Stress Free Present vs. the “Trying to Change Myself ” Game

Busy women are always striving for improvement, better achievements and new challenges. 

Needless to say that, even if it feels good in the short run (an adrenalin rush) and this is how high achieving women are who they are, in a long run it leads to burnout, destroys your health, ages you prematurely and prompts stress eat.

Bad must become good, the weak strong, and the incompetent competent, the boring charming?  

Have you caught yourself thinking that your purpose of life is to measure up to the ideals YOU or somebody else invented? This kind of life approach might be very stressful. 

Are you convinced that nowadays in a highly competitive workplace the only way to reach your objectives is to play the “trying to change myself” game? If so, it becomes very hard to see that you are good enough, talented, beautiful and … (you fill in the blank) and you can enjoy the present exactly the way it is! RIGHT NOW!

Have you noticed how perfect your present is? Maybe it’s not the optimum, but it is perfect to learn from and perfect to grow from. 

Being in sync with your present is just about the best way to optimize your future.

The following is an except from The Inner Game of Stress by Timothy Gallwey and shows his talk with God: 

“God was saying, “How long did we spend making this planet, Earth – several billion years, wasn’t it? And how long did it take to evolve the human body? Millions and millions years, as I remember. We put a lot into it.” Then looking at me, God said, “We gave you one of those human bodies. Not a bat, or a worm, or hippopotamus, but a top-of-the-line body to live life on a top-of-the-line planet with other human beings.” Then came a big question:” So, how did you like it? And what did you like most?”

I heard myself replying, “How did I like it? I really didn’t have time to enjoy it that much. I was too busy fixing the world and fixing myself to merely enjoy it.”

As simple as this truth is it was a powerful reminder in the midst of my own daily stress in striving to be different and rushing to plan future instead of enjoying the present: Have I missed the whole point of the gift? Do I have time to enjoy a gift called life that was given to me, or even worse – have I ever unwrapped the package? 

In the end, life is about unwrapping and enjoying the gift of life. Endeavor can be quite difficult, even impossible when stress mounts up and becomes a chronic companion in our lives. Although enjoying the gift is the most natural thing in the world.

You and I, at the moment we were born got amazing potential for joy, freedom, and limitless other abilities. All we are asked to do is to use and enjoy the gift.

Only by relaxing into full acceptance of the present (and full acceptance of you being the way you are right now) you can start seeing clearly. When you relax, you go with the flow and keep a beginners mind, you notice that all the clues for attracting whatever you were striving for (stressing, beating yourself up) are really staring back at you. The challenge is to keep your eyes open and remain bright, calm, and nonjudgmental.

Don’t beat yourself up for something that did not go exact the way you wanted (self-imposed stress, indeed). Instead, let the decisions down on you, in their own time.  

It is hard to see new exits from stress situations or to switch the perspective when you are chronically stressed in the midst of turmoil. Only when the dust sits down we can start to see clearly.

Here is my challenge for you:

During the following week become a curious observer of your life, enjoy discovering present, and even the bad parts. You will notice that you can make the most out of reality and in a much calmer and less stressful way just because you are not wishing for it were different.

Stop striving, at least for a moment. Take a minute out of your busy day to enjoy the gift of being alive, the gift of air you breathe, the gift of BEING WHO YOU ARE!

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