This afternoon I am attending a memorial for my friend Linda, who crossed the threshold of death on Monday. She was a wonderful individual who suffered from the extreme stress of bipolar disorder. This post is dedicated to her indomitable spirit.
The allostatic load is “the wear and tear on the body” which grows over time when the individual is exposed to repeated or chronic stress. This term links physical stress to physical illness or lack of physical well-being. You can learn more in the Wikipedia article here.
From the perspective of Imagine Self, allostatic load creates wear and tear on the sense of selfhood and on the well-being of soul and how we think about ourselves, feel about ourselves, and engage in the complex activities of living as ourselves.
Just the other day I was working on relating the ideal expectations and desires around the sense of self and the failures and breakdowns in reaching and maintaining these ideals. I realized the highs of ideals are as stressful as the lows of failures. Both create allostatic load in body and soul. Both are chronically present in vague or acute ways causing continual stress in body and soul as we live every moment.
What to do? How do we find a secure, centered and fluid sense of self that accepts and celebrates selfhood with grace and ease that continually transmutes stress?
Below I have made a list of sets of three statements. The first two statements express the polar stress causing states: the ideal and the failure. The third is a declaration of a dynamic process, a gradually unfolding gesture, a gentle and constant re-enlivening of a stress-free self. The first two statements trap you inside a box loaded with stressful judgments. The third statement takes you outside the box into the freedom of self-imagining.
I urge you to let go of the first two statements and embrace the third statements as calming, centering and celebratory mantras. Use them to reduce your allostatic load in your body and soul.
The first is the “ideal” feeling or statement, the second is the “failure” feeling or statement, and the third is the revitalizing feeling or statement.
I am whole. I am broken. I am repairing.
I am fulfilled. I am empty. I am recirculating.
I am powerful. I am weak. I am restoring.
I am focused. I am chaotic. I am repurposing.
I am beautiful. I am distorted. I am redesigning.
I am true. I am false. I am realigning.
I am good. I am bad. I am redeeming.
I am home. I am lost. I am reconnecting.
I am happy. I am troubled. I am resolving.
Do you know the prefix re- indicates repeating and/or intensifying. (I am re-Lynning!. It’s great to use your name as a verb that indicates you are intensifying being yourself.)
Repairing, recirculating, restoring, repurposing, redesigning, realigning, redeeming, reconnecting, resolving and so many other re words are the gestures behind inner work and lead you on your inner path. I suggest you journal about each activity…imagining each as a growing capacity. Create soul collages for each. Or simply write them on stickies and post them around your home or at work to remind you (I remember. I forget. I remind!!! ;-] ).
If you need support in re-selfing, I’d love to help. Book 20 minutes with me to discuss if a series of conversations with me is right for you.