Renewing Under Stress: What Works for Me—and What Doesn’t
Nancy McMoneagle is no stranger to high pressure and stress. As leader of one of the world’s preeminent educational and research organizations in the burgeoning arena of consciousness studies and deep-state awareness, she is responsible for all aspects of the global Monroe Institute network. TMI’s 300-acre campus in Virginia, its hospitality, administrative, and facilities management teams, as well as all domestic and international program trainers and volunteers, are under her aegis. Add to that Nancy’s collaborative, open-door management style and you have one very busy woman.
How does she maintain her enthusiasm, equanimity, and cheerful attitude over the long term? How does she renew her energy and refresh her spirit while keeping hundreds of balls in the air? We asked Nancy (known to many by her nickname, Scooter) to let us in on her secret.
What works for me? It’s actually quite simple.
Curiosity and expectation keep me invigorated—wondering what’s next! What magic is around the corner? That feeling of positive anticipation is exciting and energizing. Humor is essential. Beholding beauty is key. And I find that certain rituals like the simple act of lighting candles while blessing whatever I’m focused on at the moment, feed my soul. But the most potent tool I use to refresh and renew myself is gratefulness.
When I’m feeling gratitude, that in itself is Self-renewing. Each morning, generally before I get up, I take a few minutes to enter a state of relaxed awareness and give thanks in advance for the day ahead—a day I intend to live as optimally as I can—and for the best outcome to that day. I give thanks for any connections I will make, all beings that I will come in contact with—two-legged, four-legged, multi-legged, winged ones, and plant beings … in other words, any and all! I express my intent to be open and receive all the information I need from any positive source, knowing that every interaction will serve the highest good. That stance of openness and connection is intensely energizing and brings me joy.
And by the way, I indulge in 2 cups of coffee in the morning—that’s also renewing!
At night before sleep, relaxing into deeper awareness, I reflect on the day and release any negative feelings, judgment of self and others. Again, gratitude is key—appreciating the day that is closing, giving thanks for all interactions that occurred and blessing them, whatever they are. And though not always easy, this process is very renewing for me.
An important part of renewal is the obvious—a good night’s sleep! There are times I wake in the wee hours with “monkey mind” chattering relentlessly. After lying sleepless for an hour, my thoughts can compound the situation by chastising me for failure to sleep. The voice in my mind chides me, “After all, what is it we do here at TMI?” We teach people to quiet their minds and enter deeper states, to sleep better! At that point I will listen to a Hemi-Sync® or SAM exercise.
As an empath, I can easily absorb the energy of others, so I pay careful attention to my responses to people, particularly if there’s a lot of negativity.
But, what if nothing seems to help and I don’t get a good night’s rest? That’s where the attitude, the expectancy, comes in. I direct my thoughts and imagination to the work of The Monroe Institute, work that I love, that is so vital and so valuable to so many. I affirm to myself that I am willing to do whatever I can to further that work.
My play is, when driving home, seeing the cows and how they play, delighting in how our dogs romp around together, listening to the music of the peepers, the birds; watching the sky, the moon, the sun reflecting off dewdrops—all that renews my soul tremendously. In the morning when the dew-ridden grass looks like a carpet of diamonds, its exquisite beauty almost brings me to tears. I am utterly thankful to be surrounded by such beauty—from the sparkling ground to the magical mountains that surround us. I feel absolutely fortunate to have the family, the background, and the training that have brought me here, even with all I still have to learn.
My renewal To-Do items would not be complete without a mention of what I recognize as To-Not-Do items.
Depleting influences and how I deal with them.
I find that certain media content diminishes my spirit. When I notice it, I turn off the TV or mute it, leave the Webpage, put down the paper, whatever it takes. I try to curtail watching news stories or reading anything that can negatively influence my peace of mind.
As an empath, I can easily absorb the energy of others, so I pay careful attention to my responses to people, particularly if there’s a lot of negativity. If I can’t be of help, and a REBAL doesn’t provide enough of a filter, I remove myself from the situation.
Sometimes having a bath, shower, or simply washing my hands can be very effective as an energy cleanse. Or, I’ll just take a deep, cleansing breath and forcefully exhale to clear my mind and my energy field.
Alone time is a must for rebalancing and clearing worry, anxiety, and concerns. Listening to music that makes me feel good elevates my spirit, as does reading a good book. The candle lighting ritual is a reminder of the divine, of something greater and more. I may bless the day and bless everyone, including all leaders of all nations. This works particularly well when I feel concerned about what’s going on in the world.
Some of the tools and techniques for renewal that I use are included in two new SAM audio exercises that will be released soon—after Mercury goes direct!
- “First Light,” a morning exercise to greet the day, and
- “Night Gifts,” an evening exercise to use before sleep.
It has been wonderful fun developing and voicing “First Light” and “Night Gifts!” My great hope and intent is that the tools on one or both of these exercises will serve you as well as they serve me.
As Bob Monroe taught me, it’s all about finding a Different Overview.
With gratitude to you,