"Instead of living happily ever after, women everywhere are forever on high alert, forever responsible, and forever giving. The worst part of this is that women... seem to be trapped in a terrible habit of continuing, never-ending, self-driven activities that are in response to what we perceive to be terrible pressures at home and, for many of us, in the workplace. We can't stop, we're addicted to stress, we're stress addicts!"
~ Debbie Mandel, Addicted to Stress
"Yeah, I know I need a break, but NOT NOW!" "Things are wa-ay too crazy for me to slow down." Classic words uttered by a stress addict.
How do I know?
Hello, my name is Valerie, and I am a stress junkie.
This is a pretty heady admission for someone whose business it is to relieve stress through soothing sound. Yes, by day I am a sound healer. But by night, day, and every second in between, I am also a small business owner, CEO, CFO, sister, daughter, friend, neighbor, and cat mommie.
I wasn't always a stress addict. (Oh, c'mon, really now?) No, REALLY. I was just dealing with "normal" amounts of stress and doing what I had to do to get things done. The problem is, what starts off as a coping mechanism becomes a habit, a way of life and, ultimately, a chemical addiction that uses one's own physiological responses as a mood-altering device. In fact, stress-seeking behavior was so much a part of my life - not to mention rewarded by our work-centric culture - that I couldn't see it in myself. No, I started researching the symptoms and hazards of unrelenting stress in an effort to serve my clients because, of course, I had no problem recognizing it it them!
Thank you, clients and friends, for being such a great mirror. I finally get why it is I was drawn to the work I do, and why I created The Vestibule for Sound Living as an sonic oasis from stress, noise, and strife.
I hope that any of you stress junkies out there keep coming here - for treatments, classes or events - to relax, chill out, and discover new ways that sound, music and vibration can bring you back to the still, sound center of YOU. Recently, a client came through the garden gate for her session, uttered a deep sigh, and proclaimed, "Every time I walk through this gate into the Vestibule garden, my blood pressure goes way down." We're going to keep it that way...