Stress -- it’s everywhere. It’s even been part of the vocabulary of my young niece and nephew for years.
But is life really becoming more stressful?
In the developed world many of the life-threatening stressors such as the very real threat of being attacked by a wild animal or starving to death are no longer everyday occurrences.
And yet a 2018 study by the Mental Health Foundation found that “74 per cent of us felt so overwhelmed in the last year that we were unable to cope, with 32 per cent of people considering suicide and 16 per cent self-harming as a result. These figures are higher for women than men and for young people (from 18-24) compared to older adults (55+).”
“A ship is always safe at shore, but that's not what it's built for.” Albert Einstein
It can be so easy to stay in our comfort zone- often without even realising it.
But it comes at a price.
If I told you that there is a powerful skill that is with you the whole time that you ignore 99% of the time I doubt you’d believe me.
But there is.
It is something that has been with us all since birth, cannot be broken and stays with us until we leave this life- and possibly beyond if that is your way of understanding things.
In this article I share what it is, how and why we ignore it and how to start bringing it back more fully into your life.
So what is this skill?
Ok. So I don’t mean literally. Although this image from my childhood of Scrooge McDuck sort of has its own appeal.
What I really mean is the incredible untapped resources and potentialities that are hidden in plain sight in your life as it is now.
In all of our lives.
It is astonishing when I work with clients how profound it is to discover these resources. And so simple. And yet so few people really know how to do it well.
What’s the best way to control someone?
In every culture in every time there are people and groups who take advantage of others for their own benefit- and there is a tried and tested way to do it.
In this article we’ll explore one of the main ways this happens and how you can guard against it whilst dramatically increasing your quality of life.
All three of the above made predictions about the end of the world (which thankfully have not yet come true).
While you may not have made such extravagant predictions and shouted them from the rooftops as these people did, you may on occasion do something similar.
You may catastrophize.
This is when something relatively insignificant happens but in our internal world it is ‘DISASTER!’
While this may not be predicting the end of ‘the’ world, it can certainly feel that ‘your’ world is coming to an end.
There are few greater feelings than being in touch with your life purpose.
Somehow it makes everything simple.
Prioritising, clarity, motivation, ample energy- all of these come so easily when we’re in touch with our purpose.
Yet the pursuit of purpose can sometimes create serious problems that paradoxically can alienate us from feeling that we’re living a satisfying life.
Have you ever sat across from the table from your partner and wondered who on earth this person is? And what happened to the person you were so attracted to all that time ago?
It’s a pretty common occurrence in long-term relationships.
Somehow over the days, weeks, months and years the familiarity, the day to day tedium, the challenges of life and the changes you both have gone through- all of these can conspire to make the distance between you feel wider than the grand canyon.
Most of us sane, caring people are interested in doing what we can to save the environment (notwithstanding certain world leaders- USA and Brazilian springing to mind there).
But how far should we take it?
This is not an article about the entirety of humanity's responsibility to the world around us.
Rather it takes a quick look at our choices through the lens of the situation of one rather large green parrot that is particularly ill-equipped for survival in the modern world. Meet the Kakapo.
There is one very simple technique that you may have come across already in your life that helps stimulate something called dual awareness.
Being able to embody dual awareness starts to move us out of a state of overwhelm and back towards a state where we feel empowered, motivated and ready to act effectively.
And more than that, it is also the doorway to our highest creativity.