I am writing this slightly under the influence of too much red wine in a local pub which looks a little like a Parisian boudoir…a boudoir with a specialty in Belgian beers and an abundance of sausage and mash. Can there be too many varieties of sausage and mash offered? And the obligatory very expensive crisps which are regrettably very good as well as very expensive so I can’t say I prefer Walkers as I don’t. Although I did refuse a leaving pub bag of chips (see previous post regarding desire to lose weight – doing well so far and don’t want an inebriated desire for carbohydrates to jeopardise days of good work).
So. Relaxation. It sounds a bit of a contradiction, but sometimes I think we need to work at it. Sometimes just lying on the couch and watching Big Brother (resisted it so far this summer) doesn’t cut it. We can retire to bed as stressed as when we first got in from work.
I read a great quotation about living in the moment. It suggested asking ourselves “what do I want to take away from this moment?”
I was walking this morning and asked myself that question. The sun was shining – yeah, we do have sun in the UK sometimes – and there was a soft breeze. I walked past front gardens with spiky plants or roses or overgrown grass. And great trees. And a canal or a river where the water moved so slowly it was almost still. I tried very hard to stop planning, thinking about my goals, that evening, what I was going to do next, the next meal, the next phone call…. And think about now.
There is something glorious, almost decadent about allowing time to slow down almost to a standstill, just to this moment. About telling our other distractions to wait, just for a while. About a concentration on the now. I am tempted to throw in a metaphysical quotation about the sound of one hand clapping (one of my late father’s favourite) but I won’t.
So – try it.
Meditation, prayer, being still…Concentrating hard on an activity so we are lost in it, lost in the flow… Being creative with cooking, gardening, art, ideas…These are other ways of working at relaxation.
ACTION CHALLENGE: Questions for you to ponder –
How do you relax? When do you relax? What works best for you? If you had to rate this area of your life out of 10, how satisfied are you? Is this important to you?
Let me know your answers.