Mid-November 2017 Newsletter
Hello, and an excellent mid-November to you!
Living in a relaxed way
Welcome, or welcome back, to my newsletter.
Today's issue has an article about living in a relaxed way.
Does that sound impossible? Read on, and enjoy!
What if maybe, just maybe, "work" didn't have to mean
"the sweat of your brow", pushing yourself and striving?
And this could apply to working behind a desk or house-work
or yard-work or school-work, or anything else you've
formerly thought of as work? There's often an easier way to do
something, and if we get too stuck in our familiar habits,
we don't even look for a smoother path to the same goal.
It may be as simple as just asking "How else could I do
this?", perhaps taking the bus or train to work instead of
fighting that rush-hour traffic twice a day. Or you might
be able to ride with a co-worker a few times a week. And if
you don't look for a more relaxing way to accomplish the
same end, nothing will change. Who knows -- your boss
may be agreeable to you working from home part of the time.
In addition to commuting, another place I see people who aren't
relaxed is exercise. Joggers who appear to be suffering or even
in pain or angry, clearly aren't having a good time, and may
wind up getting injured if they keep forcing their body to do
what they don't want to do. Think of the top athlete, the
gymnast or martial artist performing complex moves while
seeming to expend no effort. Being relaxed doesn't only
mean lazing on the couch. You can imagine strolling through
your neighborhood in a relaxed way. So can you imagine picking
up the pace and still being relaxed, not straining? See if you
can find a form of exercise you enjoy, which is not a struggle.
A big factor keeping me from being relaxed, whatever I'm doing,
is not being fully present. Often I'm rushing, my mind not on
what I'm doing but on the next task I have to do, or the
one after that. I've found that I can enjoy almost anything
if I pay full attention to the experience, the sights and sounds
and feel of it. This is even true of the warm soapy water
when I'm washing the dishes! I've been doing a daily
for several years, and as a result I seem to be approaching
everything in a more meditative manner, whether I'm doing
it slowly or quickly.
If I'm objective in looking at my past, I was hardly relaxed at
all. I did everything, chores and homework and leisure reading and
exercise, like I was in a race competing to be the first one
finished, or like I was one step ahead of a pursuing predator.
It felt like it wasn't safe to relax, like something would get
me if I did, and I can't even tell you what that imagined
something was. I was in Survival Mode, not fully enjoying my
life. I seemed to be under constant time pressure, like
Alice in the Lewis Carroll books, having to go as fast as
I could just to keep from sliding backwards. I do not recommend
living this way!
So I invite you to take a look at your own life. If you're not
as relaxed as you'd like to be, is there a particular sore spot
calling for your attention? It might be your job, or your
family, or your health. If you had an objective friend looking
at this, what would she recommend? Maybe you need to get some
help with your many responsibilities instead of trying to do
everything alone. Or let yourself fully grieve that big loss
instead of pretending you're "fine" and soldiering on like
nothing happened. Or concentrate on self-care instead of always
caring for others. Or maybe you need to "accept the things you
cannot change", as Alcoholics Anonymous teaches. If you're in
fight or flight, your body and mind are using up their resources.
You want to be in relax and replenish and heal and grow mode,
so you're not just surviving, you're thriving.
To read about using your eyes in a relaxed way,
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You're helping many other people!
Enjoy the remainder of your November.
I'll write again in a few weeks. Take care!