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STRESS is a lot like fleas.

Isn’t it funny how the best laid plans, the most secure rituals, the best ideas are challenged and challenged and challenged some more?

Have you ever had fleas in your house?  You can take all your bedding to the laundromat, and vacuum everywhere and shampoo the crap outta your animal….and if even one of those little hellions remain then you get to do the whole ritual again and again.

You know what I mean right?

Well, stress has become a flea.  There is no corner of my life that is untouched by it’s shadow.  And the big stuff, like laundry is easy enough to take care of…but it’s those thoughts that are unconscious…that seep into the corners of my brain while I’m idly washing dishes, or listening to music, or addictively watching another episode of True Blood….those are the real bastards.

I don’t even know a little rebellion is starting inside my mind and then all of sudden, when I think I’m doing great there’s a coup!  Dammit it happens fast.  And I feel like I have taken 10 giant steps back every time this happens.

So what do I do?  I take out the big stuff first.  I light some sage and smudge.  Clearing my mind and getting right with the present.  I do something I can control…like dishes, or cleaning the stove top.  Something tangible that’s easy and satisfying.  I say out loud the untruth.  Reframe it.  Say it again in a positive way.

Then I check in again. It’s still there, simmering in the corner.  I can feel the tightness in my shoulders.  I can feel the ache in my belly.  I clearly didn’t get it all.

I head to my meditation cushion.  Too agitated to sit I throw a few tarot cards.  A body, mind, spirit spread about the issue.  Look for insights into the hidden parts, try to find its root.

The truth begins to surface.  The message becomes clearer.  The assignment is difficult, but there is no choice but to dig in and take a step, from the root getting energy to take another step.

The shoulders begin to relax.  The stomach UN-clenches.  I come up with a sentence that I can use as mantra. Something about trust.  About belief.

Remember Abraham’s wisdom that a Belief is just a thought you think over and over again.  A belief is just a thought you think over and over again.  Let that wash over me and sink in even deeper.  Letting the knowingness that my mind can shift, that is capable, even willing to let go of the shadow and move toward what feels right.  Towards joy.  Towards happiness.  Towards trust.

I now can sit.  I can clear my mind.  And in that clarity I can allow one more layer of this STRESS to release.  Leaving me lighter and calmer and more fluid and open to receive what’s next.

And if you are reading this, and things have been exceptionally rough for the past little while or even, as for me, the past few years…I think it’s time to hold on…I can feel the shift coming.  And if you trust and keep doing the work, I think you will find things are about to get easier.  And all this hard work, all this deep soul work is going to make sense.

There are still more fleas, and I truly don’t know if they will ever fully go away…but I much prefer knowing they are there then having them sneak up on me while I’m simply trying to enjoy a beautiful rain storm.

You know what I mean?