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Lindsay is a creative with a passion for a mindful and purposeful life.  Her photography is inspired by nature and color.  She shares her thoughts, passions, and interests on her blog, From Summer Breeze Lane.

Stress! Stress! Stress!

I have a lot on my plate right now.  I work a full time job.  I also launched my own business over the last year. I’m going to be a mom in about 3 ½ short months.  I have a dog who just had her knee redone, and is on bed rest for a month (anyone who has a dog will know how borderline impossible this is to do).  I’ve got reports to write, emails to answer, taxes to do, a dog to rehabilitate, multiple articles to write, a newsletter that I’d like to get out, advertising to do, maternity leave to plan, finances to deal with, and a million other things as well.  I have people reaching out to me, companies contacting me, and deadlines quickly approaching.  I feel like my phone is constantly ringing and beeping.  My cute ringtone is no longer cute.

I’m not complaining though.  I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t have moments like this.  My life is pretty awesome, and I am blessed to have so many opportunities.  I am proud of myself for the hard work that I do, and for putting myself out there every single day in the pursuit of my passions.  I love that I'm taking chances (I used to play it safe all the time).  I love that I'm helping people live lives they love.

But sometimes the stress load can get out of hand, and it feels like there aren't enough hours in the day. I’m sure you’ve felt this way, too, unless you’re not human, and if that’s the case, what are you and why are you reading my blog?  Sometimes everything feels like it’s crashing down, and I’ll hear that voice in my head… “You’re not going to be able to do it all,” and “you can’t handle this,” and “what a let down you are,” and my personal favorite, “you need to have everything done perfectly.”  Eek!  These thoughts only harm.  Seriously.  Nothing good comes from them.  When they pop up, tell them where to go.  Replace them with a thought that does help!

So what do I do when this happens?  I take a big giant breath, and I actually take a break.  I go outside, hop on my yoga mat, watch a movie, whip up something fun in the kitchen, play with the dogs, dance, or bust out a RSH (random spontaneous handstand).  Then I evaluate the priorities.  The only thing that really needs to get done are my taxes.  Honestly.  I really don’t feel like having to deal with the IRS.  I read somewhere that you’re better off filing your taxes with a crayon than not filing them.  That cracked me up.  

And really, that’s about it.  I’m going to be okay if nothing else gets done.  I’m not going to die.  One thing at a time.  One report, email, phone call, or newsletter at a time.  I’m going to have this baby, and we will be just fine because we have tons of love in our hearts.  It doesn’t matter if I don’t have things in order first, and frankly, I’m tired at people gasping at me when I tell them we don’t have anything yet and am not planning on having a nursery.  My dog’s leg will heal.  We will continue to just do the best we can, and she will get better every single day.  I’ll get a newsletter out.  If it’s not April, May will work just as well.  Emails will eventually be responded to.  My business will continue to grow.  I will be able to invest more and more time into coaching and teaching yoga.  Its really all good.  Everything will work out as it should.  That's the reality.

Stress is a silent killer.  It wrecks havoc on our bodies and minds, and is truly debilitating. It can take your beautiful life, and make it feel sour.  So much of the stress that we feel is pressure that we put on ourselves.  It’s usually not life or death, or things that really matter.  I use the word ‘usually’ because sometimes there really is serious shit that is horribly stressful.  I get that, but most days that isn’t why we are stressed. 

For the majority of our stressors, when we breathe and really think about it, things are okay. They will always be okay. Tune into the present, and find gratitude for how great life really is.  Most things are only stressful because we label them as such, and tell ourselves how awful it would be if we didn’t get it done, or if things didn’t work out as we think they should.  Sometimes we’re not accepting reality, and that is stressful in itself.  Don’t fight what is— you’ll lose!

Love yourself! Listen to your thoughts.  If you get down on yourself it means you need to love yourself even more.  Be compassionate.  Its amazing how it always comes back to that.  Honor yourself.  Honor your space.  It’s sacred.  Surrender, and just do the best you can.  What more can you really ask for?

Repeat this with me right now, "I am okay.  I am more than good enough.  Everything is okay.  Everything will be okay."

Life dictates the adjustments that need to be made.  Flow with it.  One breath at a time.

And now, its time for me to finish up the taxes, and head on outside to play.

How do you cope with stress?  And more importantly, how have you learned to let go of stress?

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