Hanging Tough in Turbulent Times

I don’t know about you…but I’ve been reeling with all the turmoil in the world lately. Sitting here in the “relative” calm of New York City, sometimes it feels like the world is falling apart all around me.

Are you hanging on? Or hanging tough?

Look east and nature is wreaking havoc on our friends in Japan. Look west and a psychotic dictator is tearing apart the fabric–and the humanity–of his own country in Libya. Not to mention that the so-called “economic recovery” here in the U.S. feels anemic at best and the slumbering bear of recession seems endlessly poised to reemerge from his winter hibernation!

That’s why it was so inspiring to hear about a great new book that just hit the shelves this week: ” Emotional Balance: The Path to Inner Peace and Harmony” by Dr Roy Martina. Dr Roy joined me on my radio show, “Life Shifting with Dr J” and shared some of his powerful insights from the book. The key theme of which is thus: how to find–and maintain–emotional balance in the midst of life’s inevitable ups and downs. How timely is that!

There are many important and ground-breaking principles in Dr Roy’s work, which beautifully aligns with the themes of my book, “SHIFT: Let Go of Fear and Get Your Life in Gear“. I love the synchronicity of how his work, which emanates from his many years of practice as a holistic medical doctor, dovetails perfectly with my work, which hails from my experience and research in psychology. So cool to see the bio-medical and psycho-spiritual worlds not just collide but INTERSECT and interweave — with far more alignment than discord.

At its core, Dr Roy’s work is all about helping readers find what he calls the “Still Point”–that place of aligned, centered presence, where we are re-connected with our divine essence — and the fears, at least the ones that cause us recurring anxiety and stress, are recognized as the result of the way our brains develop leaving us “conditioned towards stress”. But the good news is that leading edge work in neuroscience has proven that our brains, as well as emotional and nervous systems, are highly malleable and adaptable. In sum, we are powerful weavers of our own stories, and can discard the narrative of fear, insecurity, scarcity and separation at will (with the help of some focused, intentional practice). His book gives us the tools we need to do just that–offering us a “way out” of anxiety, stress and depression, and a pathway to restoring our emotional balance. In essence: a road map for finding our way home to ourselves.

I hope you’ll give our chat a listen–just click here to get the download for free. It was a joy to speak with Dr Roy while he is on his book tour all around the world (he called me from Amsterdam at midnight!)…I came away re-invigorated, empowered and less vulnerable to the onslaught of the outer world turmoil that sometimes feels omnipresent. I also feel most heartened by the way that the disparate worlds of psychology, spirituality and modern medicine are FINALLY integrating and moving towards a unified approach to health and healing. There is a piercing LIGHT of hope on the horizon!

Namaste,

Dr J

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Jennifer Freed: The Cat’s Meow!

Greetings all,

What a great show this week with best-selling author Jennifer Freed, PhD. Jennifer joined me on Life Shifting with Dr J to share about her new book: Life Lessons from Stanley the Cat–Nine Lives of Everyday Wisdom. Filled with beautiful illustrations, potent and inspiring information, this book will touch your heart, open your mind, and activate your soul (even if you’re not a cat lover!).

wild, wistful...and wise

Jennifer has done a marvelous job of reflecting on her 19 year-long relationship with her beloved pet, and distilled into this compact book all the wise and wonderful teaching he passed on to her–about life, love, catching rays, rats, and the all-important NAP.

Seriously, this book is easy to digest, comes in small, well-articulated morsels…and is quite profound. As a psychotherapist and depth psychologist, Jennifer knows how to dig below the surface and scratch at the core of our human foibles–with a non-judgmental stance, tons of compassion, and a touch of humor. Much of what Jennifer gleaned from her nine-lived Stanley–and that she shared in the book and with me on the show–is about REMEMBERING the little things that matter most in life:

–Take time to DO NOTHING
(only in quiet repose, can the seeds of your creativity be watered)

High Productivity



–Take time to rest, relax and stretch
(the body is your true home, without it you’d be pretty lost!)

Learn from the best!



–Reach out to TOUCH someone when they are in pain
(sometimes all we humans really need is a HUG and a little caress)

–Eat what your body needs…and leave the rest for the dog
(you can only digest SO MUCH…so don’t be greedy!)

–Spit up instead of swallowing bad food or bad feelings (it is good to purge the system once in a while!)

