Relax and wait…

“Your mind will answer most questions if you learn to relax and wait for the answer.”

William S. Burroughs

Sometimes putting down a problem or challenge is the hardest thing in the world to do. Have you ever experienced those days when you can almost see the answer right there in front of you, but it is just beyond your grasp and all you want to do is grab it almost by sheer force of will?

For someone like me, with a strong and determined personality, it feels very counter-intuitive to let go and turn away from something that is right there in front of me demanding to be solved.

Invariably however, when I have the discipline to simply breathe and step away, the next step, or perhaps even the actual answer, will magically appear in my mind.

Cultivating the discipline required to step away and let the mind work is a practice that is still evolving for me. But I know that it works, and I know that it is important. So today I resolve to put down those big things that are actively burdening my mind at the cognitive level and just breathe and let my subconscious do the heavy lifting.

Relax and wait. Two things that are very hard for me to do…

Embrace the taper…

“Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is relax.”

Mark Black

It seems to be harder to relax and disconnect now than at anytime in history. There is always a distraction, there is always more to be done, there is always something calling for your attention. True relaxation can be very hard to find and it can be hard to justify the time when the “to do list” just keeps getting longer and longer.

But sometimes it is the ability to find relaxation that brings to your mind and body exactly the peace that is needed to create the solution for whatever it is that you are seeking to achieve. We aren’t wired to be “on” 100% of the time. Our souls need rest and when we give ourselves the grace to accept and embrace that rest it is amazing what we can accomplish.

Some of my best work has happened during, or immediately after, I have given myself permission to disconnect and relax. I have to remind myself to take the time, it is far easier to just keep the nose to the grindstone and continue working, but that is so counter productive in the long term.

I remind myself that if I were training for a long endurance race I wouldn’t go do a brutally hard workout the day before the marathon. Instead I would follow my training plan and taper down my workouts leading up to the big race.

The same is true of life. We need times of intense training and growth but we also need to build in periods of rest so that we can perform at our optimum level when it really counts. Embrace the taper, make it part of your life plan, it will be the launching pad for incredible results.

The right balance…

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.”

Chinese Proverb

How do you find the right balance between relaxation and tension? To always be relaxed is to not be growing and changing. To have too much tension is to be untrue to yourself and this happens when you are trying to be someone you aren’t.

Questions to ponder. Who am I and how do I need to grow to be an even better version of that person? How can I be sure that the tension I create is positive and not negative? How can I ensure I don’t stray from my core beliefs and principles?

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