August 11, 2013

Hello. My Name is Jillian & I’m a Stress-Aholic.

I’m at a point in my life where I’ve given myself the most exceptional opportunity to create everything I’ve always dreamed about.

So, in true form, my first course of action is to freak the fuck out and let stress take the wheel.


I love that this entire process has shown me how addicted to stress and struggle I am, and how I never have to function or survive like that, ever again! I love that every opportunity and every challenge has been a gateway for me to pass through—with a fire lit under my ass—to really see if I can walk my talk.

To see if I want all of this badly enough: to break through the veneer I’ve been hiding behind, to really embrace myself and allow the best of myself to come through.

And why is that so scary?

Why is allowing ourselves to embrace our power fully and become the most excellent, exuberant, successful, high frequency version of ourselves so terrifying to so many of us?

Possibility—limitless possibility and potential—can be insanely overwhelming.

What would we have to obsess over and use as a crutch if we didn’t have the stress and struggle cards to play? What other cards have been sitting in the deck, collecting dust and fading as each year rolls by without being put into play? Cards like courage, abundance, love, like success, expansion, transition, or transformation?

We always have the option of playing with a full deck. Utilizing all of the options, natural skills and dormant abilities we have at our fingertips means epic responsibility.

I’m led to believe we really have reached such intense levels of laziness and passivity that we are willing to throw all of that away because we can’t muster the energy to face the potential of personal triumph.

I would venture to say that stress and struggle are our greatest addictions, more so than sugar or booze or drugs.

When was the last time you sat in complete peace and contentment, thinking about everything you have to be grateful for, rather than every bill that needed paying, errand that needed running, project that needed completing?

When was the last time you found peace and gratitude in the actual doing of these things that have taken up so much space in your psyche?

These stresses have settled in for the long haul, and until we realize how high our blood pressures are rising and how inflamed our bodies are becoming as a result of our over-active flight or flight responses, we’re on a fast track to more self-imposed illness and dis-ease than any manufactured drug could ever inflict.

Only when you come to a point of such stress and struggle does this breakthrough come smashing through with the concise clarity of a razor’s edge.

You can’t go on like this anymore.

What’s a life lived through constant tension? We create our own hells just fine, and we have all the power in the universe to create our own heavens. It really is a matter of perspective, and that shift starts at our core.

When we begin to see ourselves for our full potential, the next huge hurtle comes into play:we need to literally say goodbye to the self that we’ve clung to so tightly.

We need to release the death grip on our souls.

We need to let our old, tired, haggard, stress-addled self go with loving compassion, with gentle hands, with a soft kiss and a warm hug.

Everything in this life serves a purpose, and struggle plays an important role in our growth process. It shows us what is possible through sheer will and perseverance, but it also reveals the gift of transformation when we drop it like the bad habit it is and reclaim our inner spark.

Struggle can bring us home.

Struggle can come full circle, bringing us face to face with our former selves. Struggle bears an eerily similar face to the one we wear now, and the cyclical journey of struggle is always responsible for more or less stress fractures at the corners of our eyes, mouths and hearts.

Once we reach the next point in our cycle, we always have a choice—to remain comfortable in this pain, in this constant state of fight or flight, or to choose trust, to let go, and to truly see ourselves as the miraculous manifestations of life and unadulterated creation that we are.

Struggle can be our spring board into ascension.

Only through assimilation and integration can we appreciate the stress and struggle and strife that have brought us this far. We need to come to terms with it rather than shun it; it provided valuable, game-changing opportunities to overcome life’s greatest obstacles.

We must show love and gratitude to our most intense challenges and problems, because they truly are our angels in disguise, nudging us to:

Be more.

Be better.


Believe in spite of everything.

Love triumphs over all. Loving ourselves is one of the greatest ways to bring an end to the stress and struggle, because once we love ourselves, all of the abundance that has been collecting and swirling around in the universe inside of us is finally set free…

…with a sonic boom.

Sometimes actually allowing that love and happiness and fulfillment into your experience can be the greatest challenge. Feeling worth it, feeling worthy. Changing your mindset from one of half empty to half full, and then all the way full.

Brimming, spilling-over, exploding like Mt.Vesuvias, full.

Often, I’ll find myself tense with stress in the act of doing something I love. The cause? The need to be perfect, to be the best and believing that my best isn’t good enough. And it’s that false belief that holds back what I could be giving. It’s that ugly belief that I’m not good enough, that my work isn’t good enough, that my writing isn’t good enough, that it’s whiney and stale and that I have nothing to say that hasn’t been said before.

That gnarly, nagging, incessant belief of lack and inadequacy that keeps me stuck at this impasse.

“You must unlearn what you have learned.”


The point? Our learned belief systems are truly the cause of our stress and struggle.

Unlearning what we have learned and adapting a new belief system about ourselves and the world is the only truly way to break free of the shackles that have been weighing our hearts, minds and potentials down.

“The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.”

~ Robert M. Pirsig

Through our beliefs, we are the true authors of our lives. There’s nothing we can’t overcome, create or be. Maybe if we spent a little less time stressing over what we don’t want and switched gears to filling our hearts and minds with what we do want, our fairy tale future wouldn’t seem so imaginary anymore.

Switch gears. Drop it down, gain some momentum, then shift that bitch up.

The world is hungry for all that you have to give. She’s starving for it. Don’t keep her waiting.


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Ed: Catherine Monkman

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