And so on…

As we approach the holidays and maybe feel a bit revved up with a long to-do list of parties, shopping, travel plans and the like…it is quite easy to get lost in the whirlwind of busy-ness and forget to BE PRESENT, to actually ENJOY the moment(s)…of each day.

what matters most?

I hope you will find time in your busy schedule to download and listen to Jennifer’s wonderful stories (click here) about how this cool new book came into being. Listen deeply as she shares the wisdom passed on by her beloved pet (who passed away recently after 19 years). You’ll definitely want copies of this book for Xmas gifts…and you may just find yourself curled up in front of the fire, nuzzling your dog, cat or significant other, perusing this book…and sailing softly into dreamland…with a smile.

Many thanks to Jenn! Her book deserves a special spot on your gift list…right next to SHIFT: Let Go of Fear and Get Your Life in Gear! (shameless self promotion, I know…but hey, SHIFT would make a super holiday gift for someone in need of a life-shift, or a lift…and a GIFT!!!

Cheerio!

Dr J

Life Shifting Re-cap: De-toxify Your Life!

Well…it has been a week since the big first step into the holiday season with Thanksgiving and Black Friday. How did it go? Did you have your fill of food, fun…and family? Did you do the cyber-shopping thing this year or get up and out at 5am and storm down to the mall? I was in an outlet mall on Friday afternoon and I have to say it seemed surprisingly tame and calm. Surreal almost. The people there did seem to be in good spirits. It was nice to see smiles and sales…a nice combo!

Since we’re entering another holiday season, when many of us re-connect with loved ones with anxiety-producing results, I invited “Goddess Coach” Melissa Zwanger to join me this week on my radio show, Life Shifting with Dr J!

Melissa is an expert in helping women entrepreneurs and business leaders/owners take their organizations to greater heights of success…AND she is what I would call a “fitness trainer for the emotions”. Melissa specializes in helping people stay grounded, centered, and compassionate in even the most stressful of family situations.

The perfect guest to help me kick off this holiday season, Melissa comes armed with years of training in a whole host of healing modalities, and an MBA from Wharton. Melissa shared her top tips for “de-toxifying” your emotional self especially when confronted with difficult family members.

Here’s a quick summary of the steps Melissa recommended you take — should you get triggered once again by that curmudgeon uncle, a testy brother or judgmental mom:

1. identify the true feeling.

Key to cleansing, grounding and re-claiming your balance when you get knocked off center, is to step back, breathe, notice your bodily symptoms, and attempt to identify the true feeling. It may be sadness or anger or frustration. The starting point for release and re-centering involves creating a space–a physical, emotional, mental opening–even if only for a few seconds, where you can identify and tend to the underlying feeling.

Calm in the storm?

2. Separate the Feeling from the NEED.

Once you have a sense of WHAT feeling is being triggered in you, then you can begin to re-frame the situation and ask yourself a crucial question: What do I need right now? When strong negative emotions are stirred up in us, usually they are a signal that a deep need or maybe a hurt or trauma from the past is re-surfacing. It is well nigh impossible though, to ask another person to be supportive, or to change their behavior, unless you are CLEAR about what you want/need to have happen. Continue reading

Dancing on the High Wire of Life

Howdy all,

Time for a re-cap of my fabulous radio interview with Gabriele Ganswindt this past Monday on Life Shifting with Dr J. Such a cool conversation! Gabriele, psychologist and executive coach extraordinaire, is an expert on two of my favorite “Life-Shifting” themes: finding balance…and building resiliency in challenging times! A most timely topic no? You can listen to the full interview or download to Itunes/podcast with this link: http://www.transformationtalkradio.com/meet_shows.php?id=3991#

So here is your key question: HOW DO WE DO IT?

What to do?

How do we stay grounded, flexible and adaptable in the midst of what may feel like an “out-of-control” world?

A tough question, needless to say, but Gabriele says, “Don’t despair! There ARE practices and ways of being/thinking that can truly help us stay “on track” and centered, even in the midst of chaos.”

Gabriele knows of what she speaks: She is a successful business owner, a mother to two young children, a homemaker, a philanthropist, a writer, an ordained interfaith minister, an organization development consultant and life coach…and a survivor of a life-threatening illness. Continue reading

Celebrating Fear?

Well, I guess this moment had to come. I can now “officially” call myself an expert on Fear!

