Mindshifters Group 10-29-2013 Getting the Stress You Need
In this week’s Mindshifter Support group we watched the first half of the lecture by Dr. Michael Ryce titled: Getting the Stress You Need. This title baffles many people because we have been taught that stress is a bad thing. The primary point made in this lecture is that we don’t do anything unless we feel some level of stress. That stress is the tension that is created within each of us when the picture of how we see the world is different from the picture of how we want the world to be. The greater the difference between the way we see the world and the way we want it to be, the greater the tension or stress we will feel. This tension is also increased by the amount of conscious or unconscious energy we focus on the way we want things to be.
The key to this lecture is learning about what role goals play in the stress we feel and in managing those goals and therefore the stress we feel. One of the main points in this lecture is realizing that it is the goals we set which direct our minds to show us the behaviors we need to do in order to reach our goals. One example of this might be that as I sit at home on a Saturday afternoon, I may be reviewing the various plans and intentions I had throughout the week for how I would spend my Saturday afternoon, and the things I would accomplish. Then after a while of reviewing those things and noticing what time it is, I finally choose something to do and start moving toward that goal. Let’s say that during the week I had thought it would be nice to do some yard work, visit an apple orchard, write some thank you notes, do several loads of laundry, get some shopping done, and maybe see a movie. Then when Saturday afternoon arrives and it is rainy and cold outside, I review the possible plans and intentions and decide to go to the theater and watch a movie. Within minutes I have my coat on and I am headed out the door to the movie theater.
The only way this could happen is that I chose one of the many different plans or intentions that I held in my mind, and elevated it to the status of a goal in my mind, and committed the energy, both physical and mental, to the accomplishing of that goal. I realized in that moment that I wanted to be at the theater, and that I was not yet at the theater. The difference between where I was and where I wanted to be created a tension within me, which we call stress. This stress motivated me to use my mental and physical energies to change things until my image of how I want things to be matches my image of how things are. This explains a lot about the stress and tension we each carry within us, and how things can be going fairly smoothly, or at least appear that way on the outside, and each of us can still create and carry a lot of stress or tension in the inside.
Let’s take the example of the movie experience. Let’s say that I call a friend who agrees to go to the movie with me. I tell him when the movie is and that I want to pick him up at a time that will allow us to get there for the start of the movie. He tells me that he will be available and ready for me to pick him up. Then when I get to his house, I am waiting twenty minutes for him to come out. We make it to the movie theater and I am feeling very rushed and upset because it is now five minutes after the scheduled movie start time. In my mind, this is not the way things should be, so I am creating tension and stress within myself. As we get into the movie theater and get seated, we find that the previews to coming attractions are still playing and we have arrived in plenty of time to see the entire movie that we paid to see. However, as I sit there in the theater, I am focused on my thoughts that I did not like to be kept waiting and I do not like to be late, and I don’t think that was very respectful of my friend to tell me he would be ready and then not be ready, and my stress is growing by the minute. For each of these situations, I am holding a goal that is different from the way things actually are, and yet I am holding goals about things I have no control over. So, I have created stress and tension in my life, for which there is only one solution. I must cancel my goals! Yes, I just said that I should cancel my goal to be on time. I should cancel my goal for my friend to do what he said he would do. I should cancel my goal for my friend to respect me.
If you are like most of us in this culture it seems completely wrong to cancel a goal to have my friend treat me with respect. It seems completely wrong to cancel my goal to be on time, etc. However the key here is not the goal of the quality or validity of the goal. The key here is how I am using this goal. If I am using these goals to help generate behavior which leaves me feeling loving and compassionate to myself and others that is a good use of the goal. If however, when I hold a goal, I use it to generate feelings of anger, resentment, bitterness, hurt, confusion, sadness or fear, I should cancel the goal.
More on this process next week. Thanks for reading.
We Come From Love, We Are Made Of Love, We Are Love! Everything else is false.