What integrity has to do with STRESS

We are so blasé over the word stress that we don’t even pay attention to it anymore. But stress is a reality for most of us and not the normal acute kind, but the chronic.

The reason for this can be narrowed down to lifestyle choices but that would be to simplify things too much.

Because even those who live a seemingly healthy life tend to experience stress.

Stress is a reaction that happens inside the organism which means that stress in not an external thing (well nothing is really) but internal and therefore subject to our perception. This is why we can find it hard to grasp when searching the cause of our state of stress.

I can (and I will in another article) dive into how it’s not really your fault because the way you perceive the world is actually not a way that you deliberately chose and more the acknowledgement of how your parents saw it (their parents before them and so on).

But today I actually want to make your a little more responsible of your situation, or shall we say ENTIRELY in charge of it?

Because the moment you start to look at your life and say “I did this” you also become aware of the fact that no one is holding a gun to your head when you create your day. Figuratively, it might feel like it because you are often driven by fear in your actions:

Fear of not being enough

Fear of not having enough

Fear of missing out

Fear of being left behind

of not being chosen

of being defined…

Pick your poison.

 Almost every single patient I work with in the Ayurvedic perspective will come to me because there is something wrong. Something isn’t working.

And they want to know how to fix it. Yet, when I hand them the protocol of an Ayurvedic lifestyle, they instantly begin to negotiate. And let me tell you – if they don’t it’s almost worse. Because then I know they might not be that invested.

So the negotiators begin with things like maybe they are not morning people or that they seem to work best at night time. There are more obvious tries with not being able to exercise in the morning, or of course, all the foods that they cannot eat.

They truly wish I will oblige so that they don’t have to feel guilty about not following the principles of Ayurveda. What if we just tweak it for me?

Because maybe just that person doesn’t obey the law of nature. We all smile a little to this because we know we all do it and we also find that it’s too rigid not to. One of my patients in the NBT program actually asked if it wasn’t ok to SOMETIMES indulge in sweets. I want to say, indulge as much as you want!

Could I live the Ayurvedic lifestyle 5 days a week?

So here is where they all are disappointed with my answer : if what you have been doing until now brought you to me, how do you think it will make you feel better to continue just by me pretending it’s ok?

And when it comes to the level of stress we allow ourselves to have, it is the same thing. We try to tweak things so that we can accept the stress. We justify and we make up stories. All so that we don’t have to change what we are already doing but that is not making us feel happy.

Why on earth would we do that?

Because we are trying to fit in. As soon as we are not taking care of our own personal wellbeing first and foremost, there is an alternative motive. There is something seemingly more important than being aligned with the natural flow of energy in my life: body, mind and spirit.

It’s the boss, the job, the partner, the family, the friends, the situation we call life that is wanting us to be something we are not.

I would say that the true work on my spiritual progress, the true focus on the individuation process of my psyche can be boiled down to one word : INTEGRITY.

Integrity means that I stand firm in my belief. That I trust my intuition and that, like the tree, I can stand still in the storm. It’s not easy, I know. I have of course been trying to negotiate as much as the next person in my life. It’s due to this trait that I learned how it needs to be. It’s also the reason that I never force anything of this on someone. If they are trying to negotiate it means they have some travel to do. Just like in the therapeutic situation when someone refuses to see that the person they are today became that way because of family dynamics when they were children. They want to negotiate it because they don’t want to rock the boat that is after all floating.

Integrity means to take the path less travelled. It means to dare say no when you are expected to say yes (or yes when no!). Integrity sometimes mean that you will be left alone, that people will orbit away from you and it means that you might have to question your choices. Taking the path less travelled doesn’t mean making the easy choice. Not in a long shot.

But it means choosing you.

A patient who is considering changing professional path said to me that she always felt that she was not interesting enough to others. That she envied the charismatic, enigmatic people who seem to just draw everyones attention to them when they walk into a room.

Well how do you think they became that way?

By feeling so safe with themselves that they don’t need others to confirm them. By standing firm in their convictions and focusing on what makes them feel happy. Because when they do, it shines through. And then others see that and they are drawn to it. Because that is what we all want to experience.

Hi, I’m Charlotte (Yogi Cha). I’m a yoga teacher with a degree in clinical psychology. I’ve always had a deep curiosity toward eastern and western approaches to understanding the mind, and the ming/body union. You’ll find me in the lovely Canggu Bali, nestled amongst coconuts, palm trees and sunshine 🥥🌴🌞