Why? Well, in the midst of a hurricane gale and deluge of rain last Saturday here in the wilds of New York City, I sauntered into Barnes & Noble (to get dry!) and lo and behold…there on prominent display I discovered my own book: Shift: Let Go of Fear and Get Your Life in Gear!. Wow!!! So exciting to see my dream manifest…the book delivered, published and on the shelves of my favorite book store!

Iphone Blur but Happy!

So was I happy? You bet. Was I joyful? You bet! Was I anxious, worried, verklempt (is that a word?)? Yup! Yikes. How could I be feeling FEAR in the midst of what should be a celebratory moment?

Well, as you’ll discover if you read my book, there is a clear pattern of dread that follows us all through the ups and downs of change in our lives–even at times of accomplishment or great joy. Depending upon what stage we are in as we go through career change or relationship upheaval, different fears will come along for the ride.

The final stage in the journey through life change I call REALIZATION–typically a joyful, exciting and wonderful time in the cycle, when things all line up for us and we cross the threshold known as, “success”.

Sweet Success moments are the last places you’d expect to find fear, right? Wrong! Working with hundreds of clients over the years–executives, leaders, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers–I’ve witnessed over and over the great paradox of achievement: it not only brings great joy and happiness, temporarily, but it also brings on its own peculiar brand of stress, worry, anxiety…and you guessed it: fear!

So…when I saw my book on the shelves, and started putting together my book tour plans, and started thinking about celebrating this amazing milestone with my family and friends…well, lo and behold, I started feeling anxious.

Have you ever reached a pinnacle moment–a graduation, a promotion, an accolade–and in the very same moment you felt exhilaration…you also felt awkward, undeserving, anxious…fretful? Well, here’s the thing: before you reach for the Prozac or the Xanax…or the double scotch on the rocks..take a deep breath and say to yourself: this is normal.

Fear–of success, of making a mistake, of letting others down…and of course, THE BIG ONE: not being good enough–is a perfectly normal response to success. This fear, which may emerge just as we come up close to the edge of manifesting our dream–the altar, the threshold of fame, the signing of the contract–can keep us STUCK…hold us back…and, literally, if we don’t recognize and accept it as OK…destroy the moment.

The Joy of the Spotlight?

Far too often, our media-glitz, sound-bite culture only shows the “happy face” side of fame, of celebrity, of riches and acclaim…and then we act “surprised” when someone famous commits suicide or devolves into addiction. What happened we ask? How could someone so successful be so miserable?

By only seeing one half of the success equation–the joy part–we deny the truth of how life really works. Everything has a dark and light aspect and what we push away or deny comes back to bite us, often just when we are SUPPOSED to be ecstatic. If we clamor for achievement and think it will only bring happiness, we are setting ourselves up–for a fall.

So I am learning to celebrate FEAR…to welcome it in all its glory. It is a partner, a pal, a troublesome sibling all along the road or growth, expansion and creative expression. Here’s the real skinny: If you’re not feeling fear then you’re not growing!!!

My Buddhist teacher Goenka offers these enduring words of wisdom about the fear of success: “Sit still and BREATHE into it–inhale the joy of your success and exhale the fear…but don’t fight it. Don’t judge it. Don’t make yourself wrong.”

You ARE GOOD ENOUGH…you are…as am I…a miracle of creation. Our fears, especially in moments of great accomplishment…are simply a warning signal from an “Old Self” that the jig on an outdated story is up! Some small part of you may want to remain the same, to protect you from the big bad world of CHANGE. This vestigial self hopes you won’t grow and change and become DIFFERENT..new..and BIGGER.

BUT it is too late, the vehicle of self is in the groove…on the highway of transformation: you are on your way!!!! Learn to welcome the fear of success: It is a signal that you are doing something RIGHT…you are growing, becoming, moving and unfolding the next great vision of what your soul is calling forth from within.

I am truly excited to see my book out in the world….AND I have my moments of doubt, anxiety and FEAR…about what the manifestation of this dream might mean. I hope that my book…and my owning up to my fear…will help generate a much needed NEW conversation in our culture, about change, about fear…and about the ridiculous fantasy that we are always meant to be happy. NOT. Life is much too complex for such an seductive…but false, idol.

Terrific or Terrifying? Yes and Yes.

So as I shift into a new adventure…and hit the road to share what I’ve learned about change, fear and the mysterious journey we are all on together, I am learning to celebrate my fear…not to fight it or denigrate myself for feeling it. After all, I am human…and I am happy…but not blind: banishing fear is impossible. It comes with the territory.


