“The more gratitude you create in your life, the more fulfillment you will experience in your life!”
– King Ayles, author
“But, there are others who are stress-free…I want to be one of them!”
Kaleb was a 30 year old carpenter who specializes in ‘framing in’ houses. He said he was fast, accurate and reliable, so he made a good living at it. He had focused on cabinet making in school but found the customers too finicky…forever changing their minds about what they wanted. So framing was just less stressful for him and that’s the way he wanted it.
Kaleb had a common law partner, Kaitlyn, with whom he shared two dogs and one house. Kaleb said the dogs were like their kids. Apparently, they devoted a lot of their time and resources to their pets’ care and well being while Kaitlyn worked as a bookkeeper for a local plumbing company.
Kaleb said he thought of himself as a tall, dark, distant and thoughtful kind of guy, while he perceived Kaitlyn as the contrast…shorter, blondish, close and friendly.
When I asked Kaleb what had brought him to make an appointment, he said,
“It’s really quite simple! Ken, I watch people all the time. And, I notice most are stressed out by one thing or another. I see guys at work… worrying about money, their kids, their health…there seems to always be something stressing them out. But, there are others who are stress-free…Ken, I want to be one of them!”
“The first group are dead and the second group are drugged…”
Kaleb, I’ve found two groups of people who are stress-free. For one group it is permanent and for the other it is temporary. And, I bet you wouldn’t want to belong to either group.”
He looked back at me with a combination of confusion and concern. Then, he said,
“If they’ve achieved a stress-free state, then I’m interested!”
“The first group are dead and the second group are drugged…still interested?” I said smiling at him with my attempt at humour.
Kaleb was taken aback for a second before he said,
“Sounds like you’re saying stress-free is impossible…in fact, it’s a fantasy of some kind. But, that would mean stress is here to stay and I’ll never get rid of it!”
“So, the real challenge is not to achieve a stress-free life, but…manage our stressors so we have a future.”
“It is actually more profound than that, Kaleb! What if stress is not just natural but necessary for your survival? What if, without stress, you would shorten your lifespan?” I asked.
“But, I read just recently stress is killing us in droves with all those psychosomatic diseases…they mentioned hundreds of them! Isn’t that true, Ken?”
“Yes, but no! Let’s take a broader perspective for a moment. Our natural environment, from birth onward, is constantly challenging us, or stressing us, to survive. When we meet these stressors, we learn to survive longer. For example, the stressful pain of hunger motivates us to find food. So, stress is a natural and inevitable part of every living thing.”
“Then, you’re saying the pain of illnesses motivates us to take better care of our health…is that the idea, Ken?”
“Yes! So, the real challenge is not to achieve a stress-free life, but rather to manage our stressors so we have a future…to find food, so we have a future. Can you see that, Kaleb?” I asked wondering if I had lost him.
He froze for a moment deep in thought, checking I supposed to see if this could possibly be true in relation to his own life experiences. Then, he looked at me, saying,
“So, framing houses instead of building their kitchen cabinets was one of the ways I managed my stress…is that what you mean?”
“A perfect example, Kaleb! There are many others in your life and in everyone else’s, as well. So, the real challenge of life is ‘managing stress’ not eliminating it because it is a regular reminder you are alive and progressing in your life.”
“So, that means I’ll never be stress-free…I’ll never be totally at peace with myself and my world…is that what you mean, Ken?”
“You cannot get rid of the positive and negative balance. If you try to put on a facade for the world about how positive and upbeat you are, there will be chaos in your private life or your personal health.”
― John F. Demartini, human behaviour expert
“… I will never achieve inner peace no matter what I do…”
“Kaleb, are you looking for an internal peace and an external world peace?”
“Sure, isn’t everyone? Isn’t that what each of us and even the United Nations is after?”
“I don’t think so…and especially because it’s impossible to achieve! World war is a nightmare and world peace a fantasy. They are ideas we use to motivate us to seek the middle ground…appreciation and gratitude for what we have already…a perfectly balanced system of pleasure and pain which motivates us to learn and evolve forward in life!”
“Are you suggesting I will never achieve inner peace no matter what I do and the world will never achieve outer world peace no matter what it does?”
“Kaleb, there needs to be conflict in some form at all times in nature for nature to move forward, there is always the prey and predator dynamic going on…even within humanity. This ensures the natural systems evolve in compliance with the laws of nature.
“That kind of sucks!” he said in disgust.
