Stress is a symptom of something else.
It's a sign that we're trying to evade the here-and-now
for the what-might-be or what-once-was.
In a National Public Radio Interview: Eckhart Tolle spoke to Christa Tippett about this.
MR. TOLLE: What is stress?
Stress is normal in our civilization
but really basically what it means
is you would rather be somewhere else.
Stress means you want to be in the next moment
or you want already to be finished with what you're doing
while you're still doing it.
You would rather be finished with it.
Or while you're traveling towards someplace,
you'd rather already be there.
MS. TIPPETT: OK.
MR. TOLLE: But you're not.
And stress is so normal that everybody accepts
that, OK, if you're successful in life then you must be under stress.
MS. TIPPETT: Right. But I think counterintuitively
you're saying you lean in rather than wishing it away.
MR. TOLLE: Yes. It's by becoming friendly with the present moment.
What's my relationship, is the present moment my friend or my enemy?
Another little pointer. And it's a strange question, but if you look very closely,
you'd find that very often you make the present moment into virtually an enemy.
Or it becomes an obstacle.
MS. TIPPETT: And you're saying that we do have the power.
Whatever is enclosed in that moment,
we have the power not to define it as an obstacle.
And that's going to change the way we approach it.
MR. TOLLE: Yes. The first thing is the realization of what you're doing.
In other words, one could say: "see the madness in yourself".
And that's not a bad thing; it's a great thing,
because that is not something to be depressed about.
That means that you are awakening.
And that which is awakening is the awareness behind the thinking.
We have no choice but to experience each and every moment of life.
We could anesthetize ourselves using various drugs, or drinks, or excess food,
but that's an entirely different topic.
We are here physically regardless of how we feel mentally,
but we can feel better if we try to synch our mind and body…
If we try to be really present
and find small moments of happiness throughout the day.
Down the road, perhaps we will change our lives
and find larger, more permanent ways to inject happiness into it.
But for right now, this moment, we need to try to find small moments of happiness.
Changing one’s mindset from merely existing to really living isn't easy,
but once you do it, it is surprising at how contagious a positive attitude can be.
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