One day my yoga teacher, Linda, had mice in her house. And she decided to bring home the cat from the shelter to solve the problem.
She chose the one she liked, and quite seriously explained to the cat: they take him into the house to work. If he does his job poorly, he will go back to the cat shelter.
The cat did not seem to understand his responsibilities. When he was finally brought into the house, he not only did not want to catch mice – for a long time he did not want to leave his cat house at all.
But instead of sending him to a shelter, Linda fell in love with the cat and began to nurture him. It didn’t matter to her anymore that he didn’t catch mice. She felt sympathy for him, regretted how timid he was, and accepted him for who he was.
It took time and care for the cat to get used to the new place and calm down. And all his feline talents returned to him
In the meantime, the cat got used to it, felt more confident. He began to go out into the corridor, then into the yard – and one day, to her surprise, he returned to the house with a mouse in his teeth!
When he was brought in from the orphanage, he was scared and did not trust anyone. It took time and care for the cat to get used to the new place and calm down. When his fright passed, his feline nature came to the surface. And now, if he didn’t catch mice, he slept on the porch, or walked on the fence, or lay in the grass – in general, he lived his life to the maximum.
When he felt safe, he became himself, an ordinary cat. And all his feline talents returned to him.
When we humans are scared, we also often do not act in accordance with our nature, with our real “I”.
Our behavior can change, from subtle oversights like talkativeness, slips of the tongue, and awkward movements, to breakdowns when we suddenly lose our temper, become aggressive, and commit violence.
Whatever these manifestations are, they all testify to our suffering and do not show us as we really are.
I have had experience of working with domestic violence perpetrators. I was always amazed how they saw what was happening at the moment when they committed a crime.
And at the same time I understood why at that moment they perceived everything like that. Without justifying them in the least, I realize that in those circumstances and with the same perception of the situation, I might have chosen the same behavior as them.
In my workshops, I teach people that you can experience less stress if you realize one important thing. Stress always arises when we believe our fears, letting insecurity and fear take over.
It may seem like I’m stressed by a lot of work, but in reality I’m stressed because I’m afraid of not doing it.
No matter how much I have planned in my schedule, I will not be afraid of the schedule itself, but my thoughts. And even if I have plenty of free time, I will be stressed.
The most important thing is not to identify with your fears and not let them rule your life. When we understand the nature of these fears – that they are just our thoughts, but not reality – they will lose their hold on us. We will return to our human nature, to our natural state of peace, love and equanimity.
About the author: Rohini Ross is a trainer and host of anti-stress programs.