I’m always looking for way to relax and release because frankly I can be a nervous nelly, see previous snippy post. Dining out can be stressful, I mean, it’s fun but those moments before the first bite...well, they're always harrowing. That doesn’t go away, ever. Frankly, vigilance is good: it keeps me allergic-response free! But relaxing, going with the flow, I’d like to get more into that zone.
So I was reading my Oprah Magazine last month (yes, I love Oprah especially her makeover shows and her health/food ones) and the Martha Beck article, life coach extraordinaire, struck a chord, a few chords actually. But what has really excited me was the concept that she talked about in her article “The Five Best Pieces of Advice” so much so that I’ve written it on a hot pink stickie and it’s now on my computer as a daily reminder:
“Every obstacle is just an opportunity to relax.”
Doing something scary? Trying something new? Meeting a challenge head on? Overcoming a particularly difficult life/love or work obstacle?
Instead of tensing or clenching or tightening: relax.
Doesn’t that sound like a great idea?!
Here’s what Martha Beck says: “Cole [one of her dogs] is chasing a Frisbee, leaping into the air to make his catches more spectacular. I notice that when he's getting ready to run, his body doesn't tighten—it loosens. At full speed, his muscles seem as fluid as running water." Fantastic visual image, I'd like to be that dog.
Martha continues: "Here's one of the very few generalizations I believe unconditionally: There is not one useful thing we can do that we don't do better when we're relaxed. The harder, scarier, and more important the task you're undertaking, the more you'll benefit from relaxation. Are you speaking before a crowd of thousands? Relax! Sitting in a job interview? Relax! Being physically attacked? Any black belt will tell you that the first thing you should do, against all instinct, is relax, relax, relax!”
My new goal: relax in the face of fear, real or imagined. Relax when that's the last thing I want to do, instinctively and with my whole heart. Relax when fear is gripping me. Relax and maybe the world might relax around me, maybe just a little.