We live in a 24/7, fast-paced rat race and it's not working. Many people are struggling with the stresses and pressure of modern life, and they know intuitively there must be a better way.
In The StressLess Revolution, author Karina Joy Stephens, award-winning entrepreneur, author, and transformational speaker, shares her story of being burnt out, stressed out, and maxed out, before she "checked out," surviving but not thriving. She narrates how chronic stress robs us of our personal power, how fatigue enervates our life force, and how struggle depletes us.
Stephens showcases the strategies to live a less stressful life. In The StressLess Revolution, she discusses how to:
• create a stress defense shield so stress can never have the same effect again;
• discover how easy it is to make stress your new best friend;
• step into the stress-less kitchen and learn how to eat intuitively and magnify your life force;
• to shed weight permanently by doing less;
• slow down physically, ramp up energetically, and achieve more;
• remove the physical and energetic blocks to affluence, ease, and joy; and
• receive guided visualizations, meditations, energy medicine, and healing techniques designed to break through stress, struggle, and fatigue forever.
The StressLess Revolution teaches that you don't have to struggle to know affluence and joy. Stephens tells how to let go of the struggle, stress, and burnout and begin to live a life of ease and abundance.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.43(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The StressLess Revolution
Live Your Best Life without Getting Burnt Out, Stressed Out, Maxed Out, and Checked Out!
By Karina Joy Stephens
Balboa PressCopyright © 2015 Karina Joy Stephens
All rights reserved.
"There is a way of living in the world that is not here although it seems to be. You do not change your appearance although you smile more frequently, your forehead is serene and your eyes are quiet."
A Course in Miracles
They said that the twenty-first of December 2012 was a significant date in history: the closing of a chapter, a window of possibility for an evolutionary leap. Looking back now, I happen to believe that the twenty-first of December was the end of my life as I knew it, for a couple of reasons. The first was because I was about to embark on one of the most soul-transforming journeys of my life. The second was because that was the day my husband's extended family, totalling twelve, all came to my house for a Christmas holiday, which was to last ten days. Now, I totally love these guys, but I went into meltdown, I was stressing about everything. Some would say there is nothing wrong with that; it's perfectly understandable, but it was more of a "holy shit" moment than it should have been. It was actually the straw that broke the camel's back.
After Christmas, I started to have major exhaustion episodes. I would need to lie down in the middle of the day and would sleep for hours. Even if I slept for ten hours at night, I would still wake up exhausted.
I would sit in front of my computer and experience a severe sense of overwhelm. I literally couldn't do anything. I could not exercise without being fatigued for the rest of the day. I had run out of juice; there was no excitement or inspiration for me anymore. This was so not me!
I didn't handle stressful situations like I used to anymore; my response now was to go into meltdown. Normally I would tell myself to suck it up and move on. Now I was reacting like I had never-ending PMS. Permanently checked out is what I was. Within the space of a month, my father was diagnosed with cancer, my father-in-law suffered heart failure and nearly died, and my spa manager resigned. And the hits just kept on coming.
I believe wholeheartedly in natural medicine, so I took myself off to a natural GP and asked for a hormone-saliva test. I thought I may have been going through menopause; it was either that or cancer, I surmised, with just a dash of drama-queen diagnosis.
The week I was scheduled to get the results was probably one of the most challenging weeks of my life. I was driving back from a trip to the supermarket with my husband, Ian. All of a sudden, he pulled off the road and into a little secluded park. My first response was that he wanted to go parking in the middle of the day, and I remember thinking, Cheeky bugger, it's broad daylight. This will be interesting. A midday romp was not on the cards, though, as my husband proceeded to inform me that we were going to lose one of our companies due to bad financial advice, and we could be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in repayments. Talk about being sideswiped; I was completely stunned.
Call it a sign of things to come, but as we drove home, it started to rain. When we reached our driveway, the wind had picked up so much that debris was being blown in all directions. We scrambled indoors, and within a matter of minutes, the power went out; what followed was a mini hurricane that lasted all night. We were trapped inside with nowhere to go. I couldn't run from my problems; we had to face them head on.
