stick pan.
And then today happened. I drove for the first time in rush hour morning traffic. I started to tense up and immediately did a few breathing exercises and watched the stress lift off me like mist. Easy. Then I listened to my favorite morning DJ play every song he knew that praised the sun. Perfect.
Then, not ten minutes after arriving at my destination, life happened. And I don’t know if it was a test or if it’s hormones or Mercury going retrograde on Saturday but everything started leaving a very bad taste. By the time I got home I was more then angry, I was angry with a heaping side of totally stressed out.
My partner came behind me while I was washing dishes and I said before he reached me “I’m not in a good mood.” Which is a code for, give me a minute to sort my shit out.
So I made a deal with myself. I told myself that if I washed all the dishes and cleaned the the kitchen that I could just let all the bad energy and stress go down the drain and in the end I would be stress free.
Here is what I noticed. I got stressed because I felt out of control. Out of control of my current life situation. Out of control because I had expectations about how I wanted things to go…and they weren’t. And what I needed to feel secure again, was to feel in control of something. Even something as simple as cleaning my kitchen.
So I cleaned. And yes, I threw my pots around a bit for dramatic flair…but all in all, when I was done, I felt like a million bucks. And I talked with my partner about what I was feeling in a calm manner. And we hugged. And ferries sang in heaven and really cute kittens were born somewhere.
So yes, I backslid, but I also now understand more clearly my trigger. The traffic was a conditioned response. I reminded myself gently to shift and boom, stress gone. Thank you breath!
But when life happened, what I needed was a way to feel grounded and in control of some small thing. The funniest part of this is that I ran out of dish soap half way through doing my dishes, and had to not get angry about the fact that I MEANT to go to Trader Joe’s over a week ago, but didn’t.
Needless to say, sometimes we take a step back so we can take two steps forward. And sometimes we need to take even more than a few steps back…but luckily for me today I figured it out like a champion stress faster.
I have heard from a few of you that you are intrigued by my stress fast…and I urge you to take that intrigue and make a simple adjustment with one thing that stresses you out. Traffic is a good one.
There is NOTHING you can do about it. N O T H I N G. So stressing about it is totally, completely, absolutely useless.
Have something ready to do instead of stress. Book on tape. Favorite CD. Saucy sexy fantasy you can think about (and remain safe while driving). Remodel project ideas? If you have a mantra practice, it’s the BEST time to do a round. Be on the ready and just let the traffic happen. You will be surprised how fast you reach your destination. You may even wish you had a little more time 🙂
So that is my report for Day 3. Still holding steady after the backslide this morning. This is Elisha, relaxed and soft and vulnerable and loving it!