In researching the impact of stress on our struggle for Satisfaction I came across a very clear explanation of the different kinds of stress. And it is good news for us.
Eustress is what is being called positive stress; distress is understandably the negative shadow of stress in our lives. Life is stressful; it’s nothing personal. If we are spiralling downward we stress about stress. When we are trending upward we use stress to get things done.
So take a quick read. There are useful daily life applications in the article below. Comment if you wish. Stay safe. Stay you.
“Once upon a time the colors of the world started to quarrel: all claimed that they were the best, the most important, the most useful, the favorite.
Green said: “Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, leaves, trees–without me, all animals would die. Look out over the countryside and you will see that I am in the majority.”
Blue interrupted: “You only think about the Earth, but consider the sky and sea. It is the water that is the basis of life and drawn up by the clouds from the deep sea. The sky gives space and peace and serenity. Without my peace, you would all be nothing.”
Yellow chuckled. “You are all so serious. I bring laughter, gaiety, and warmth to the world. The sun is yellow, the moon…
When I was ten years old I took my first communion. Because I went to public elementary school I had to take catechism classes once a week at night at the Catholic school. The Catholic school kids had their own mass for their first communion and then our public school group had ours a few Sundays later. It was a beautiful spring day. My parents made me wear an ascot to go with my burnt orange velvet blazer. The one with my dried snot on the right sleeve where I had wiped my nose which made my mom so mad. She was right. It really was a cool blazer. It definitely wasn’t a blue suit.
I can picture the photo of us outside on the church steps afterwards as we posed for the family portrait of the moment. My mom was shining her beautiful smile as always. My dad was in full 1970’s style with the big tie and bigger sideburns. Grandma, my dad’s mom, was there in a nice baby blue dress. She was of the era, born before 1900, when you didn’t smile for photos. She definitely didn’t break rank that day.
I got paired with a girl from our catechism class to take the Communion offering and collection up to the altar. She got the money. I took the Bread of Transcendence.
I was really nervous as we walked up the aisle. It was my first time. There was nothing I was repeating. No Habit to tyrannize me; no Routine to coach me. There was a Ritual. Called Communion. This Communion is the act of elevating the Daily version of ourselves to experience the Devotional one.
Priests, parents, teachers and Elders are understood to instruct the young on the arts and skills of releasing the Devotional into the Daily. That means the religious service connects the participants with higher energy – Devotional; and young people need help to walk the talk of this life wisdom. . Actually we all need guidance as we process the Ritual of formal religion to create habits that amount to a personal religion. It might feel easier to release an elephant from the local zoo into your city centre than to step into your personal religion.
Ritual abounds in religion, in sports, in art, in meditation, in martial arts, in connecting with nature, in nature.
This topic is important because all men are constantly receiving real energy to grow as a male, man and gentleman. The confusion is while some guys seem to be able to manage their energy without getting into too much trouble, why do some men use the energy they receive to disrespect women through violence and other forms of aggression?
The energy that powers a man is powerful. If we suffer from an inability to give this power expression then we might: feel agitated, lack confidence, get crushed by depression. And some of us get violent. The violence can be swinging fists, hurling insults, sexual perversion to name a few of the many forms. Instead young men need to learn their unique energy management. The violence against a woman can happen in a brief, horrible moment but the negligence of not understanding men builds up over years.
That is why it is crucial to develop Habits, create Routine and be ready for Ritual. That way we have avenues of expression for our energy. When we have an argument with our wife there is no violence when we don’t have pent up energy. You have believed in yourself enough to invest the time to create the channels for frustration to flow, be processed and shared. We are all allowed to get frustrated and talk about it. Get angry about the frustration. Anger doesn’t imply aggressive words or threatening stances or personal insults. There is no blame. A man is responsible for his energy management. That is something he needs help with. Something he needs to learn and refine all life long.
