Friday, June 9, 2017

Stress and Living The High Life

There's' something almost unacceptable about wanting to live a happy, fulfilled, rich life - it's almost as if there is an innate streak amongst humans, to wish some small amount of suffering on one another. I find it interesting that in this era of "mindfulness" there is always someone willing to remind you that doing anything other than working like a slave,  marinating in solid stress and stumbling home exhausted each evening, is "living the high life". 

There is enough research out there now that demonstrates people who work in or are surrounded by positive psychology, are the people with the highest levels of well-being. Yet we are very good at condemning those who aim for this but at times falter.

To live a life with authentic happiness (not one necessarily created through social status - which is transient, or wealth - which is often a result of social status), but deep, profound authentic well-being, is not something one must ask society permission for. In fact it's crucial to our survival. But - we so often scorn those who strive to  attain this. 
Yesterday I got sick. I hosted a bunch of well-intended comments on my social media page which ranged from "get well soon" to "you need to slow down" to "too much living the high life". I find it amusing how some in my world feel the need to tell me what I should be doing (clearly I am living the high life, going too fast and it serves me right for being sick), whilst others do not feel the need to apportion a sense of blame. 
I find myself feeling defensive when I read these comments, as I know what my life is like and how I have ended up sick. One word: stress.
We are told "work-life balance"; but yet if we try to gain a little of that, we are slammed down by the societal moderators out there, who bring us back to the notion that each of us is really meant to suffer - even just a little bit. Where is the kindness toward one another? Where is the support? Where is the unity toward a common sense of flourishing and well-being?
It's not there; because to pursue the things that make us each happy (in my case photography and mixing that with hiking, mountain biking), is deemed to be selfish, unnecessary and "living the high life".
These very aspects which talk to our soul, which engage us with life on this planet, which connect us more deeply and authentically to the world around us; which "blow our ears back" should never be held accountable. Hold firmly onto those things. They are the antithesis to stress and the much needed antidote to the chaos and negativity that seeps through the cracks.
Make space - let the light in - shine - apologise to no one - be sick - get well - live your life - FLOURISH.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others".

Marianne Williamson


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