To stress or not to stress can be a choice. Unhealthy stress is feeling out of control, thus, thrusting your self into a fight-flight state. You can feel chased by tasks, time constraints and unmet goals. You can feel threatened by social rejection, embarrassment and ridicule. When your thinking is concentrated in desires, actions and duties, you become imbalanced, like breathing out yet never breathing in. The imbalance is a state of dis-ease like many ailments we combat with pills of relief.

As the movie The Matrix reveals two different experiences attained by taking one pill or another, we can choose to take in one experience or the other within the same situation. Stress mode and peace mode exist like two parallel worlds in the same time. While internal mindfulness can shift perception, external environment affects the peaceful balance within as well. As seasons change, the environment changes. Changes create both stress and harmony. The shift to summer intensified my awareness of environment as The Matrixrevealed extremely different realities coming from small choices.

In these first days of real summer warmth, as I was dancing as frantically fast as I could among mortgage applications, writing deadlines, lawyers and loved ones, I fantasized about taking a day in the country. The stress salsa whirled from New York City to Europe, Westchester, California, Connecticut and Florida. With my smartphone in hand for texts, emails, phone calls, weather reports, GPS, train schedules and other apps, I lived as a loyal citizen in the electronic state created by my techno generation. I packed each hour with a half day of work, as if I could manage to squeeze a few lifetimes into one. Technology facilitated a faster, fuller and more frantic life.

As my activities increased through the week, my body began to buzz with the mingling electric currents of computers, TVs, radio and, of course, smartphones. My heartbeat increased its rhythm to Starbucks jazz. The muscles in my neck and back tightened into painful cords. The bones in my forehead began to feel like shattering glass. My body was telling me, “All is not well.”

As I finished my last appointment late on Saturday morning, I realized that I had a choice. I could run around in town following my red notebook to-do list or escape to the green countryside. I felt like Morpheus was offering me the option to take a red or a green pill.

The red pill would fill my to-do list notebook with little checks like stars on the good-girl chart. I could collect more material objects, move my things around and make accomplishments. I could show these items to my friends and brag to myself about how capable I am.

The green pill would set me in my car heading north toward the mountains into unknown territory. I would be alone, without accountability to my notebooks or to others. I would simply be without anything to show for the hours I spend wandering.

Accomplishments? Or nothing? I had a choice to make in the moment.

I chose the green pill.

I glided up the parkway taking in the vision of new green leaves on the indigenous trees. White blossom covered dogwoods, purple lilacs and pastel wisteria occasionally contrasted the greenery. For the most part, I absorbed green.

Green soaked in through my eyes, skin and nose as I drove with open windows in the warm spring air. I felt my breath become smoother, my heart beating slower and my muscles melting. The chlorophyll-rich environment seemed to hug me, and whisper, “All is well.” I noticed that my energy began to balance. My mind, body and soul felt harmonious. Even the temperature of my skin seemed pleasantly perfect.

The affect of the green pill wears off after returning back to my house, my office and my daily routine. Back in my busy week, I frantically take notes in my little red notebook while speaking to lawyers, brokers and advisers. My heart starts racing, the pressure in my head increases and my muscles start tensing. I look out of the window at the green grass getting watered by the rain. I remember that I have a choice.

Creating peace vs. stress requires aggressive action to counter busy activity with absorbing loving and calming energies. Every season gives an opportunity to balance. As the warm sun stimulates a bustle of goings-on, you can harmonize activity with tranquility as you breathe in summer’s green vibration of peace. The stress of this season has its remedy in the green pill of nature’s prominent summer color.

Green notes:

Green is the color associated with the heart chakra.
Green is a vibration of 35 trillions of light ether, a middle level vibration of all the colors.
Green is the tone of quiet, life-supporting and mental balance.
Green is the color of unselfish action — the unconditional love of the universe.