The next day, we were cleaning up the aftermath when the doctor called me in for the results of my tests. I was diagnosed with stage-two adrenal fatigue. She advised me to take a number of supplements, rethink my lifestyle, and reduce stress in my life. F*%k!
I went home and Googled everything I could: What is adrenal fatigue? How did I get it? What is the cure? What are the effects? I was like a dog with a bone. In my research, I looked at not only the physical cause but the emotional one as well. Being a licensed teacher in Louise Hay's Heal Your Life work taught me that without looking at the emotional system, you can never fully get to the root of the cause.
What I learned was that about 80 percent of people now have some form of adrenal burnout. And what this basically means is that we are just plain tired. A major "aha" for me was when I realised that I was so tired of the struggle and strain of life, of always feeling like I had to fight to make things work, to get ahead. I had lived this way my whole life, and now my body was saying something had to change.
I was determined to regain my wellness, and after a week, I had come up with my game plan. My research told me that if I do everything right, it will take six to twelve months to fully recover my energy levels. I was going to step down as managing director of my spa and become managing director of my well- being. I gathered a support team, informed them of my needs, and went to work on healing myself. I was taking a sabbatical into wellness.
Through addressing my nutrition, my beliefs, and my lifestyle, I accessed a rhythm and flow to life, which turned my whole way of seeing the world upside down. My diet became clean, green, and conscious; my intuition became so heightened and at first it freaked me out so much, I thought I could sign up for the next psychic convention as their keynote speaker.
People commented that I looked really, really healthy and glowing, and they couldn't quite put a finger on exactly what it was, but something was different.
Synchronicity was a norm on any given day; there was an effortlessness to my routine that made me feel like I was on an escalator and something else was doing all the work for me. I was moving, but there was no effort involved.
My energy eventually returned, and life as I knew it was never going to be the same again. Crappy situations still happened, and life still went on, but I was becoming more and more resilient to stressful situations. Things didn't stress me out like they did before. I grew stronger and more at peace with the natural unfolding of life.
I was slowing down physically, and as I did that, my intuition ramped up. I was allowing the divine flow of life to move me in the direction I was supposed to go. I have now termed this the Pace of Grace.
The Pace of Grace is about being divinely guided to your true self and able to tune in to a higher vibration. I was being guided the whole way. Intuitively I was awakening to the exact food, supplement, or modality my body needed. As I cleansed toxins and heavy metals out of my system, I also purged years of built-up fears, anxieties, and toxic emotions.
As I did this, I began to realise that I didn't need to struggle in order just to get by. I started to draw back the curtain of lack that had blocked the window of abundance. As old energies were leaving my body, joy had room to enter. Joy began to fill the space where stress had once resided.
A few years ago, if you had told me I would be writing a book on how to slow down in life, I would have laughed my head off. I would have told you that if you want to know how to speed up in life, make things happen quicker, get things done faster, then I'm your girl, but slow down? You've got to be joking.
Life's too short; I'm on a mission, damn it, and time's a-wasting. See, I'm just a girl from the wrong side of the white line who went on a hero's journey very young, slew lots of bad guys, and won the battle.
The white line was the broken line in the middle of a main street that divided our suburbs. On one side was middle-class suburbia; on the other, a housing commission estate nicknamed the ghetto and, you guessed right, I was on the other side.
So I learned to stand up and fight for what I wanted early on. There were no free rides where I came from. If you wanted something, you worked bloody hard or you stole it. Either way, it involved a fierce determination and a certain amount of courage, mixed in with some large balls to get what you wanted.
The fact that I made it out alive, not addicted to drugs or knocked up, was the result of some very well-directed prayers from my grandmother and also a still, small voice that would whisper to me that there is more to life and there is a better way. The thing is, when you grow up a fighter, life presents you lots of circumstances to fight for. It's like the harder you try, the harder it gets. One step forward and three steps back. That never-give-up attitude is pinned like a medal of honour on your heart.
It's a "screw you" attitude with a little Aussie battler flag flying high on the post. Struggle becomes your middle name, and picking yourself up, dusting yourself off, and getting on with it is just how you roll.
"Suck it up, princess" became my motto, and "Get over it" were the first words I learnt to say.
