How would you like to live today like a lion?
Doesn’t that sound exciting, inspiring? Just picture in your mind what that would look like, what that would feel like?
Do you have that picture in your mind? Ok, are you ready to now get out there and live like a lion?
All right, so get out there and… spend 20 hours resting and napping. Yea, that’s the way to live like a lion!
No, really, it is. Adult lions typically spend 15-20 hours every day resting and sleeping.
But that’s probably not how you had imagined living the life of a lion, was it? Most of us imagine this ferocious beast non-stop chasing and fighting and conquering for twenty hours a day, right? That’s how most of us would try to live out a lion’s life, anyway, and then you would start to see lions fall over with heart attacks just as fast as humans do.
A lion’s, and any other natural animal’s life, is not one continuous adrenaline rush. Their “fight or flight” mechanism, where their adrenaline pumps, their blood pressure builds, and their whole body feels stressed, will only last a few minutes a day, when there actually is an actual physical need for them to be fighting. That “redline” state is their exception to the rule, not how they live out most of their day.
But we humans think we’ve found a better way. We go into jobs and situations that switch on our fight or flight, ramp up our stress and adrenaline, and we stay there for not a few minutes, but for hours at a time. And even when we move out of the situation, we are still thinking about it or thinking about the next situation and are still driving our adrenaline out the roof.
Friends, this is not how our bodies, our minds, or our souls were meant to live. We are not meant to live in fight or flight, we are not meant to live in stress.
And I know, we all could say “Well, tell that to my boss” or “tell that to my credit card bill” or “tell that to my family that drives me up the wall.” I get it, all of us live in situations that we can’t just instantly de-stress. But we do need to realize that living for hours every day in stress is not normal and not healthy.
So, what are supposed to do about our stressful lives? A good first step is simply taking a few seconds every hour to close your eyes and take a few deep, slow breaths. Even a few seconds where you step out of your fight or flight helps cleanse and reset your body and your spirit. Regular exercise that you enjoy will also help cleanse your body of stress chemicals. Getting enough sleep so that you awake feeling truly rested is absolutely necessary. And times you set apart to simply turn your brain off and drink in beauty heals, whether that’s a soothing bath with your phone put away, or sitting still in meditation, or time spend with a lover, or simply pausing to gaze at a beautiful sunset.
Don’t live your life like a human. Don’t accept stress as your default state. Live your life like a lion. Don’t let stress rule and ruin your life today.