There are lots of variations of energy in man including: sexual energy, Devotional energy where one is caused to look for meaning and a higher purpose, the energy that goes with their Life Stage, marriage energy and male energy to list a few. This says it is good to recognize there is a lot going on. We all need help. Conversation. So we can see, and agree, it is not easy. Still, it is our role as a man to grasp the natural influences in our life and do something about them. Your energy and how you react or respond to it actually has nothing to do with your wife.
A quick word about sexual energy. The human sexual energy is very strong. It is not bad nor is it well understood. It is not just sex. Physical sex. It is a range of creative powers that can result in a new business, a new relationship, a new recipe or even a new baby. You see teenagers and some young adults, even some famous adults, who can’t think about anything else. It runs their life. It makes their decisions for them. For a pubescent teenager this makes sense because the connection with this energy is itself new, intense and powerful.
Poor sexual energy management can have harming repercussions that cut deep and last years. In marriage, family, society and men in general we generally make it difficult to talk about and direct this power. The youth need guidance from elders like mom and dad. And they need to do stuff that uses up the energy. This is a huge challenge. How do you use up the undeniable sexual energy running through the bodies of young people without it being physical sex? Think sports, guitar lessons, family nature adventures, discover the various ways to use your local library, invite friends over to the house, help them get a part time job, volunteering, … Keep thinking and doing and talking and guiding.
When a man is beyond the reach of his elders because he won’t listen to them, they aren’t worth listening to or he has simply outgrown them in his case – how does he know when and how to use the natural sexual energy? Hopefully throughout this book there are ideas and inspirations that generate avenues of investigation and belief that help in this aspect.
Please remember that sexual energy and your Devotional energy are not the same thing and should never be confused. Both can have an aspect of attraction/calling, companionship, loving and being loved, connection and an impulse for meaning that drives you to do things you wouldn’t do yourself. But they are not the same. Those in positions of power that they wield to confuse others about these two natural energies are misusing their power. The catholic church has a lot of experience in this territory.
This book is written to create distance between all men and that purposeful confusion of energy mentioned above. We urgently need passion and ideas and people to clarify a man’s path forward and specifically highlight the unique man they may see before them.
It is vital to grasp that this is a daily challenge for a man. The challenge of finding his path forward using his unique abilities to synthesize the task at hand into daily life in a satisfaction producing way. This urge upon him for self-realization is non stop. At times subtle. At times shouting. At times a beautiful congress in the moment of life trajectory and courage. At times a complete mess of what he wants with what he is doing and what he thinks he should do. Some guys can wake up and when they open their eyes they are already depressed! And others wake up without an alarm at 4:30 am everyday to: work out, meditate, write, make breakfast and then get to work by 6:30?
Habits can categorize a man’s energy. Routines can process it. Rituals can reveal it.
You can’t talk about Habits without mentioning Routine. With a mention of routine then the next logical step is to see the where and when of Ritual.
It’s all in your head. And it is also in your blood and bones. A few connections to ponder:
Ritual – Projection – Energy – Beliefs
Routine – Imagination – Power – Prayer
Habit – Meditation – Strength – Declaration
Tradition can be reduced to a routine, converted into a ritual minimized, squeezed into a habit. Or you can build your own traditions that have the power of Habit, the reliability of routine and the Attractive energy of Ritual.
For guys to hear mention of the word ritual they can go down four different mental paths.
1 .Ritual to mean religious ritual that is something you do in a temple/house of worship and it has always been like that, you unconsciously repeat a few prayers and you are done. Whether there has been a transformative process is another question;
2. New Age flaky ritual based in ancient traditions with everyone bearfoot, wearing white and chaniting themselves into a trance. Perhaps the greatest difference between these first two types of ritual is that the New Age one is probably more effective at delivering on the concept of a transformation.
3. The ritual display that guys know is in sports: The goalie goes onto the ice first. Or the quarterback puts eye black under his eyes because that’s what he always does to get him to his peak performance.
4. The ritual well known through the animal world: mating. This ritual can take place at any hour in any place. Popular mating ritual temples are bars on Friday night. However increasingly the ritual has gone online. The ritual nowadays amounts to swiping right. Dating apps and websites made famous by Tinder.