What you are feeling is very real.
Your body is in protection mode. It is translating the messages your brain takes in and readies you for the danger it thinks is surrounding you.
When you are snapping at your loved ones or feeling like you want to spend all day in bed, you are responding to the information overload that is coming your way. Technology and work and changes in social structure are challenging to our human bodies and brains.
In our days of survival we used to fight, or run, or freeze when our lives were threatened. Danger would go away. And then we would be able to shake it off and go on with our lives. But now our systems think we are constantly under attack. Chronic stress makes our bodies feel like the tiger is always breathing down our neck. And our systems are not meant to take this on long term.
And this is the sneaky thing about chronic stress. The tiger breathing down you neck has become background noise. You get used to it and think it’s now part of your life. But your system still responds to the danger. So you feel overwhelmed and anxious but logically you look at your life and think, “Huh. There’s nothing here to be stressed about. My life is not so different from everyone else’s.”
Meanwhile, you can’t see your neighbor’s tiger breathing down her neck also.
I’ve certainly been there. I’m a hard worker by nature so the culture of hustle and busy and do more was an easy thing for me to swallow. I looked pretty good on paper but my internal world was hard to live in. Tiny challenges kept me on the edge of anxiety. Constant activity pushed me into depression. I felt like I was never really meeting my own expectations let alone the standards that everyone else seemed to be meeting. I eyed everyone else with suspicion. Why was I the only one that seemed to be struggling here?
The biggest lesson I had to learn is that there is no shame in questioning this path of suffering. The first of the Four Noble Truths of Zen Buddhism is the fact that we all suffer. But the fourth of the truths is that we can be liberated from this suffering by our own power.
(Don’t worry, we’re not going to get wrapped up in religious teachings during our time together. We’re going to work with the mind, body, and spirit whose basic needs have not changed in a very long time.)
Tiger taming is not for the faint of heart
It will ask you to embrace your worry, not ignore it. It will require an open mind (because tigers are very smart and if you are asking them to change their ways, you are going to have to get creative). It will ask you to believe in your own power more than you ever have.
This is why we do this together.
I am not going to throw a bunch of the typical stress reduction “things” at you. I’m not going to require you to take an hour long yoga class or eat organic foods or contemplate your third eye. I’m big on practical and I understand there is no room for one more thing on your plate. This work gets integrated into your daily life. This work will start to create space between you and your tiger. It’s going to help you work in harmony together.
The logistics of our month together:
- One 45 minute Intro session via skype or phone – This is where we take a look at your tiger. How big is it? How much is it affecting your life? What kind of relationship would you like to create with it?
- Three 25 minute check-in sessions via skype or phone – Accountability, support, and advice.
- A daily stress release – Don’t worry, it’ll be quick and you can do it in your pj’s without breaking a sweat.
- E-mail support Monday-Friday 8am-8pm – Sometimes you just need to reach out for some validation. Sometimes you need a little guidance. I’m there for you.
I’m here for you. Let’s transform your tiger from your best kept secret into your most powerful ally. Before you know it, your neighbor will be asking you how you did it.