“Smiling Buddhas smile because they are wise, not because they are happy.” S.N. Goenka

Cheers,

Dr J

Death is Life

“Endings…beginnings. Sometimes it feels like there is very little difference between the two. Both are hard. Both occur seemingly at random. Both are unpredictable. Life is like that.” Anonymous

Welcome back blog readers! I’ve missed you! It has been a while! My apologies for dropping off the blogging radar screen these past few months. I haven’t gone far from the writing scene actually…but been consumed with completing my soon-to-be-released book, Shift: Let Go of Fear and Get Your Life in Gear, which will–hurrah!–be in bookstores in early April (you can pre-order it NOW on Amazon!)

Coming Soon...

And so…as I return to the blogosphere today, ushering in the new decade and with a new book about to hit the shelves, I’m deeply aware of the cyclical nature of life–filled with endings, deaths of a sort–and new beginnings. On some fundamental level, this natural, but all-too-often denied cycle of life is at the core of what my book, Shift, is all about.

Over the past couple of decades, we Americans (and maybe Westerners in general) seem to have lost touch with the reality that everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, in life moves in cycles–relationships, careers, economies, business. We have slipped into a “growth” trance, falsely believing that real estate prices always go up, credit to buy “more” is always available, that “saving for a rainy day” is unnecessary because rainy days can be avoided with Prozac.

As we emerge from this difficult time, I hope those of us in the self-help world will also sober up a bit…get off the
“instant happiness” and “five steps to bliss” trains…and re-dedicate ourselves to supporting our readers through the very real twists and turns that make life meaningful…and an on-going mystery.

Life can be tough, challenging, and frightening…but also inspirational and filled with deep meaning. But we have to be willing to face the music and accept the truth: all parties end. After all, we humans are just tiny, yet miraculous little containers of water and dust floating on a huge fire/dirt/water ball in space…What do we REALLY know of the “grand design?”

Our Tiny Home

Last night, I had the privilege of attending a short, but moving candlelight vigil service in honor of a dear friend and neighbor who recently passed away. Carol was only in her early fifties, a vibrant, passionate, and warm human being–and the star real estate agent in my apartment building. As we neighbors compared notes, we came to realize that a huge percentage of us had purchased our coops in the building (in NYC we have COOPs not just condos!) because of Carol’s heart-warming enthusiasm for our building and neighborhood, along with her impeccable integrity. We all wanted to have HER as a neighbor.

Now, sadly, she has left us–gone way too soon.

Saying an emotional good-bye to my dear friend, and being ever-present to the recent devastation and loss in Haiti, I am deeply aware of how unpredictable life can be. Perhaps just to maintain some semblance of equilibrium, and to be able to get out of bed in the morning with a modicum of optimism, we Americans tend to dismiss, deny, and generally ignore (or medicate against) the cyclical nature of life.

Sunrise or Sunset? Maybe both?

But…DR J, you might ask, why focus on the negative? Why not just read the latest tome on how to “change your mind and change your life” (not!), pull out that Visa card, take your Abilify…and get on the “happiness train?”

Well, I’m not fundamentally against happiness! But, I would say that when we deny the reality that EVERYTHING in life is transient, everything moves in cycles–everything ends–we lose touch with the depth, the meaning, and the possibility that life’s downturns provide. We miss the spaces for learning, the opportunities for being moved, the moments of deep connection, and most fundamentally, those mysterious openings when something new is being born in us in the wake of an ending. Newborns, of the human or theoretical ilk, require SPACE to grow and flower. Empty space. Gaps in endless productivity. Breaks from shopping. Hibernation. Quiet moments of contemplation and solitude. All of the above…

I’m excited about my new book. It is a different kind of self-help book…one that I hope will truly HELP people instead of filling their heads with false fantasies about the so-called “Secret” ways to attract cars, mansions and eternal riches into their lives. Not!

In Shift, I do lay out a “prescription” of sorts, for how to deal with life’s upheavals and cycles in a meaningful, enriching, and energizing way. After creating what I call the “Life-Shifting” program for self-renewal, and seeing it work, in real time, with hundreds of clients from all walks of life, I wanted to share my findings–and offer a “road map” through the dark woods of change–into the light of new beginnings.

In the book, I also share my own personal journey through the vicissitudes of change (not without a bit of drama!) and share some truly amazing stories of transformation that I’ve had the privilege of witnessing firsthand. You really can “re-invent” yourself — at any age, in the face of any difficulty. I’ve seen it.

