It has been awhile.
Other than semi-regular posts on my Instagram and Facebook pages, I realised recently that I have been a bit distracted and disconnected from my website.
There is easy-ness to posting on the visual types of social media, like Instagram and Facebook. I can share pictures without having to dive very deep into words and insights .. these are more carefree playgrounds .. whereas, I realize (yet again) that …
.. website posts are labors of love
When life gets super busy (and I know that you all know what that means) and you recognize that wave of overwhelm taking control of your senses .. well, I admit I ducked for cover, for solace, for refuge.
On some inner-plane I recognized that I needed s-p-a-c-e and spaciousness to meditate and reflect and gather myself. Some personal time to work out what needed to be done in the practical world, and then some time to do it; before I would ever be able to open that mysterious door where insights are birthed.
Interestingly, after my meditation practice the other morning, I was drawn to write again. Loud and clear. And I am thrilled (and intrigued) that this yearning coincided with the full moon and a partial lunar eclipse .. so, I am obvious aligned with some super powers; acknowledging that this is a natural time for reflection and a cosmic clean out!
Rollback to June 2015
So, firstly let me take us back to June 2015, when I was diving deep into my Meditation & Mindfulness Teacher Certification studies with the McLean Meditation Academy (and if you want to know more about this amazing course, please just email me) .. at the time we were exploring STRESS
Everyone has their own stress story
But, having learned to meditate as a teenager, I had always felt that I had developed a strong and dependable foundation for self-managing my stress.
Sure there have been times .. over the years when I felt overworked and stressed in my corporate role, followed by a marriage breakup and then divorce. Oh yes, being a single mum had challenges, and let’s not start with the single-mother-with-teenage-daughter years. And hello retrenchment and years without a regular pay cheque (which also subsequently birthed Quiet Mind Meditation, so that was a big win!).
Mostly I am known to acknowledge that most challenges in life, when you look back over your shoulder, have actually been insightful learning experiences or at least come bearing gifts. Mostly this is true.
But through those stressful periods, I have to say that I also felt deeply cradled (and protected) by my meditation. So, when, as part of my studies to better understand the key components and impacts of long-term stress, I was asked to complete The Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale .. I was pretty confident that I was doing ok and stress was not a major concern for me.
Stressed: Winter 2015
The most widely accepted definition of stress, mainly attributed to Richard S. Lazarus:
“Stress is a condition or feeling experienced when a person perceives that demands exceed the personal and social resources the individual is able to mobilize”
So, we mostly experience stress when we feel that things are totally out of control.
Back in June 2015 not only was I intensely focused on completing my studies, but I had also taken on a lot of new teaching opportunities and a part-time office space, plus I found myself trying to navigate and co-stear my stressed teen through her final year of school and looming exams, as well as care for my mum who was adjusting to health concerns; and to top it off nicely, I wasn’t earning as much as I needed (so, financial stress was definitely a factor).
The Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS), more commonly known as the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale, was created by psychiatrists Thomas Holmes and Richard Rahe who surveyed 5,000+ medical patients to determine whether experiencing any of a series of 43 life events in the previous two years had an impact on health and well-being.
Each of these ‘events’, called Life Change Units (LCU), is assigned a “weight” for stress, and the more events a patient added up, the higher their score. The higher the score and the larger the weight of each event, the more likely the patient was to become ill.
Yesterday, under the full moon, I was drawn to look back on my journal to find my score:
150-299 : You have a moderate to high chance of becoming ill in the near future
Roll forward: Winter 2017
Life has changed, as it is want to do. Most impactful has been losing my mum. As the matriarch of our family, this event has led to much smaller and ongoing challenges for us all. My daughter has finished school but is now embroiled in University life, along with driving a car and seeking out new horizons and traveling adventures. In recent weeks, living arrangements have been questioned, so there has been an extra dose of uncertainty and we are not sure what lies ahead .. which can be a little scary.
It’s the unknown that we often fear most
And for the first time in my life, I had been waking at night to feel my heart pounding .. and yes I went to the doctor and all is fine ..
This last week things got even more interesting! I am currently caught up in the whirlwind of preparing a house for sale, and my beautiful car suddenly ceasing to run (also unrecoverable), and to top it off we had emergency water and sewerage plumbing issues: so life has been, admittedly a ‘little out of control’.
Yesterday, I decided to do the Holmes and Rahe Stress Scale again .. and surprise surprise (not) this time my score even higher. Despite my regular 30+ year meditation practice, even as a meditation teacher (and YES please know that we still experience life and worrying and stress like every other human walking this planet) I was still surprised to find my score:
300-600: You have a high to very high risk of becoming ill in the near future
This is a little insight into why I have not been writing on my website recently. I have been needing to pause and catch up with life. And, hallelujah to taking a moment and taking a breath!
And I realized that perhaps in needing to write this post, I was also called to deliver a message, a little insight for YOU .. a prompt to consider your stress level in this moment.
How are your stress levels right now?
Perhaps it is time to consider what you might be able to do, change or action to help nourish and support your well-being.
For me: I am meditating a little more and returning to my secondary afternoon meditation practice which had slipped, and I have started a regular weekly Qigong class. And, I have made a personal commitment to being more mindful of my physical health by walking more, watching my diet and laughing with my daughter at the dog park in the afternoons .. and very soon enjoying a carefree island holiday with my bestie.
Are you taking positive steps to reduce the unhealthy stress in your life?
Did you meditate today?
Can I help?
with gratitude xx
*If you are interested in The Homes and Rahe Stress Scale – GO HERE
*If you are keen to bring meditation and mindfulness practices into your daily life .. my Spring meditation classes and workshops will be announced here shortly, or you can join the QUIET MIND NEWSLETTER to find out first!
*If you want to follow some of my Bali adventures this year on Instagram – GO HERE