In the midst of a fast-paced often chaotic world, it is all too easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of negative or destructive energies that we may not even be aware exist. Stress is a killer, wreaking havoc on our minds and bodies. Releasing cortisol and toxins into the bloodstream, through fight or flight states of being, stress attacks our immune system. Yet, it can take less than a moment to restore ourselves to calmness and clarity, cleansing and rejuvenating our human machine through simple techniques for coping. When we are stressed, sometimes we forget to breathe. It is a natural response to hold our breathe. So taking in a deep breath and blowing it out as if we are blowing out birthday candles can do wonders itself. Closing our eyes can shut out some of the things that may trigger stress, drawing us inward to get in touch with how we are feeling. This brings us into the here and now, reducing the impact of trauma in our past by reminding our bodies and inner parts that we are no longer in danger. It is amazing how we are able to literally command our bodies to release tension wherever it lay, tapping on those parts of us that remain knotted or cramped, as those areas of our bodies that remember past stressors when triggered by present energies or events. We can also release tension through taking self responsibility for our thoughts, examining how we dealt with stress throughout the day, and what messages we took in or imposed upon ourselves that were either helpful or harmful, shedding the habits of self-incrimination or other thoughts that block our success and capacity for joy and happiness. Engaging in these coping skills is called reflective practice, and it can eventually guide us toward reflective discourse, bringing us to a whole other level of being, connected to our own and one another's souls in such a way that our differences of opinion no longer separate us from the interconnectedness of a thriving humanity. Reflective practice not only helps us to recognize the value of ourselves and others, but allows us to live in higher state of consciousness, full of the love and wonder of a infant. Thus, in deep reflection and prayer, we may become reborn, no longer plagued by fear, hate, judgement, or indifference, and able to embrace the enriching diversity of the human race.
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