Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Relentless Demand

Over the last month or so I have been “luring” you with somewhat comical, light monologues that may have entertained you.  It’s over (Well, maybe only briefly).

There are many things on my mind these days (careful don’t go there) that hit deep at my core.  Mostly because I see a deterioration happening to many that I love.  Though I now live in a small city, I came from a booming bustling area where people are so busy that they make poor decisions and are not living true to who they are.  Even in a small town this behavior is rampant.  The interesting thought is that we think analytic logical decisions is the “right” thing to do.  We have moved so far away from listening to our feelings that we “do the logical thing” and that it will make us successful, happy and prosperous (and then we can be happy).   Those that appear successful (most we perceive to be happy), are often in denial while poisoning themselves with substance or a toxic striving lifestyle.  It is everywhere.  Have you watched the news lately?  Look at how we spend our time?
Let me be the first to admit that I do and have done this.  I bump up against my “stress
regulator” on a periodic basis.  I will “stuff” (think about that word, “stuff” it just sounds gross) way to much in to a day or even a month.  I am not proud, however I am aware.  
I have beautiful friends that are over achievers and appear to “have it going on” and are plagued with the “stuffing” resulting as constant exposure to “RELENTLESS DEMAND”. Relentless demand.  Say this out loud over and over again,”Relentless Demand, Relentless Demand, Relentless Demand...”  I read an article on this and it is a serious epidemic.
Relentless means, “Oppressively constant; incessant; harsh or inflexible.”  Demand means, “An insistent and peremptory request, made as if by right; pressing requirements.”  Really is this how life should be?  Is this our soul?  Is this how, God set it up?  I don’t think so.
Those of us that have operated this way for many years have done significant damage to our bodies and our minds.  We often mask the toxicity with antidepressants, alcohol, drugs, food (yes cupcakes are a drug) and our behaviors.  Just the long term affect of skipping breakfast and not getting enough sleep is devastating to our system.  It is like not changing the oil in your car for 30 or 40 years and then asking it to run.
Recently I have been more intrigued with my twelve year old, Alec.  Over the last week Alec has been trying to decide whether to commit the school spring musical.  He consults with me daily about the pros and the cons and then at the end of the conversation he says, “I am going to see how I feel and pray about it.”  How freaking healthy!  At first I found myself wanting to persuade him to do it, then I realized,  this is his commitment, his body, his time and his expectation, his life, not mine!  He is not yet programmed to “relentless demand.”   I of course would have just mindlessly committed, “To do the right thing” and participate.  Then later end up exhausted, over committed, late every where I go and drugging myself with food with something else, to change the way I feel.  I know, it’s ugly!  But really, how often do you do this?  Thankfully Alec, is listening to his inner compass.  Perhaps our education system should take a look at reducing “relentless demand” on our children and our families.  (Uh oh, I am going to get in trouble.) 
Today, I am going to check "my inner compass" regularly, "pray" and respond to myself and others, with compassion and care. 
I encourage you to read more about this below.  Just click on the links to get there.  
"Allostatic load" is a term coined by the neuroscientist Bruce McEwen that refers to the physiological consequences — most especially on the brain — of chronic exposure to relentless demand. When fight-or-flight hormones circulate in our body for too long, keeping our arousal high, they become toxic — not just physically, but also emotionally and mentally.
“Be the change you want to see.”  (Seems very appropriate right now.)
For all of you that are exempt from these conditions and “have it going on” stop reading my blog and laughing at me.  Quit being lazy, go do something and “denial” is not a river in Egypt, it is right here.  Don’t get me started on the government. That is an epidemic!

(Is this a downer? Would you rather have a good recipe for Banana Bread?) 

Peace, Love and Be Good To Yourself (and others)...A


  1. I'm pretty sure you are talking about me!!

  2. Wow. Alec makes it so easy!.. See how I feel about it.. pray.. and then decide.. ok got it. I love this post : )

  3. Right on the mark. Way too many of us are "over-achievers" & trying to be super-mom. Full time job, multiple children with multiple activities each, drive thru dinners and the list goes on. When we are not good to our bodies, it causes havoc with our systems, colds, cancer, headaches, etc. "Sleep on it, pray about it, then decide." What great advice!

  4. And this is why I'm not dressed, not showered for two days, and not left the house. I am utterly and totally wiped out. And for the next few days I am doing nothing and going no where.
    Every cell of my being is screaming "STOP"
    Good post Alexis and helpful knowing I am doing the right thing even though I get the fealing some times I am lame. I know that I am not and if I don't slow down I am may have a full blown melt down. Diane P.

  5. I love the way children think....its so UNconveluded! The best decision I ever made was to move my family to "the mountains". Its a different way of life up here! Peace to you my friend :)
    Merry Taylor

  6. To get out of the cycle of relentless demand - have your 2-year-old dughter teach you to spin and spin and spin and spin and keep spinning until you collapse in a heap laughing uncontrolably, Then give your family a hug and take them out for ice cream. Let it go - I used to fly an airplane or ride my motorcycle as far and as fast as I could. I find spinning works just as well and is much more fun for the child inside.