Wednesday, July 25, 2012

I Crashed and Burned So You Don't Have To! Stop Your Stress Before It Kills You!

How to Relieve Stress from Work and Life

I crashed and burned so you don't have to!


I know what its like to work the 9 to 5 grind, which in many cases is more like 7 to 7 or even worse. With traffic, deadlines, implementing new policies and procedures, trying to succeed inside systems that seem almost destined to make you fail, the stress level can be over the top.

Even though you may not enjoy your job, you don't dare quit because there are entirely too many people out of work making finding a new one even harder. And how would you support yourself and your family?

Lets not forget about the financial issues of a mortgage, car payments, college tuition, extravagant vacations, insurance, medical bills, and all the rest that force you to trade your time for dollars.  Sometimes it feels like you are selling your Soul - at least that's how it felt to me.

And what about relationship stress? How much stress do you experience because there is disharmony between you and your spouse, your boss, your parent, your child, a co-worker, a sibling, your neighbor, or anyone else you interact with on a routine basis?

Oh yes, I almost left out that pain in the patootie stress called poor health. When some aspect of your health isn't up to par, nothing seems to work. It affects everything you do from making poor decisions, to snapping at your loved ones, to missing work.  

I've been there with all of those. And it almost killed me.

 "I was very successfully climbing the corporate ladder. I traveled often and enjoyed what many would consider to be the finer things in life: cruises to the Caribbean; limo rides to black tie affairs in Manhattan; little red sports cars; weekend jaunts skiing in New England, staying in slope-side condos with fireplaces and Jacuzzis; dinner parties; travel in my company's Learjet; 5-star restaurants and hotels . . . you get the idea.

But along with the material success came severe stress. It was quickly destroying my health and any hopes I had at happiness.

I was one of four managers developing "The Bayer Factory" - a state of the art facility and workforce to manufacture Bayer aspirin. It would be a self-directed work team with the best equipment out there.

Empowering people to work together, teaching them the communication, problem solving, and technical skills necessary to one day run their department on their own was a dream job for me. But, as has been true on several occasions in my life, all of that changed in the blink of an eye.

It was early one Friday morning. The team leader called me into his office to share the news that the company was doing a major management lay off. Those of us lucky enough (or not) to survive the cut were being reassigned. The Bayer Factory was being disbanded.

My new position was that of a front-line supervisor in another department. Several of my closest friends, business colleagues, and even a few of those in upper management whom I greatly admired, had all been let go.

It was a devastating day.

And then it became a nightmare.

I hated front-line supervision. It was a job I had refused time and time again. Many companies like their upper management staff to have front line supervisory experience. They feel it makes you a better manager if you understand the nitty-gritty of what happens on the production floor. I was being groomed for upper management, so the job was repeatedly thrust at me.

I'd worked alongside enough supervisors to know that it was not something I was cut out for or desired. People were constantly pulling at you, asking questions, needing assistance immediately, sometimes complaining, whining, or finger pointing. Whenever the job was offered, I always turned it down.

Yet, here it was, plopped in my lap. I had no real choice - be a front line supervisor or find a new job. I only had the weekend to decide.

Depending on the dynamics between the people on the floor, front line supervision can be a lot of fun or it can be like beating your head against a brick wall. Many days for me, it was the latter.

The company decided to implement a plant-wide computer system to track inventory. Computers were being put onto every production line and the material handlers would be doing all the data entry when they brought pallets of packaging components to the line. Many of the people in those positions had never used a computer. It became my job to teach them and to handle implementation on the production floor.

As the system went live, my name was called over the intercom about once every five minutes. I rushed from one data entry disaster to another all day long. Sometimes three or more people stood in line to ask me questions. Every decision I made impacted production for the day.

After a year of front-line supervision and implementing this new computer system, one of my employees told me I looked like I had aged 10 years in the past year. The stress was more than I could bear.

So, I did the only thing left to do . . . I hit the wall. I crashed and burned. Term it any way you wish. The bottom line is, I had a complete stress-induced meltdown." (excerpt from Peering Through the Veil: The Step by Step Guide to Meditation and Inner Peace by Debbie Takara Shelor.)

Hitting rock bottom was the greatest gift that the Divine Presence (by whatever name) has ever given me. It was my moment to discover the truth about who I am, my priorities, my gifts, my strengths, and what the Universe had in store for my life - which wasn't at all what I'd been living.

