I’ve been thinking about how stress can affect us, and what happens when stress just gets in your face. Well, the other day, I had a stress reaction. I was having a conversation with somebody, they got really angry and had the look of disgust on their face. I had such a huge visceral reaction. I was shocked, I got angry, and I got afraid also. Then my mind goes a little bit blank because I’m flipping my lid. I get really afraid I’m going to say something wrong and make everything worse. Then, maybe I’ll get rejected and I lose my voice! I start to become less than inside of myself and it feels like there’s absolutely nowhere to turn for support.
That’s really a painful place to be! There are a lot of things that happen within us, especially when we are faced with the look of disgust from another person. It actually lowers our immune system.
On this journey of my life, I have found that there are places that can support me, which have helped to create resilience within me in the face of stress. So, I know that it’s possible to be able to respond in those situations with compassionate understanding. To have a bigger view of what is actually taking place in the moment.
It begins with instead of reacting, you can practice pausing in the moment, to connect with yourself before reacting, so you can respond in choice. When we feel afraid we are going to say something wrong, what we can do different is learn we can practice staying present with uncomfortable emotions which will expand our window of welcome for those emotions.
We can receive our bodies wisdom, as we take time to be in our body. What’s also possible is to recognize that when we are afraid of being rejected, we are really needing acceptance. So, begin by practicing self-acceptance, knowing that when you honestly express your truth with authenticity, that’s why you are here.
Rather than feeling there is nowhere to turn for support, when you practice presence, you are able to notice that inner chatter and empowered to connect inward with Source, which calms the mind that gets so whirling.
Because the mindset that is the pathway to traverse that chasm between those two different ways of being, is when you can recognize there is an imbalance that is happening in the moment and in your culture that surrounds you, is recognizing how vital it is that you are authentically you. For you to speak your truth in the moment with grace.
How do we begin to practice this? There are some skillsets that I find vital. Practice observing, making an observation which is void of any interpretation. Just what is actually happening, can you see what is actually happening, other than what you are projecting upon your environment? The practice of observation, Krishna Mertie says is, “the highest form of human intelligence.”
So, notice, what triggers a reactive state in you? When you start to notice what triggers that state in you, notice what happens in your body instantaneously. As you keep your attention in your body, without judgement, but with what Krishna Mertie calls the highest form of human intelligence, observing, what is actually happening. Notice what happens as you rest your attention in your body, with the sensations of when you are triggered.
That is a really big first step. So, if you are willing to do that, I would also encourage you to keep a journal about that, called ‘Practicing Presence’. You can do this at the end of every day. You can notice, what happened in my day? Make an observation about what triggered you. Then, in the moment what’s amazing is that time-travel empathy, even though it happened earlier in your day, when you take the time to be present in your ‘Now’ and remember what happened, notice what happens in your body in that moment.
The body is the container of all of your experiencing. When you take the time to be with your experiences, and process them in this way, there is some magic that happens for you. So, if you are willing to do that, I encourage you to keep a journal on it so you can notice how your experience begins to change.