So…In honor of the “new conversation” that I hope to kick off in the coming months, I’ll shortly be bringing this blog to a timely end…and gearing up to launch a new website and blog at http://www.Jeffreyhull.com.

Stay tuned for the kick-off date. I will be back soon with announcements about timing and exciting events where you can join me in person — and learn more about how you can “make the shift” and transform your life into a meaningful, soulful, and yes, even joyful journey.

Many Paths, Many Possibilities

In the meantime, here are a few of the questions for you to ponder:

How do you weather downturns in the economy? Or in your Life?

Do you reach for the pharma fix or instead step back, reflect, breathe…become aware of your fears… and recognize that “this too will pass”…that endings and down moments are, well, just NORMAL!?

Have you taken time during this economic tsunami to reflect on what really matters, to re-evaluate your priorities?

Are you “making the shift” to live out your dreams..yet staying grounded in the “real” world?

I’d love to hear from you!

Namaste,

Dr J

The Paradox of Stress

The timing of the universe is always impeccable. Yesterday, I arrived at the chapter in Shift!, my book project, on stress, and in anticipation of sharing what might be some controversial thoughts on the subject, I started to feel anxious, worried, and you guessed it: stressed out! How perfect. It always helps to be intimate with one’s subject matter.

a word we know all too well

a word we know all too well

I’m no stranger to stress. I don’t, in fact, know anyone who is not closely acquainted with the painful, intense feelings of discomfort that we associate with the symptoms: pressure, usually in the head and the neck; muscle constriction in the chest making our breaths tighter, shallow; heaviness, worry, confused thinking–a sense of being overwhelmed. We’ve all been there. There are a thousand different variations of how stress shows up to disrupt our mental, emotional and physical equilibrium.

What was stressing me out, as I thought about what I wanted to write about this ubiquitous form of suffering that seems to inordinately plague our culture, is what a paradox stress is. My current feelings of stress notwithstanding, I’ve got to say it: stress is good. We need stress. What?

Let me try to explain my point with an illustration. Whenever I feel particularly stressed, stuck, or overwhelmed, I like to take a long bike ride or go for a run. Aerobic exercise, as we all know, is one the best ways to de-stress. Research has shown that physical exercise releases endorphins into the physical system that appear to counter the negative build-up of stress hormones like cortisol.

Near my home in the Hudson Valley, there is a long, winding country road that is perfect for biking. It is curvy and generally free of automobiles, with lots of steep inclines and long dips for catching my breath. At the outset of each ride, I always face an immediate fork in the road, literally,—and a choice. On the left, the ride is mostly straight, flat and downhill. On the right, the ride is more episodic, with steep hills, sharp curves, and long drops.

De-stressor Deluxe

De-stressor Deluxe

You would think that if my goal is to reduce stress, get in the flow, and feel free, I’d go left. But I never do. The fact is, I like the hills. I need them. Frankly, the ride to the left is too easy, too flat, almost tediously static. In a word, it’s boring.

The paradox of stress reduction is this: When I think about the most stress-relieving part of a bike ride, it is not those occasional downhill glides with the breeze flowing through my hair and no need to pedal or brake, but rather when I “hit the hill.” In those moments when I feel the tension heat up in my leg muscles, when I gaze upward and feel a rush of adrenaline in the face of the incline ahead, when I downshift (to lighten the stress!) and become excruciatingly present to the on-coming climb, those are the moments, when I feel the most focused, energized, and relaxed.

In my case, the stress created by shifting the focus out of my head and on to my body, on to the present moment and its uphill exertions, releases the stress in my mind/body: the worry, anxiety and, most of all, the FEAR that saps my energy and holds me stuck. Now I’m either a very odd duck, or it would appear that stress is not always the enemy that it is purported to be. In fact, it is the very stress—in this case, of physical exertion—that alleviates the real culprit: fear.

Unfortunately, stress has become one of those terms against which we carry a grudge. We are bombarded with ads for programs and workshops and CD’s all purporting to help us reduce stress, yet this may be one more example of where the symptom is NOT the dis-ease. The deeper truth is that we thrive on stress. Without it, we would whither away and die.

