Howdy Partners. Watch my video below to hear my experience and journey from a consistent state of mental and physical stress and anxiety to a state of relaxation, calmness, and ease. The changes in my whole world have been profound. You’ll hear me say it towards the 4:30 mark in the video, but it begs repeating.
In a state of stress and anxiety, I made lots of bad decisions for my future.
In a state of relaxation, I have been able to stumble upon my passion, my life’s purpose.
And, by the way, I teach natural relaxation.
If you want to find out what it’s all about, find me in Portland. Check out my class schedule here: http://openawarenessyoga.com/classes
Psssssssst….hey, hey you. If you prefer reading content to watching it, read on below.
The Text Version of
Stress, Anxiety, & Relaxation: Impacts on Your Existence
Hi! It’s Quinn and today I’m going to talk about my experience and journey with stress and anxiety and the resulting reality shift in my life.
Let me start by saying: “stressed out” is my inborn, natural state of being, Just as an example, when I was three or four year old my parents took away my pacifier and my hair started falling out…from stress! In any case, this consistent anxiety was something I didn’t recognize in myself until the past year of my life. That is, I wouldn’t have self-identified as an anxious person (even if it was evident).
This unknown anxiety thing continues through the next 20 year of my life, culminating in outright panic towards the end of 2013, when I was gearing up to quit my corporate finance job and take my 20s retirement.
At the time, I thought that as soon as I quit my job, the stress and anxiety I was feeling would dissipate, just like that. I figured the reason I was feeling so stressed out was 100% because I hated my job, so quitting would mean I would feel better. Nope. I quit and a month later I was still stressed out. I wasn’t enjoying the time I had, instead I was worrying about what the hell to do next. And then it dawned on me.
Step 1: Baby girl, you need to learn how to relax.
I knew that if I didn’t relax, I would end up in another career that was so totally not right for me and in another life crisis in three years. I knew that if I was going to ever know what was right for me, I had to first relax. So that’s what I set out to do.
Truncating the story quite a bit, I began practicing meditation and the more subtle yogic practices. The state of relaxation came on slow, it wasn’t an explosion of calmness and ease (that wouldn’t make sense). It was more a creeping sensation of balance. And to be honest, at first it felt a little boring. I was used to my tension, to my short fuse, to my explosions. Things are a little less exciting without the drama, but trust me, they are so much better.
So, how did relaxation shift my reality?
Finding a state of easeful relaxation, in my body and in my mind, gave me a new relationship with time. My perception of “how much time I had” was radically altered as I evolved from stress-state to relaxed-state. When I was living in a state of stress and anxiety, I had this constant feeling I was being rushed. I always felt like I had to react immediately to any situation, any change in my environment, any opportunity or question. NO TIME TO THINK QUINN, ACT! ACT! I felt this way when making both big and small life decisions, which means, I was reacting from a state of tension and fear and feeling rushed as I made choices that shaped my world. Choices in my career, relationships, leisure activates – they all came from a place of reaction rather than thoughtful contemplation. The result – I shaped my environment from a place of stress, creating an environment of stress.
Fast forward through my past year of concentrated, focused relaxation practice, and I’ve reshaped my environment completely. In a state of relaxation, I’m able to respond (versus react) to career, relationship, and leisure life changes and opportunities. I now act as if I have all the time in the world to decide what is best for me. If the opportunity passes me by before I am ready to respond…well, then that wasn’t my opportunity anyway. And I’m not worried about it.
This wasn’t easy at first, but as I look at my day-to-day life now, I’m 100% pleased with how I spend my time and energy; the career I am building out through teaching, communicating, and connecting; the friendships I cultivate and the space that I keep for myself and for others.
And there is no way I could have shaped this reality without seeking out, pointedly, with vigor and dedication, a true state of relaxation. And now I consider this relaxed state the goal – not a job or nice things, or even “self actualization” (although it appears to be a side benefit).
I just want to remain relaxed. If the stress creeps in, I practice relaxing. I tell myself “I have all the time in the world” and I believe it. And when I am ready, I respond, and I shape my world just how I want it to be.
Thanks to my dear friend Rach Face for the post inspiration. I love you!