“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”
The tendency is to do, and do, and do…and keep doing until done.
Our cultural work ethic values pressing forward and figuring it out, whatever it takes.
There’s a lot to be said for pressing forward, yet especially with an easy touch.
When the chips are down, we often go head down, nose to the grindstone and get so tight that we only breathe in.
We forget that tight means no openings for entry…for new ideas, innovative approaches and, God forbid, playfulness.
Literally, I can see myself having two completely contrary personalities at times. When in a relaxed state of playfulness and connection, I can attract play partners like the biggest magnet on the planet. Yet, when I’m tightly wound, trying to figure out through smarts or strategy the best ways to go, often the flow stops…as well as those wanting to be around me.
Winston Churchill, a man with the fate of the world on his shoulders, painted to open his mental creative faculties for battle.
Thomas Edison, one of the greatest inventors of all time, was an avid fisherman–with no bait because he wanted solitude and inspiration, not fish.
Researchers have discovered that people exhibiting relaxed playfulness appear to be better at coping with stress, can easily see things from new perspectives, and are more likely to report leading active lifestyles.
It’s in those moments where it really counts that our exhibiting such playfulness has its greatest impact. Yet, in those moments, a playful attitude just doesn’t make logical sense.
The gold is in the contrary action.
In our second half, we can become rigid in how we have forced things to happen in the past. As Monty Python says, “and now for something completely different”—becoming playful—can feel different, and yet far better for our long run of doing what we came here to do.
So, the next time the tight wad of forcing an outcome wraps you up, contrary action such as loosening your grip may save the color in your knuckles and even incite some chuckles.
Laughing and relaxing in the face of challenges and tribulations may be the smartest strategy to play.
Here’s a few pointers on how to dig on relaxspiration.
First, you have to get really good at noticing the tightness.
Start feeling your body when you’re doing what seems relaxing and easy and then compare it to times when you’re in the heat of forcing something to happen.
If you’re so tight most of the time that a piece of charcoal could turn to diamond in your presence, it will be hard to for you to see it yourself. Do a tightness survey with your friends. Find out how they’d rate you on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of diamond mining.
Notice the worldly weight of the moment, when everything seems to hinge on the answer, the path, the route to take absolutely needing to be on the table hours before.
When there’s no time to waste and every slight delay or challenge meets with irritability and a few choice expletives, just ignore the logic…and step away from the critical-importance machine.
It’s really not worth all that tension in your body. Your health and well-being are of much greater long-term importance.
Give it up! Don’t take yes for an answer. The answer at this moment is no: no to working harder, no to figuring it out, no to breaking necks and backs to force a result.
Don’t give up, but do give up the struggle. This isn’t the way to the peaceful, playful and purposeful person you choose to be. Accept that you have the right to take a contrary action for the health and well-being of everyone.
Just laugh all over yourself. Find something to do that breaks the rigid, clenched jaw. Getting into the practice of laughing in the face of your moments of all-importance could be the best habit to bring into a Back Forty of contribution. And a good laugh is always a contribution to everyone.
“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”
-William S. Burroughs
We re-did our first broadcast because the first version has poor sound quality since I was out of the office with low bandwidth. If you’re still intrigued, watch the original version below, you’ll be able to handle the sound quality!