Live the Moment

The animals know how to relax.  It doesn’t matter what comes next.  Animals are content to just be in the now, in this one moment.

Waiting in line at the store, surrounded by stressed people with full carts, ticking off their to do lists, worrying about the time spent between minutes, anxious to get on to the next thing, the lady behind me expressed dissatisfaction at the few tellers.

We began talking about the need to relax.  It turns out, she doesn’t think much about relaxation.   She has her routine, lives a quite life in the country, and only feels stress when she comes into town.  It is the traffic and people who cause her stress.

Why be stressed?  I knew the store would be busy and filled with people trying to get too much done in to little time.  I had no place else to be.  I had no need to hurry.  I had nothing else to do.  Only in that moment, content, I had no stress.

I do have the same to do list as everyone else.  I have shopping, a gift list, wrapping, backing, prep for company and travel.   So how do I do it?  How does a person just relax?

You may not believe this, but relaxing is easy.  Relaxing takes focus.  Yes.  Focus on the things around you, instead of the thing that just happened or the thing that needs to happen next, and then next week.  Take a deep meditative breath and exhale all the body tension away.  Focus on the textures, colors, sounds, and things around you.

Focus on the people right in front of you.  Just enjoy this one moment and relax into the next, and just keep going.

Spinning Plates

Just when you think you have everything in life going smoothly, everything goes sideways.  Things still look normal to anyone outside, but the internal turmoil obliterates peace and focus.  You keep putting one foot in front of the other.  You do all the normal things, not as well, but you struggle to keep going forward.  Everything becomes hard.

Without focus, intention becomes mist and goals become far away dreams.  Operating in the dreamy mist things are dropped, misplaced, forgotten, broken, and daily life becomes a nightmarish prison.   You may call it the blues, being out of sorts, anxiety, or  depression.  Others may call it being negative, or wrong thinking, while you call it being realistic, and seeing things as they are.

How it starts can be mysterious.   One day you feel okay, and you are keeping all of your plates spinning.  Then an unkind word, a thoughtless gesture, a demand that requires immediate attention and external pressures cause distractions, and the plates start to wobble.   For awhile it looks like you will get all your plates spinning again, but there is always another plate to get started, and always another plate starts to wobble.  Until finally, you either stop the plates one by one, or the plates come crashing down.

Fortunately, all things come to an end, and rest goes a long way to setting things right again.  Yes it is cliché, because it is so true, but what you need to do is relax, let go, stop trying to control everything, and give it time.   You may need a little separation from those emotional issues, so take some time, let go and regroup.  Some things must run their course, and all your effort to force an earlier resolution will only add to your troubles.  Some plates need to be allowed to drop.  Some things are beyond your control, no matter how much effort you expend.

Once you are rested life won’t be such a nightmare.  You will be able to see things in a more realistic and focused  way.  Your anxiety and frustration won’t dominate every situation.  You will stop reacting to every wobble as if it is a terrible disaster.  You will have perspective, and renewed energy.

And I will be able to read this very good advice over and over again the next time I feel things are spinning out of control.

 

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