I used to think that I knew a lot about how to make life work, how to be happy,  and successful.

What that moment taught me is that I knew very little about such things. And because my little ego was bruised sufficiently enough, I was willing to listen to the still small voice within and learn from those who magically and synchronistically crossed my path.

And boy did I get an education!

I learned how to:
  • lead a stress-free life,
  • flow with life instead of against it,
  • do what I love and get paid for it,
  • have nurturing uplifting relationships,
  • feel happy, fulfilled, and at peace most of the time,
  • enjoy each precious moment instead of regretting the past and fearing the future, and
  • so much more.
I crashed and burned . . . so you don't have to.

Don't wait until the stress is so great that you end up with a debilitating disease or something else you truly don't want. Start taking actions now to turn it around and find the joy, peace, and fulfillment you so deserve.

Get Peering Through the Veil: The Step by Step Guide to Meditation and Inner Peace - available August 24th.

Image by Bark 


  1. #WOW Debbie, I just love your honesty as so many people choose to deny their journey especially if it was difficult. I know when I hit the same place over 10 years ago it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened to me . What a glorious site Thank you

    1. Thanks Mary Joyce. I'm one of those spiritual adventurers that know I'm out there blazing trails for others. The road is not always easy and the cliffs can be steep in sections, but there always seems to be the perfect person or bit of information that shows up at exactly the right time to help me through. It is so wonderful to know that I'm on the other side of the ugliness of my past. True healing is such a blessing and my mission is to help others achieve theirs. Thanks for taking the time to stop by my site and share. Have a deLightful day, Takara

  2. Wow, Debbie, it's amazing you survived that! Glad you did. Thanks for being so transparent and allowing others to learn from your journey. That takes courage.

    Lynn Smith
    Joint Venture Women

    You’re invited to sign up for “Tips, Tricks & More at

  3. Hi Debbie,

    I sooo get the Universal 2x4. I ended up with several medical challenges before I finally "Got it". Now I do what I Love every day. Awesome.

    I could have kept saying "no" to what the Universe was telling me but saying yes was the biggest gift I gave myself. It came with facing a lot of internal fears about what the "World" would think which I had to release. Now I would not turn back for anything!

    Amanda Maynard
    Inner Guidance Coach/Spiritual Mentor
    Grab your copy of
    "Keys to Getting Unstuck and Connecting with Spirit!"

  4. I love this post Debbie! Thank you for sharing your journey to "Rock Bottom" and how it led you to many gifts.

    I have the privilege of working with many mid-career women and men who can related to your story - as they've outgrown an old career path but don't have clarity yet about the next direction. And you are so right that the experience can ultimately lead to a whole new way of Being and working!

    I look forward to reading more in your blog.


    Rikk Hansen
    Founder, Brilliant NEXT

    Kindling Your Next LifeWork ~ to Blaze with Purpose & Passion!
    Career Renewal Special Report:

  5. Love the article, and boy can I relate. Keep up the good work

  6. Hi Takara!

    You are preaching to the choir! I remember totally busting my butt in my 20's to run a mortgage company for a woman that ultimately didn't value what I did and refused to pay me my commissions when I left.

    I sacrificed my health, my relationships, and a good chunk of my 20's because that job took everything I had.

    And in the end... I had nothing to show for it anyway.

    So I'm a huge advocate of taking time for self-care and things that I love outside of work (because I do love what I do now).

    The key for me is to schedule time away from work before I make my work schedule. Otherwise, it's too easy to keep putting it off.

    Thanks again!

    PJ Van Hulle
    Executive Director
    Real Prosperity, Inc.

    Get your free report:
    “The Top 5 Keys to Financial Success”

  7. Great advice... dealing with stress is something I battle with on a daily basis.

  8. Hi Debbie

    What a great way to share with people about how important it is for them to understand what gets and keeps them in flow. You knew what kind of work suited your strengths best...

    Unfortunately a lot of organisations don't listen and have their own set ideas about competencies and career paths that often end up with very talented people falling victim to the Peter Principle, or as in your case, worse.

    Though for you it may have been a blessing in disguise - it doesn't have to be so extreme though does it?

