Stress shows up and manifests in many ways. Dealing with stress can vary from situation to situation and person to person. Most important, is how you show up as you deal with stress. And, who you are a result.
Often, the advice to cope with stress sounds like this, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This advice was very helpful for many years. It resonated for my personal life, but began to fade in my business life.
This phrase no longer resonated for me. I was tired of making lemonade. Neither the metaphor nor the visual motivated me. In fact, it began to have the opposite effect. I was tired of making lemonade. Lemonade made me think of a somewhat messy, bittersweet drink that sold for a low price. My life was calling for a new metaphor. A new motivator.
Then one day, when the pressure was really great, the diamond metaphor came to me. I thought of how a diamond is formed. How they are formed down deep, from pre-existing materials. The heat builds and a new material is formed. If other conditions like pressure and chemistry are right diamond crystals begin to build. Then, after thousands of years rough diamonds rise to the surface and are discovered. And still, most need additional care to get to a jewelry-store-ready shine.
This is my new metaphor – minus the thousands of years. A metaphor that reminds me I will not burn up, burn out, or explode under pressure. And, since it speaks to nature, it speaks to my desire for Tao-centered living. A nice plus!
Now, when I see myself under stress, and feel it down deep, I slow down, take a deep breath, and remember the pre-existing situations through which I have survived. I allow the pressure to mold and teach me. And, see myself rising above the stress to shine anew. Even more precious and valuable.
In short, it happens under extreme pressure and takes time, energy and resources to create a shining diamond. Now, I see myself going through stress and rising to the occasion to shine. It brings whole new meaning to the phrase, “diamonds are a girls best friend.”
So tell me, what works for you lemonade or diamonds? More importantly, how do you deal with stress? And, how does it change your life when you can deal?
Wishing you strength under pressure and the ability to shine! Peace.