This is Part 2 of a brilliant essay by Charles Eisenstein on what really lies beneath the adrenal fatigue epidemic.
You can access Part 1 here…
Adrenal fatigue occurs when the adrenal glands refuse to comply with life as it has been. Try as we might to force them to produce, whether with coffee or with internal threats and incentives, eventually their resources will be depleted. The adrenals do not create energy out of nothing; they are transformational conduits that convert universal life energy into human life energy.
Practically speaking, how do we open the gateway for the adrenal glands both to receive nourishment, and to pass it on willingly to our bodies?
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, depleted adrenal glands are an expression of a “Kidney Yin deficiency.” We can nourish Yin on various levels. On the physical level, we can use traditional herbs and foods, minerals and glandular extracts, to supply raw materials for the production of adrenal hormones. Usually, though, these measures work much better if an opening has happened first on an energetic-psychological-spiritual level. My work focuses on this level of Yin nourishment, though all are important.
The adrenals are shutting down for a reason. The adrenals, knowing that something in our lives like an occupation or relationship or other situation is wrong for us now, say, “We don’t want to provide energy for that. We don’t want to get you up in the morning for that.” They know what we are here for, and only want to provide life force for something aligned with our true being.
Now let me add another layer of distinction. It is not actually the external circumstances the adrenals are saying “No” to. Rather, it is our response to those circumstances. It is the way we are being.
How to Overcome the Feeling of ”Overwhelmed” and Fatigue
Just as we are not hapless victims of our bodies, nor are we hapless victims of our circumstances. They too are a reflection of our being: our thoughts, stories, beliefs, patterns and habits. There is nothing “wrong” with them; at one time they might have been perfect. What you cannot get out of bed for today may once have been an exciting challenge. Adrenal fatigue is simply a message that you have evolved beyond the way of being that created the present circumstances.
Reading my words, you might have a very good idea what exactly in your life you are not excited to live. The associated way of being might be “putting up with it” or “trying harder” or “trying not to think about it” or “waiting for things to change.” Your body is no longer letting you do that. But very likely, you see no alternative. You might feel trapped. You might feel overwhelmed. The feeling of overwhelm is actually a key landmark on the adrenal fatigue spectrum.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to add to the feeling of overwhelm by telling you, “You’re just going to have to change what you don’t believe you can. You’re just going to have to muster a little more energy. Hey, you’ve gotta make some changes!” No. That is demanding more Yang, not nourishing Yin.
The specifics of accessing Yin nourishment vary depending on whether you are in a state of busy stressed overwhelm, or a state of exhausted, directionless fatigue. I offer a guided meditation for each on my CD,”Reconnecting with the Life Force.” A basic underlying principle, though, is that you don’t have to make anything happen. That’s Yang, not Yin, and you’re tired of that. Literally.
The Power of ”Spontaneous Movement”
If Yang is trying and making, what is Yin? Yin is to relax, to play, to trust, to allow. It is not superior to Yang: there is a time in life for both, for planning and striving as well as for going with the flow. Each gives rise to the other.
Intense activity invites a state of rest, and prolonged rest births restlessness, a desire to move and create. In that state of stillness, when we totally let go of the should’s and must’s that jerk us around like a puppet on strings, we discover spontaneous movement. And it comes effortlessly! No motivational techniques are necessary.
This spontaneous movement is our true energy. It comes from desire, unforced by the program of obligations, threats, and incentives. It is what your adrenal glands have been waiting for.
It has been said that fear is the opposite of love, but equally we might see it as the opposite of desire. Fear and desire are the two sides of stress, one negative and the other positive. To desire is to be alive. Adrenal fatigue is nothing less than a call to reconnect with your true desire.
The spontaneous movement and true desire borne of stillness can be scary, because it takes us in directions we are afraid to go. It gives entry into the unknown. That is why we avoid it by filling our empty moments with a constant stream of distractions, entertainment, and routines.
Discovering What is REALLY Necessary
If you are in the busy/stressed category, you might even be angry at the very idea that you have any choice in the matter at all. You may feel ruled by your life. In this case, the path to the stillness-that-births-life-force involves a process of illuminating unconscious choices and making them conscious.
In any event, when the adrenal fatigue gets intense enough, you will discover that many have-to’s weren’t so necessary after all. Life will enter a new realm. Your adrenals, through their protest, will have taken you there.
We can understand all disease in a similar way. Disease is not a punishment or evidence that we have more “negativity” than healthy people. Disease simply means that we are ready to grow. It means that the unconscious is becoming conscious. It means that a way of being that once worked for us is no longer working, and we are ready for new stage of unfoldment.
Adrenal fatigue calls us to find the area of self-expression in which we have shut down. It calls us to find the life we are meant to live, the life that expresses who we truly are and who we wish to become. When you are aligned with that, the flow of life energy through you is clear and powerful.
You have a reason to be alive, a reason to get up in the morning. You awaken happy and excited to live your day, because you WANT to be alive, and your adrenal glands respond gladly. All of a sudden, whatever nutritional or energetic therapy you are using works like magic. You have reconnected to the 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.