That is great for those times that call for courage, persistence, and tenacity. When you live like that 24/7, your body has to work twice as hard to maintain the energy. It's like going uphill with the brakes on. You don't get anywhere fast, and then you've worn out the motor before you've made it up the hill.
Eventually, something has to give, and it will, trust me (more on that later). I lived by the notion that if it is to be, it is up to me, and that's a big load to bear. It's a never-ending, constant battle to have to be the only energy that makes life happen for you.
Your environment can harden you and you get tired from trying to prove yourself over and over again.
In my twenties, I created a personal training and therapeutic massage business that became a great lifestyle but never gave me more money than I needed. I was always struggling with money. If I worked three jobs I still wouldn't have any money; it's like the harder I worked the less I had. I might get some spare cash and my car would break down. Something always happened to eat up whatever money I had.
I wouldn't put up my prices because I didn't believe in myself enough to do so. I had a major self-esteem problem. I had a very low sense of self-worth. I was super judgemental and critical of myself.
I was living an unconscious life, I was not nurturing myself, and I didn't love myself. I abused my body with cigarettes, alcohol, sugar, caffeine, and fatty foods. I lost myself in binge drinking.
I was not grateful; I felt as if I lived in lack all the time. I changed who I was to be accepted by others. I didn't even really know who I was. I had childhood hurts and gaping wounds which I ignored, suppressed, and anaesthetised.
I kept my feelings hidden, I was jealous of others, I was envious of the way life just worked for them, and I was scared.
I was not living up to my potential; I dreamed of a life so different than the one I lived.
I was fearless in my work but fearful in the pursuit of my dreams.
I longed for freedom but kept myself caged with the rod of criticism.
I yearned for authenticity and uniqueness but conformed to the masses so as to never experience judgement and humiliation again.
When life is a struggle your body feels struggle. When you're working triple time just to get by your organs work triple time as well.
When you have beliefs that nothing comes easy then nothing comes easy. You deflect effortlessness and ease so it's not even on your radar.
When life threw me curveballs I would analyse it in my head in order to move on; I would put a positive spin on it and tell myself to buckle up and suck it up. My head was very good at moving on; I didn't listen to my body or my feelings because I didn't like the feelings; they made me feel like a victim or a loser.
When you avoid your feelings they get trapped in your body, and cause disease and sickness. They just want to be acknowledged and released. I would wrap them up in my story and keep them suppressed.
What I did have going for me though was a voice that continually whispered that there was a different way and there was more to life. I was tenacious; I had deep-seated longing to be more and I desired more. I had a belief that there was nothing in life I couldn't handle, and I had a curious and open mind. Those traits were my saviour.
My journey with personal growth has been an unfolding: a layer upon layer of gentle yet sometimes obsessive quest for self-discovery. I was born into this world to experience revolutionary transformation. This is not a wimp's journey. I had to become my own hero.
I now call myself a ghetto alchemist: I turn the trash of my life into treasure.
The last three years have taught me a better way to live: more effortless, slower, gentler, nurturing, loving, and kinder. This doesn't mean playing smaller or giving up on my dreams; in fact, my dreams got bigger and I attracted more people into my life.
Adrenal fatigue for me was life's way of saying, okay, it's time to go deeper, and it's time to access a wisdom that cannot be obtained by my previous existence. In the slowing down, I uncovered a pace I never knew existed, a pace talked about in films like The Secret and in books like The Law of Attraction. To me it was a concept I was yet to grasp, so the Universe showed me how.
There is a StressLess way to live. A way that doesn't prematurely age you, where it unfolds organically and where grace has a chance to shower blessings on you in ways you would have never known before.
The blessings are not necessarily anything new but the miracle is you see them as blessings, not curses. That's where you reduce the stress. It's your perception of what is.
My life changed dramatically during those years; I learned to slow down and simplify. This doesn't mean having less necessarily. What it means is there is a deepening, a shedding, and a letting go, which occurs so that you can align yourself with the flow of life.