“…how lucky I was to be who I am!”
“It is not good or bad, those are human concepts, really theological concepts which come from human value systems. In nature, there are no weeds. Humans label a certain plant a weed because that plant is in the wrong place at the wrong time for that human, not for nature.”
I added as an afterthought,
“Canada is legalizing the marijuana plant from being a weed (we called it that literally) to a commodity because of our changing human values. It’s being transformed in our perception from bad to good. But there was never anything bad or good about it before…it was just our perception of it.
“So, that would mean when I meditate and feel in harmony with myself and my world, I’m not really at complete peace with myself, there is a negative aspect going on?” he asked, challenging the idea.
“Excellent question! Let’s check it out and see. Go to a memory you have of meditating and feeling very at peace with yourself. Go to the very moment and notice when it was and where it was.”
“I’ve been practicing meditation for some time. Just last week, I think it was Tuesday evening. I was on my deck in the back yard meditating on the beautiful sunset. I felt very much at peace at that moment, Ken!”
“Go into that very moment and tell me what were you exact thoughts, Kaleb?”
“He closed his eyes and sat back in the chair and was quiet for a moment. Then, in a soft, dreamy voice he said,
‘I was thinking about how beautiful the sunset was and how lucky I was to be who I am!”
“…notice where else your mind went at that moment?”
“All our sciences tell us we live in a dualistic universe, a dualistic system of complementary opposites, at all levels of our existence. And, scientists keep finding new examples regularly. This means we can’t have a positive thought without a counterbalancing negative one, simultaneously.”
Opening his eyes and sitting up he said, “So, you’re suggesting there had to be a negative aspect to that moment of what I saw as only positive, right?”
“That’s the pattern demonstrated at all levels of nature, so it must be there…but perhaps you have never noticed it or searched for it before? Go back to that moment and have another look!” I suggested.
Kaleb closed his eyes again and sat back in his chair. A log moment passed before he said, “I can see that striking sunset, I can hear the songbirds in the trees around me and I can even catch a whiff of my neighbour’s BBQ…I like that smell.”
“I said softly, “Kaleb, notice where else your mind went at that very moment?”
Another long moment before he replied, “While I was noticing all this beauty around me, I was wondering how long it would last…how long I could sustain this pleasurable state of mind…I was concerned I would lose my meditative state and get distracted by something, an interruption…maybe a mosquito or an itchy nose…I was trying so hard to maintain this pleasure I was creating pain…I see it now!”
“I think you’re getting the idea…remember it is not to disrespect the seeking of pleasure. Rather, it is to understand pleasure and pain always come together to motivate us to learn to evolve. It is nature’s motivational process.”
“Our body creates disease as feedback that we have an unbalanced perspective, that we’re not being grateful. These symptoms are to help us learn to appreciate ourselves and our life.” – King Ayles, author
“… it is very humbling and inspiring…”
“Ken, I just thought of another example that I bet most people don’t notice. At the point of orgasm, which I always thought was pure pleasure, there is the disappointment of it being over as well…is that the same process at work motivating us to want to do it again and so reproduce our species?”
“That’s a very insightful example Kaleb! I think that specific example demonstrates a sound understanding of this natural law!” I said, smiling.
He returned my smile and said,
“So, there are no one-sided moments in my life…but I have to find the hidden side, eh?”
“That’s correct! And, as you find the other side of those specific moments, both the positive and the negative…this process raises your awareness of this natural law which we share with every other part of nature.”
He looked hesitant for a second before saying,
“But…but where does that lead us?”
“It leads us to a greater awareness and appreciation for ourselves, our world, the people we share it with and the privilege of life itself…to me, Kaleb, it is very humbling and inspiring!”
“Yes…I can see how it is just in what I have learned today. But it means I have a lot of work to do, don’t I, Ken?”
“Yes, you, me and everybody else! Itss what makes life so interesting and exciting…we get to seek the balance, the symmetry, the synchronicity of each moment of our life…to me this is the real awesomeness of life!”
“Yeah!” Kaleb replied.
“There is a vast intelligence running this world, and everything is in order; nothing is missing.”
– John F. Demartini, human behaviour expert
Until Next time…
Now you know, stress-free is a fantasy. You will always experience equal amounts of pleasure and pain at every moment of your life so you can learn what you need for your future survival. It is a natural motivation system that ensures all life evolves including human life. Learn it, honour it and love it in your own life. It will ensure you a viable future!
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Be well…balanced! Ken
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