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“I don’t deal with stress, because I do not suffer from stress.”

sea shepherdThe quote in the title is from Captain Paul Watson, Founder of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Co-Founding Director Greenpeace Foundation. Having this in mind, it’s even more surprising. A man who’s wanted by countries like Japan and Costa Rica, who haas a price on his head from the shark fin mafia, who has numerous ships on the sea in dangerous missions all over the world and who is threatened and harassed continuously and who has lost track of the number of enemies, critics and people who wishes him harm …. This man claims that he does not suffer from stress.

In a facebook post from earlier this year, he stated ten primary reasons why this is the case and he offers advice for anyone suffering from anxiety, worry or stress:


I’d like to pick up on some of his points:

It is what it is. Stressing will not change the situation.
Yes, it’s really as simple as that. Although, in my experience the allegedly simple things and behavioral changes are the hardest to undertake. To start with, it will help to pause when feeling stressed and look at the situation, perhaps think about the space between things. And accept that it is what it is.

Stay calm. There really is nothing worth getting upset about.
Reading this sentence, the image of myself driving my car emerges automatically. I’m the opposite of calm. I easily get upset with other drivers or cyclists. With red traffic lights and traffic jams. With noise in the radio frequency. Again, the first rule above applies here as well. It is what it is. Stressing will not change the other’s way of driving and won’t dissolve.

Mindfulness is simply awareness of who you are and what you are doing. A person who is mindful is a person free of stress.
Or the other way around: Stress is an obstacle to mindfulness and an impediment to impeccability. Have you ever experience the feeling when you were able to fully concentrate on the task at hand or to be completely one with what you are doing? Doesn’t it feel great? Yes, powerful and vibrant even? Sometimes I experience this when I practice Yoga, when I swim or sometimes when I’m reading a compelling book. These situations are rare though. Too often, my mind wanders or I try to manage too many things at once.
I’ve read so many articles on mindfulness: “How to be more mindful”, “5 ways to bring mindfulness home”, “10 easy steps to a mindful life”… and the list goes on. There are many good ideas out there, but in the end it’s a matter of discipline and continuous practice. Like a daily meditation practice for example.

Certainly, Captain Watson wasn’t born a super calm, mindful and carefree person. I’m sure he learned his lessons. Perhaps some of them the hard way… who knows? He might have come a long way, but all that matter is the following quote:

At 64, I am healthy, happy, optimistic, and as passionate as I ever have been. Even more so because I have had the grace of experience and the satisfaction of achievement in those areas that I chose to address.
The point of this posting is this: Do not let stress ruin your health, your love or your life. Dreadnought and live the adventure, this adventure that is life. It may well be the only life you will ever have. Even if you believe in the afterlife (oh and don’t stress about that either) the fact is you will never know for sure, so no sense wasting the unique life that you have.
A stress free life is not only possible, it’s also essential for your health and your happiness.

Btw, if you would like to support Captain Paul Watson and the Sea Shepherds, follow this link for donations and for becoming a member of the direct action crew:


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