I’m reminded of two clients that I saw back to back recently, who for a period of time made me feel a bit like a ping-pong ball on the table of stress. Each of them came to me complaining of being “stressed-out.” On one side, I had Mary, whose life appeared to be over-flowing with stress and on the other, I had Hal, who complained about feeling stressed, but whose life, it appeared to me, seemed to be sorely lacking in it. He, like me on those bike straightaways, seemed bored.

Viewed from the outside looking in, Mary’s life is a picture post card of stress: She has a high-paying job as a director of human resources for a major bank, which requires of her endless hours of work including nights and weekends. She has three strenuously active children of various ages ranging from eight to fifteen, who have an endless litany of projects and programs and enough activities to make anyone’s head spin.

On top of all this stress-inducing drama, she has a house husband, who cooks, runs errands, and generally maintains the happy home, but who rarely participates in parenting or relating to Mary much beyond a shared video game and endless logistical emails.

Techno-intimacy?

Techno-intimacy?

And so…Mary comes to me each week complaining of being overwhelmed by stress—pressures at work, tension at home, endless to-do lists, and no time for herself. It is a common complaint for people who are trying to balance the endless demands of career and family life circa 2009.

At the other end of the stress spectrum, we have Hal. A sixty-three year old retired architect, Hal lives, simply and comfortably, on a small pension that he built up over his thirty-year career. Having never married or had children, his life appears, again from the outside looking in, as a picture perfect postcard of freedom. Hal is able to do what he wants when he wants. He has close friends, and although he sometimes desires a closer companion in his life and misses the intimacy of a romantic relationship, he didn’t come to me pining away for a girlfriend. His complaint, when he did arrive on my doorstep, was that he was stressed about his own lack of “to-do” list, which was showing up as a general malaise, a lack of enthusiasm and passion for life.

At the outset, I couldn’t help but think, as these two stressed-out clients passed each other in the hallway, that if they could just take each others place for a few months, or maybe a few years, all would be well. Mary could sure use a little more freedom, and Hall could benefit from a bit more activity. They appear, at least initially, as opposites, to be sure.

But that’s the problem with stress: if you don’t dive below the surface symptom, you can all too easily mistake the forest for the trees. It turns out that Hal and Mary are not really opposites at all, but surprisingly similar, and that “stress” is not really the problem, for either of them.

Mary, when pressed to explore her story of woe, turns out to thrive on being busy: she is passionate about her job, loves taking care of her kids and doesn’t, deep down, really mind running around supporting their high energy lives. What she really feels is fear: fear that she is losing connection with her husband; fear that he and she are becoming increasingly isolated from each other; fear that she might end up alone.

Hal, likewise, is actually quite content with many elements of his life. He thrives on his new found sense of freedom in retirement, and enjoys having the flexibility to putter about with multiple hobbies that he has put off for years. Stress is not his real complaint, loneliness is. He, like Mary, fears isolation, separation, and a lack of intimacy with a significant other.

Funny, rather than switch places with each other, I might do them both more good if I were to introduce them (although don’t worry, I won’t). They are, like many of us, caught up in the story called “stressed,” but at a deeper level, where the rubber of truth hits the road of the heart, their core issue is fear.

And so, the crux of the problem with stress, is that far too often it is NOT the problem. In some cases, a bit more stress may even be the solution. Both Mary and Hal, in facing their fears, actually needed to turn up the stress quotient: They both needed to move through their fear of isolation by “being more related”—taking on the added “stress” of engaging with potentially scary “others”–husbands and girlfriends!

Reaching beyond fear...to connection

Reaching beyond fear...to connection

At then end of the day, stress is a necessary component in building a building, a bridge or a life. As any structural engineer will tell you: stress is a key ingredient in the recipe for success. Without the right level of tension, achieved through a balance of weight, distance and pressure bearing down on the different elements of the structure, the bridge will fall.

We humans, as delicate systems comprised of interrelated emotional, physical and mental “elements” are in many ways, no different. The difference is that unlike a suspension bridge, whose foundation, set in concrete, remains fixed (although in truth it too is always moving, in sync with the movement of the earth), the human system is fluid, movable, and in a constantly dynamic relationship with its environment. The loop of tension that holds up a bridge is closed; ours is open-ended. We too, require stress to stay afloat, but too often we mistake stress for its insidious sister: fear.

The beauty of stress

The beauty of stress


Our challenge is not to banish stress from the system, but to dive below the symptom and uncover, share and release our fear. Only then may we begin to navigate that delicate sense of balance that keeps us upright and moving forward, flexible and adapting to the winds of change.

Dr J