The Pace of Grace is in fact the flow of life which unfolds when you are guided by Source; whether it be God, Buddha, the Divine, it doesn't matter what you call it. When we slow down physically, we amp up our intuition, we hear God more clearly. We pay attention; our sixth sense becomes sharper.
It is then you attract what it is you really want. Rather than wanting lots of stuff you get to learn what your soul's desires are. Your world gets bigger and expanded; not in a hurried sense of bedlam and chaos, but a natural organic ease.
I changed my beliefs about certain things. I shed rules that I had adopted years before which were no longer serving me. I was having an internal dialogue with my feelings and they told me secrets that made me hoot, holler, and howl.
I was having a physical shift and a cellular change. I had made friends with stress; my cells were tingling. My nervous system was repairing itself; my adrenal glands were basking in the love.
And the really cool thing, if that wasn't already cool enough, was that my intuition just opened up like a flower in spring. The beautiful still, small whisper was at last being heard again. I was vibrating at a higher frequency so I was attracting circumstances and situations which before were off the radar. Gradually I was changing my cellular setup which was one of struggle, striving, and lack to one of ease, joy, and abundance. My biology was literally changing as I adopted this new lifestyle.
Marianne Williamson once wrote that our outside world is a reflection of our internal conditioning. What is happening internally is creating the energy that you are.
As I changed physically, mindfully, and spiritually, my outer world shifted in response. In the presence of this peaceful state, I began to get new ideas and new revelations were commonplace.
The verse at the beginning of this chapter says it all: "There is a way of living in the world that is not here although it seems to be. You do not change your appearance although you smile more frequently, your forehead is serene and your eyes are quiet."
A Course in Miracles
"Your eyes are quiet": that makes me smile. What would your life be like if your eyes were quiet, if you smiled more frequently, and if your forehead was serene?
In this book, I share the practices that I learnt whilst on my sabbatical of wellness. My desire is that you are empowered with choices. I am simply sharing my story and the ways in which I transformed my life. I pray that you become so in tune with your body and with life that you quantum leap right on over to your divine potential. How you do that is up to you; there is no one-size-fits-all here. You can choose to do a couple of my practices or all of them. The more awake you become, the more you will hear what your body is telling you; your soul will whisper where to go and your spirit will keep you safe.
This is a holistic approach to living a StressLess life. My suggestion is to take a lean-into approach: just baby steps. Some of these steps I have been working on for years and years. Yet as we inch our way forward, life sees our progress and rewards us with blessings beyond our wildest imaginings.
If you have fun with these principles they will take you on a dance where unlearning becomes a waltz and remembering a tango.
Be gentle with yourself is wisdom's advice; love yourself through each and every step. Far too often we beat ourselves up with our thoughts. Nothing halts the Pace of Grace more than the energy of self-criticism.
Excerpted from The StressLess Revolution by Karina Joy Stephens. Copyright © 2015 Karina Joy Stephens. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsIntroduction: What is the StressLess Revolution?, xiii,
Chapter 1 Accessing Grace, 1,
Chapter 2 A Soft Place to Fall, 13,
Chapter 3 Stress: Your Biggest Block to Intuition, Abundant Health, and Desires, 21,
Chapter 4 Make Stress your New BFF!, 29,
Chapter 5 Slow is the New ASAP, 39,
Chapter 6 Benefit from the Selah Effect!, 49,
Chapter 7 Amplifying your Intuition with the StressLess Cleanse, 59,
Chapter 8 The StressLess Kitchen Part 1, 67,
Chapter 9 The StressLess Kitchen Part 2, 83,
Chapter 10 Building a Stress Defence Shield, 95,
Chapter 11 Doing Less Physically and More Energetically, 105,
Chapter 12 Rest and Restoration, 117,
Chapter 13 You are One Thought Away from Peace, 125,
Chapter 14 Letting Go of Frustration, 131,
Chapter 15 The Quickest Way to Change your Beliefs in Order to Release Stress, Struggle, and Fatigue, 141,
Chapter 16 Stress Bomb, Stress Bomb, you're my Stress Bomb, 151,
Chapter 17 Stopping Phantom Stress, 157,
Chapter 18 Sign of the Pace of Grace, 165,
Chapter 19 Revolution through Evolution, 175,