This is a brilliant essay by Charles Eisenstein on what really lies beneath the adrenal fatigue epidemic.
You have probably met amazing people who are blessed with a seemingly endless supply of energy. Are they just lucky? Are you cursed, by chance, with a bad body or unlucky circumstances, weak adrenals or overwhelming responsibilities? No.
On some level you realize you are not a victim of your body or your life. You are its creator. A limitless supply of energy lies within you. What might be blocking it?
To discover the hidden message behind stress and adrenal fatigue, let’s start by pondering what the adrenal gland is actually for.
In the simplest terms, the job of the adrenal glands is to put us into action. The hormones they produce activate the body and focus the mind, readying us to act, to create, to express, to engage. When the adrenal glands are quiet, such as in relaxation, laughter, or play, then we are in a different state of being. We might describe it as receptive, passive, open, or going with the flow.
These two states include many other body systems as well, most notably the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the central nervous system. Both exist in the body, and we must recognize both as tools for the body to express its wisdom and enact a sacred purpose.
We are here on earth both to go with the flow and to actively create and mold reality to our design. We embody a yin and a yang, and in health, the relaxed yin state balances the adrenal yang state.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the adrenal glands are part of the kidney system. Interestingly, TCM identifies the Kidney as the repository of the jing, our life force, our aliveness, our creative power, our essence. The jing is what drives us to express our being in this material world. It is spirit materialized.
Now, imagine what happens if some important part of your life is not a true expression of your being. It could be your occupation, your relationship, or any area that you are trying to make work. Trying is the key word here. Trying to make it work. Trying to carry on when you don’t really want to. Trying hard to pull that life energy out of your Kidney.
The adrenal glands, being wise, are not going to want to respond. They are going to be reluctant to offer up their essence of life. They know, “This is not what it’s for.” You say, “Why is it so hard to get up in the morning?” and the adrenals say, “We don’t want to get up for that!”
Thinking mechanistically, we suppose that we can’t get up because our adrenal glands are tired. Actually the reverse it true. Our adrenals are tired because we don’t want to get up.
Are you protesting, “No, I do want to get up! I have so much to do. I want to get up, but I can’t”? The body never lies. Deep unconscious desires are rising to the surface.
Usually we don’t take no for an answer when our adrenal glands rebel. If they are reluctant to offer their energy, well, we’ll force them to. We can force them chemically, for example with coffee. We can also use mental force to stimulate our adrenals. We set up a system of internal rewards and punishments, and use it to whip our adrenals into action. In other words, we create stress. Gotta do this, gotta do that. I’d better, I have to, I shouldn’t, I should. A constant cloud of threat hangs over life.
We can never rest at peace.
If threat is the negative component of stress, then the positive component is desire. It is desire which is meant to mobilize the life force contained in the adrenals. In the rush and press of modern life, rarely do we do something purely for the love of doing it. So we create incentives to “get motivated”. We subject ourselves to a relentless barrage of threats and incentives to make ourselves do things we would otherwise not do.
Eventually, when we continue to jerk the life force out of the reluctant adrenals, they become exhausted. Because even though we can artificially stimulate them to produce, their internal resources are limited. The adrenal glands don’t produce life energy from nothing. They are transformational conduits for a flow of creative life energy through us.
On one level, they require minerals and other chemical precursors to make hormones. On an energetic level they need to be plugged in to the source of creative life energy. Even if you take all the right minerals and glandular extracts, they won’t work if the connection to the source of life energy is blocked. You’ll try one promising solution after another, and you’ll only get marginal, temporary improvements.
Why is adrenal fatigue epidemic in our time? It reflects the evolution of human consciousness. What was once an acceptable life is no longer acceptable. The kinds of jobs and relationships that were once considered normal are incompatible with who we are becoming. Good enough is no longer good enough. We are literally tired of the old way of being.
Exhaustion is not just about your adrenals. Your adrenal glands are refusing to comply with life as it has been. Whether you agree or not, they are launching you into a new stage of life. An incredible journey is ahead of you.
Click here to access Part 2 ‘Opening the Flow of your Life Force’.
Charles Eisenstein spent most of his 20s in Tawian, educating himself broadly in Eastern spiritual traditions, while voraciously reading books on health, nutrition, globalization, physics, and biology. He entered into what was to be a long period of intensifying crisis that started when his professional work became intolerable.
The next five years were much like a birthing process. The old world dissolved, and the contractions birthing him into the new, took the form of a collapse of all that he once held onto. Crises in health, marriage, and money forced him to let go of a “life under control”. In his helplessness, he accepted help, discovering a generous universe that has always met his needs, somehow, in unexpected ways. Friends and strangers from all over the world, write to tell him how his books have affected them; sustaining his faith and nourishing his passion for his work.
Learn more about Charles and what he offers here: http://charleseisenstein.net/
*He also offers 2 wonderful adrenal nourishing meditations and a ‘talk’ that you can get access to here by donation.