Journal – The Courage To Relax

I’ve got 10 min to journal and I woke up this morning realizing how much I need to. My energy as I awoke was….rushed, tense. I realize I haven’t taken so much as 15 min for myself in silence in I don’t know how long. I can feel it. It doesn’t serve me well.

My thoughts turn to the word…relax. I believe the most difficult thing for most of us (myself included BIG TIME) is with courage, regardless of the situation…RELAX.

Now-I’m sitting in the most beautiful beach home on the southern coast of South Africa about 40 min outside of Capetown. An extra-ordinary working vacation. On top of several extra-ordinary vacations I’ve had this year. I see clearly that relaxing has nothing to do with my surroundings and everything to do with my inner state of mind and energy. There is a clear distinction between sleep (which we all need physically) rest (which is different from sleep, switching our attention to something fun and fulfilling) vacation (which is completely external) and RELAXATION (which is something I believe can be created any time, anywhere).

How can I relax? By remembering that life is not nearly as serious as our mind makes it out to be. By remembering that EVERYTHING that happens is meant to. There is no need to control, plan, set goals, strive, struggle, wrestle…
The purpose of life and the development of mindfulness lies in relaxing what has become rigid. In every way, shape and form. Relaxing a schedule, an expectation, a goal, a hope, a dream. It is about letting go of what I should do in certain situations, how I can best help another, certainly what another thinks of me and even whether an outcome or experience was good or bad.

Jayem, from the Way of Mastery, put it this way:(I’m paraphrasing)
we worry about what we should do and think we know what other people should do.  We think we know why we do what we do-a troubled childhood, a bad break up, so our kids will have a better life.  But the reality is..we know nothing!  We don’t even know how we breathe!  We are soooo not in charge here-so take the brave step to simply RELAX!

I am reminded of my dog, Max.  We have a thing we do.  When he is lying down, but still holding his head up to look around, I start by quietly commanding him “REEEE-LAAAAAX.”  He turns his head my way, but doesn’t relax his neck.  So I try a little louder, “REEEE-LAAAAAX”  His head drops down to the floor, but pops back up quickly.  I stand near him and now start repeating my mantra more frequently and combine it with a hand gesture—moving both hands from an upright position to downward position-as if I am miming or pushing head head down without touching him.  Finally, the temptation gets to him and his head drops with a hard “thunk.”  He’s out.  He’s relaxed.  Once again, he’s my guru.

So….as I watch the waves crash in and retreat, I awe at the ostrich running by in the sand. As I am caressed by light streaming in the surround-view windows and double Dutch doors…I relax. I breathe. I know that everything that happens to me is for a reason and because it is absolutely the only way I can learn each lesson and learn to relax in any and every situation.

You may have noticed, this isn’t a blog it’s my journal. Daily journaling is a beautiful way to practice. I invite you to join the journal conversation and meet yourself in the pages at:
You will receive a no cost course “Thoughts That Make You Feel Good.”

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