Part of the challenge was the failure of all the wonderful coping mechanisms for dealing with stress I have learned over the past decade. When put into action, many hardly seemed to make a dent in affecting any sort of change.
I tried all of them: mindful meditation and breathing, embracing nature, Reiki, rest, receiving bodywork, even eating my favorite foods.
The more techniques I tried to implement to reduce the stress, the more the stress seemed to occupy my being.
So I found that one ‘technique’ I had to begin was the art of practicing to let go completely. Living in non-effort in order to make change.
How does this “work”? It’s the state of mind Reiki practitioners strive to be in. It’s not having any attachment to result. It’s letting the ego slide away, and letting space occupy your whole being.
I’ve often likened it to feeling like being apathetic, ambivalent or detached. You just don’t care. But the true practice of letting go isn’t done in frustration, as apathy might suggest. It’s done from a place of surrender, of yielding.
For example, some of my experiences included letting go of trying to feel physically better, even after multiple chronic aches and pains refused to go away. I did all that I was supposed to do to help those aches and pains, and they still persisted. I let go of the idea they had to go away completely because, for example, I wasn’t that old, I’m in good health, my body should be able to recover, etc. Just dropped the notion that physical well-being should even be there.
From that place, detached from any expectation of my body even healing, it actually started to heal.
I still would apply the other stress reducing techniques I had learned, but without any notion of producing effect.
One of the more interesting situations I had to totally let go of was wanting peace and quiet. Living temporarily in a noisy apartment, having a week-long visit with my partner’s kids, dealing with a sudden flood of work inquiries, etc. Stimulus on all levels. I would find myself whispering, ‘Go away!’, but that would only seem to bring about more cacophonous results.
So, I just said to myself, “Well noise and disruption, here you are. Here you are, here I am, I’m not attached to you. I don’t like or dislike your influence on my life, but I am tired of trying to process what you are, so, I give up. I surrender”. Almost within minutes, the aggravation I felt from all that stimulus just dropped off. It didn’t have control of me anymore.
Lastly, I have begun to embrace that sense of tiredness even more, to allow my body to rest as much as it needs. There are still phone calls to make and sessions to do, but when there is time, I allow myself to let go into sleep.