So I wonder how your summer has been? With the weather getting colder, and the nights drawing in, I wonder what sort of Christmas you are looking forward to? Will it be a stressful one? With many telling us that the world is in financial melt down, terrorists willing to give their lives to make a point, I think it might well be an understatement to say many of us are feeling a little stressed!
The 5th of November is stress awareness day, and with over 13% of the UK work force stating that they believe that their job is “Very or Extremely” stressful, this is not an issue that can really be ignored. I wonder how you cope with stress in your life?
For me personally, I think stress is something that we have to deal with in many different ways, and actually trying to live a life without it is as unhealthy as living with extreme cases of it. For example if we did not have the challenges and demands on our lives that stress can lead to then we would not grow and mature in our journeys.
I believe having an understanding of who we are and who we are not is a good start. In our culture today we seem never to stop, and if we do we might be considered lazy or worthless. But I think the art of stopping is a lost one, you see I believe when we stop, when we make ourselves be silent and do nothing we are forced to see ourselves in a new light. I have a lot of friends who work very hard and then when it comes to the holidays quite often become ill, this is because they are none stop all the time so when they do stop their body shuts down to recover, but then they cannot enjoy their time off. I have lived this as well, but now, when people ask if I am busy I try to answer no, as I think if I live my life busy and stressed what to I have to offer anyone else?
I strive to live for other people, and that means having time to listen and learn from them, and if I am stressed it is not as easy to do. For me its about living life in rhythms, of stillness and busyness. But always trying to work from a place of rest and not resting from a place of work. It’s about Sabbath, not just going to church on a Sunday (although that is one way of expressing it.) but taking a day to play and pray without the demands of the world on your back, but its also more than that, its about a lifestyle, of finding our identity in who we are and not what we do.
I picked up a bottle of bubble bath the other day and it was labelled as ‘stress relief’ and I wondered if it was what was in the bottle or the fact that stopping and sitting with nothing else to do was actually the relief from stress they were selling?
So may you know what it means to stop, and when you do may you find a different world around you.