fear and stress release

10.25.09

I just spoke to my Mom.  She is 89 and moving  to a smaller apartment.  Too much furniture and change isn’t necessarily easy for anyone.  I reminded her that her new location (across the street in Hendersonville, NC) is brand new, friends in current building have already moved, she gets three meals a day rather than one, and there is less maintenance.  Put in another perspective, I reminded her that I lived on a sailboat for 15 years and now in 650 square feet on the beach.  Space, I told her, is relevant only to our belief system.  Smaller, for you, I said, is better.  She listened.  Heard the merits.  Bigger is not better.  Sometimes smaller is neither, but in this case yes.  Her life will be more simplified.  As Henry David Thoreau said from his 15 x 15 cabin in Walden Woods, “Simplify, simplify.”

That is one reason I lived on a sailboat for 15 years.  Uncluttered lifestyle.  Bring on something new, let something go.  Stay close to who we really are rather than become cluttered with junk in life.

As I write this, I am interim island manager in the Bahamas for two weeks on a 700 acre pristine piece of paradise.  When I arrived Tuesday aboard a 20 passenger turbo prop landing in Georgetown, Great Exuma, the plane was bouncing like a bronco bull and zero visability as our Bahamas greeting was a tropical storm.  One passenger locked in fear animatedly aired her fear not able to see the ground.  She loudly offered to share tequila she had somehow smuggled aboard and flush faced doused her gullet.

We react to fear in different ways.  We also have options to our reactions.  Stress is universal.  Stress is everywhere.  How we react determines the outcome.  On the plane I simply closed my eyes and enjoyed the turbulence.  My treat, like a festival ride,  was a woman’s terror.

I thought about my Mother’s reaction to moving.  More than that, I thought about how we have to adapt every living minute to our very being.  Every breath is new life.  A sudden unexpected pain might bring an anxiety onset.  We have the ability to adapt or become victim to our own resistence to change.  The latter is fear.

My advice:  Go along for the ride.  You don’t have a choice anyway.  Give in to the moment.  See it as special.  Ride the ferris wheel of life.  Take a deep breath when fear rises and release breath and fear.  And if you find yourself on an isolated island in the Bahamas, take off your clothes, run naked on an isolated beach, and shout praises for just being alive.  No fear, MON.

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