    Una Doyle

    “I work with corporate leader/managers with Everest-like workloads, who are exhausted attempting to do more with an ever-shrinking pool of resources. I help them to achieve and exceed their numbers, get a good night’s sleep and be able to face themselves in the mirror in the morning.”

    1. Hi Una: No it DEFINITELY doesn't have to be that hard. But some of us refuse to go down without a fight. LOL. Now, after much healing, personal and spiritual growth, the Universe simply has to send me the tiniest "negative" signal and I'm off looking at and healing the root cause. Because it truly doesn't have to be hard. Thanks for stopping by, Takara

  9. Awesome. I definitely will get the book. I have been going through much stress lately with family issues, but have no practice in meditation, as much as family and friends tell me it is important. So, thank you!

  10. Sing it! One of the horribly perverse aspects of stress is that it can build up to toxic levels before the person recognizes it. Like many other regimens, stress reduction must be a regular daily regimen, whether you think you need it or not!

    Pamela Parker
    Attorney, licensed in Texas, caring all over the place

  11. Great article, Takara. I had a similar meltdown that I write about in my e-book "Panic Sucks: How I Lost it and Got it Back Again...and How You Can, Too!"

    I'm glad that both of us were able to make our lives work for us after a big wakeup call!

  12. Hi Debbie,

    Thanks for taking the hit for us, so we don't have to! Love the title because it's so true.

    If we are brave to share all that we've been through we can have such an impact on others.

    I have to say WOW - this brought back so many memories. I used to travel 3 weeks out of the month, every month for a year, when I worked in corporate. I loved it while I did it, but it didn't keep my life at home in tact and I never realized how exhausted I was until I stopped.

    So thanks for sharing and giving hope to others so they can notice before it takes them crashing down.


  13. Takara, that's some scary stuff. I know exactly what you were experiencing. It is all too common now.

  14. Hi Debbie,

    This is an incredible testament to the power within!

    Although it took a meltdown for you to get there, you still had it within yourself to get back up and push forward.

    I'm inspired!

    Thanks for sharing your story!


    1. You are very welcome! I do it with great joy because I know when the right person reads it, it touches their heart. Have a great day, Takara

  15. What an amazing story. I totally resonate with it, and I also have learned the divine connection is the best healing ever.

  16. Thanks for sharing! Once I walked out of a job with "no where" to go. I found another job and never looked back. Now, I am on the true path of entrepreneurship. Great to connect with you!

  17. I got tired just reading that! Glad that you made it through to the "other side".
    I've been there too and stepped away as well. My life is now unrecognizable.
    I agree, stop and smell those roses!
    "If I had my life to live over I’d dare to make more mistakes next time. I’d relax, I would limber up. I would be sillier than I have been this trip. I would take fewer things seriously. I would take more chances. I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers. I would eat more ice cream and less beans…If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have…I would start barefoot earlier in the spring and stay that way later in the fall. I would go to more dances. I would ride more merry-go-rounds. I would pick more daisies." — Nadine Stair

    1. Love the quote. I have been known to climb more mountains and swim more rivers than most people, but there are still things we can all do to savor each precious moment - as if it might be our last. Thanks so much for stopping by, Takara

  18. Love this article! Thanks for sharing.

  19. Hey Debbie,
    I have a really similar story - high pressure corporate job that killed my soul and made me sick. I'm a healer and energy worker now too. So wonderful to be on the other side of sick and broken down and helping others to wake up to do the same. Thanks for sharing your story.

  20. Thank you for sharing your journey. We all have one and you found a terrific way to persevere and find your calling.

    It's definitely important to take care of you first, before you can help anyone else. I learned from a teacher of mine about 8 years ago that she would say to her husband, "After me, you come first." I love that quote. It's just so perfect. And, I stop and remember that whenever I am feeling stressed or overwhelm. And, I assess where I am at and what I am doing - I set a time when I will finish and then take a break, again, for a set period of time.

    Sabra Sasson
    Attorney and Mediator
    Specializing in Residential Real Estate, Divorce Mediation and Prenups

  21. Great story! It shows that some of our worst experiences can actually be a blessing in disguise and change our lives for the better.

    Lisa MacDonald
    Transcribble Virtual Assistance

    1. That is definitely what I have found to be true. Not always easy in the moment . . . but so worth it! Thanks for stopping by, Takara