Have you noticed when you do what you love or when you create something new, you feel no stress? Why? Because you are operating in the present moment.
Stress takes over when we shift our focus into regretting the past or worrying about the future. Of course, we have absolutely no control over either — can’t change the past; can’t predict or control the future — so dwelling negatively on them is wasting valuable time and energy. Furthermore, every step we took in our past led us to where we are today. Each of those steps provided us with a new adventure. Granted some of those adventures were painful but all of them gave us the opportunity to learn what we needed in order to grow into a happy and whole human being.
Just such adventurous steps are shared below by this week’s guest blogger Betty Schelske. In her own words —
I asked, “Why have I received only this?” A voice replied,
“Only this will lead you to That.” Rumi
In 2009, after 26 years at Canada Post, I left for a job in retail with less pay and even less benefits. As a letter carrier, I was bored out of my mind and could not imagine continuing the job until I retired in nine years. Prior to leaving, I had obtained a part time position at Home Depot hoping it would allow me to retire sooner but the more I worked there, the more I hated my letter carrier job. At Home Depot I was learning new things every day, the environment was fast paced and I could feel my creativity flourishing so I made the decision to leave the post office.
Over time though, the lustre of my job at Home Depot wore off. As anyone who has ever worked in retail can attest, it is a hard business. The competitive nature of retail with the pressure to offer the lowest price, best customer service and latest trends creates a constant type of chaos. Included in that are the customers who, because they are spending their hard earned money, have their specific expectations and, finally, there is constant staff changeover. After several years under these very demanding conditions, I found myself struggling to deal with the stress surrounding my job. It was time, once again, for me to make some changes.
While I missed the pay and benefits (especially the vacation time) at the post office, I never regretted the decision to leave for it has led me to where I am today — on a journey of self-discovery. In January of 2012 I started meditating and examining myself through Helen’s Relax & Recharge: Right NOW small group program. I discovered things about myself I never knew such as, I can write poetry. I also rediscovered old passions like photography and cycling.
Last May, I found myself unable to deal with the stress any longer and had to leave work for a period. I called my oldest sister for help and in many tearful conversations with her I expressed my anger and frustration. In one of these phone calls, she suggested I start a blog to serve as a release for my stress. We laughed about it but the idea took root and I will soon be starting my own blog titled, Another Day in Retail Paradise. With this blog, my intention is to provide a forum for assisting other retail workers in dealing with stress triggered by their jobs.
I have since returned to work in a less stressful position — still not without challenges. Nonetheless, I am grateful I was led to Rumi’s “That” as I have discovered yet another way to be creative.
What one action can you take to reduce your stressful feelings and inspire your creativity?
For more on reducing your stress and expressing your creativity, read one of my latest books, Creating Space: The Practice of Transformation, Vol. 1.