We all have our backs to the wall. Stress builds up in the system compressing our decisions into knee-jerk reactions.
Who was the person talking trash about the neighbor and their screaming kids? Could it be? No. Certainly not me. Or, after a crappy work day, what could be worse than reliving it at home? I have an answer: reliving that same complaint in different forms for weeks and years at a time.
When you reach this point it’s time to reset. It’s also time to make a promise to yourself. At 60% fed up level you will get off the track and reset.
By waiting until there are pressure cracks in the nervous system it’s harder to come back to a still point. Hard but not impossible. Burnout is simply the failure to recognize when stress is too high for too long. The paralysis that follows is the outcome, not the problem.
What’s the way out?
Each and every one of us has a personal way to reset. I want you to think very hard about a flash reset protocol for yourself.
In fact, I want to give you a TH3RD FORCE Challenge. In 15 years clinical practice I have never met the person who has told me they are too rested, too peaceful and too at ease. So that makes us all eligible for the challenge.
If the daily grind has clear-cut your feeling of grace in this world, what do you have to lose?
The rules for this challenge are simple:
- You are leaving home for 48 hours. Any of us can do this in a weekend.
- You are traveling solo.
- No flights (they only add to stress).
- Cut the cord (leave that cell phone on the table, plugged in of course).
- Go outside, not a requirement, but this will pay off. Bonus points for camping – sure this is my personal bias but being outside has done wonders from Thoreau to Peter Matthiessen.
- Bring books, journals and pens.
- Feed yourself well. You can easily stock a cooler for 48 hours of great food.
- Drink well – whether your taste is beer, wine, bourbon, green tea, or coffee. Bring what you like.
- Proper gear: make sure you have it all. I recommend renting, if you don’t own, top-quality gear. You don’t want to be uncomfortable out there.
- Fire wood. Matches.
- A chair to sit on.
Pick a favorite place or a new place, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you do it this weekend or next. A sense of urgency completes tasks. Putting this on the bucket list is a clear invitation to never complete it.
While you are out there, a few questions to ponder. These are the same questions I ask myself.
Years ago my head was always spinning. I was fed up with Zen, couldn’t stand the thought of parasitic infections in India and still couldn’t come to terms with the whole thing of being born into a human body. How did it all fit together?
What to do? When I can’t help myself, why not make things worse by blundering into other people’s problems?
I went to a workshop on healing trauma. The teacher was Daoist. He was unflinching in his approach. About halfway through the class on the first day he said, “It’s obvious folks that you are not listening. You are not listening because what attracted you to this course is your own trauma in life. Half of you think you can save the world. The other half can’t even begin to think about anything else but themselves. How many of you have asked yourselves the basic questions any person needs to ponder? How do you save yourself? If you don’t have this one figured out you are worthless to the rest of the world. Everything you touch will be marked by your seed. Your seed of self-destruction.”
We looked at each other mutely. A few of us even put down our phones and stopped texting: Hey lets meet for dinner – it must be beer 30 somewhere. Or face booking: At another boring seminar – at least the kids aren’t here.
The three questions, he went on, that we need to ask ourselves are as follows:
Who am I?
Why am I here?
What am I doing about it?
With that, dear readers, I bid you fare well on your quest. Please write in with what you experienced.
Next week I will write about my own reset and would love to add some of your own adventures to the mix.