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Twisted Constraints
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“Don’t deny yourself a sense of play—a chance to step down, relax, refresh yourself, put your molehills in perspective and not let them become mountains.” –Unknown

Webster defines stress as a, “Constraining force or influence as in a force exerted when one body presses on, pulls on, pushes against, or twists another body part. The deformation caused in a body by such a force such as a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and may be a factor in disease causation ….a state resulting from a mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existent equilibrium to the point of collapse.” 1

Feeling stressed, frazzled, overwhelmed by your life today?

I’m always healthy I told myself. Happy, healthy and life is great!

Then within the duration of a couple of months, I experienced the deep pain of a dissolution of a serious relationship, I contracted four different viruses one after the other which resulted in my being ill for eight weeks, which led to loss of work; and when I returned to work I was notified I would be suspended without pay from work because I had followed my ethics which smacked heartily against agency policies. And I turned 50 years old. Gasp!

A call for help!

As Webster points out… too much stress all at once leads to collapse! I telephoned my younger sister; I told her I needed a life-jacket to keep me from drowning. She came 3,000 miles to spend time with me.

We ate out, shopped, talked for hours, we laughed, we cried, we took long brisk walks (all uphill); we went to the mountains and built a snowman. We took goofy pictures of each other. When she left to return to her home a week later, I was ready to face life again. I had found peace and joy in play. My sister helped me find the sanctuary inside of me.

“Within you there is a stillness and sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself. This sanctuary is a simple awareness of comfort, which can’t be violated by the turmoil of events. This place feels no trauma and stores no hurt. It is the healing mental space that one seeks to find in meditation.” --Hermann Hess, Siddharta

By Denise Taylor, pseudonym. Copyright © 2015 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

1 Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 1999.

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