Stress Resilience

Most people would say they bought the Gupta Programme because they really want to get better from CFS/fibro and other conditions.  However once you have started the programme with a daily commitment, the best thing you can do is to let go of striving to reach the recovery goal and to just relax into doing the process day by day, through ups and downs, trusting that improvement will come.  This is not the cop-out it seems, there is logic here.  Constant focusing on your ultimate goal will create comparison and frustration with how you feel now, today, compared with how you want to feel.  This then produces dissatisfaction with what you have now – even if it significantly better than what you had last week or last month.  This kind of thinking can encourage you to overlook the small gains you are making as insignificant or “not good or fast enough” and focus attention instead on how far you imagine you still have to go – which is very de-motivating.

The idea of not striving for a goal is common in meditation too.  If you regularly use the meditations, think to yourself how many times you have told yourself to relax while meditating and then find it just won’t happen? Have you also experienced times when you have really gone with the flow of the meditation and found afterwards that you did feel relaxed and calm without having tried?

Perhaps it is easiest to illustrate by thinking of two people climbing a high mountain.  From the bottom it looks huge, daunting, and perhaps impossible to get to the top.  As they begin to walk along the trail they have some choices about where they put their attention.    One man looks continually upwards at the peak above and focuses all his attention on standing at the top, looking at the view.  After a few miles he feels the peak isn’t getting any nearer despite how far he has walked.  It looks just as big from here as at the bottom. He begins to doubt whether he will get there in the time he has set himself, he begins to worry if it will be worth it and perhaps to think about all the things he could be doing instead.  His rucksack begins to feel heavier and each step feels too small compared to the distance he has to travel.  Soon he begins to feel very tired, goes slower and slower and wonders about giving up.

The other person also really wants to get to the top and enjoy the view.  However he decides to enjoy the journey too.  He focuses his attention on the things he can see around him on the path and on the steady rhythm of his steps.  He enjoys the small flowers he comes across and the birdsong and congratulates himself every time he successfully negotiates a steep bit of path.  After a few miles he looks back the way he has come and is amazed at how tiny everything looks from here – he hadn’t been aware of travelling so far.  Looking up, the peak still looks big but he knows he is part way there already, so he carries on as before stopping every now and then to celebrate how far he has come, resting and enjoying his surroundings.  He stands a much better chance than the first person of getting to the top and enjoying the ultimate view…..

So in both meditation and other aspects of the Gupta Programme let go of striving for health and trust that if you pace yourself and enjoy the journey you will eventually get there.

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