Living Beyond the Road of Stress
An interview with John McMullin, CHT, HC
By Kimberly A. Doriden, H.C.            


This interview takes a new look at the deeper nature of stress and offers tools to reduce everyday stress related to our personal and professional life.  

Kim: What is a holistic description of stress?
John: Stress is a state of mind in which parts of the ego are conflicted with our experiences of life.  

Kim: What causes conflict with ego parts?

John: As children, we needed to please our Mother/Father values and attend to our own neediness. We experienced their values and demands and often gave up our own sense of self through compliance and/or defiance. This ego perception is projected onto other people who we make into our surrogate Mother or Father, such as a job supervisor, life partner, friends, teachers, etc

Kim: Are you suggesting that we carry these beliefs into our adult relationships?

John: For the most part that is true, yes. We act out various forms of aggressive or passive behavior that is created from our fearful or shameful beliefs. We would like to believe that we donít believe the values of our parents; however my experience suggests that we have attached to their beliefs out of loyalty so we can continue to belong in our family of origin. Whether we are compliant or defiant with either parent we still carry forward our version of what unitized our family, whether it was functional or dysfunctional behavior.  

Kim: Do you think most people realize they carry the energy of the beliefs of their families?

John: I think it is difficult to realize we not only carry the energy of our family, but we also carry the energies of their families and many other generations. It is hard to accept that we act out their controlling behavior out of loyalty, and since the experience is so painful, we are numb to its influence on other people.  

Kim: Are there other aspects of stress?

John: Our need to control everything creates the duality of illusion that we are in control, or another perception, that we canít control anything. The conflict within our ego parts creates many levels of stress at the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious levels.  

Kim: Are you saying we always have stress at some level?

John: Yes. What is important for me is to realize that some stress is necessary to keep us vigilant and sensitive in order to feel safe and valued. Our conscious stress is polarized around controlling the behavior of our self and others, and our well being. Subconscious stress is created from the conflict of our parentís values as we knew them compared to how we think we, and other people measure up to those perceived values. Unconscious stress is stratified energy that wonít move in our body and creates irritation and disease.  

Kim: How do we control stress?

John: The question is a bit of an oxymoron in that the more we attempt to control stress the more we create stress by not being able to control it. However, there are some techniques we can use to reduce our stress level from day to day. First; learn not to judge our judgment, shame our shame, or fear our fear. All human egos compare how we think we are living our life and how others live their lives, as to what is expected based on the values we created about our parents.  

Second; we can reduce stress by forgiving our judgment of our parentís values and stop projecting what makes our self or other people, right or wrong, good or bad. Learning to give our parents ownership of their behavior, values and choices allows us to create our own life and experience freedom from their judgment.  

A third concept that helps many people, is to accept the flow of life and realize we can never be in the wrong place at any time.  

A fourth method is to create a sensitivity and compassion for the judgment of others and to realize that no human will ever know you beyond their own filter system.  

A fifth technique is to invite ourselves into stillness and meditation where we can experience the chatter of our own ego parts and invite our ego beliefs to become part of us, rather than part of our ego 

A sixth technique is to create sessions with a counselor or coach to discuss aspects of our life so we can hear and forgive our own judgment that otherwise might remain hidden.  

Kim: Whew! I think Iím beginning to feel less stressed about this interview and my expectations.

John: Me too!


Kimberly A. Dorniden provides consulting services to corporations and non-profit organizations in the areas of recruiting, executive coaching, merger and acquisitions, culture development, HR administration, policies and handbooks, compensation and reward systems, performance management, and benefit administration.  Kim is a Holistic Coachô and an active member of SHRM and local non-profit human resource groups.