relaxation

Carry On Your Own Strategy

Carry On Your Own Strategy

Nobody wants to learn new coping strategies from the people who they perceive to be orchestrating their immediate discomforts.

Barely Noticed

"Often, change doesn't come trumpeting itself in. It comes in quiet, barely noticed ways. No bolts of lightning and grand entrances here. Just a subtle relaxation into the body. A tiny shift towards where you are. An old belief, an outdated story, seen for what it is. A new path emerging in the darkness. A vague, unspeakable hope dawning in the first light of the day you imagined would never come. Everything the same, everything different, everything always resting in motion, and the mysteries of change forever unresolved."

~ Jeff Foster, from The Deepest Acceptance

The Indispensable Silver Lining

Consolation
by Wisława Szymborska, from Poetry (April 2006)

Darwin.
They say he read novels to relax,
But only certain kinds:
nothing that ended unhappily.
If anything like that turned up,
enraged, he flung the book into the fire.   

True or not,
I’m ready to believe it.

Scanning in his mind so many times and places,
he’d had enough of dying species,
the triumphs of the strong over the weak,
the endless struggles to survive,
all doomed sooner or later.
He’d earned the right to happy endings,
at least in fiction
with its diminutions.

Hence the indispensable
silver lining,
the lovers reunited, the families reconciled,
the doubts dispelled, fidelity rewarded,
fortunes regained, treasures uncovered,
stiff-necked neighbors mending their ways,
good names restored, greed daunted,
old maids married off to worthy parsons,
troublemakers banished to other hemispheres,
forgers of documents tossed down the stairs,   
seducers scurrying to the altar,
orphans sheltered, widows comforted,
pride humbled, wounds healed over,
prodigal sons summoned home,
cups of sorrow thrown into the ocean,   
hankies drenched with tears of reconciliation,
general merriment and celebration,
and the dog Fido,
gone astray in the first chapter,
turns up barking gladly
in the last.

See also: "Wisława Szymborska," by Janusz R. Kowalczyk, Culture.Pl  

 


Charlie Darwin

by Low Anthem, from Oh My God, Charlie Darwin

Set the sails I feel the winds a'stirring
Toward the bright horizon set the way
Cast your wreckless dreams upon our Mayflower
Haven from the world and her decay

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
Fighting for a system built to fail
Spooning water from their broken vessels
As far as I can see there is no land

Oh my god, the water's all around us
Oh my god, it's all around

And who could heed the words of Charlie Darwin
The lords of war just profit from decay
And trade their children's promise for the jingle
The way we trade our hard earned time for pay

Oh my god, the water's cold and shapeless
Oh my god, it's all around
Oh my god, life is cold and formless
Oh my god, it's all around

Find and Create Rest in the Body

Find and Create Rest in the Body

Our attention is habitually drawn to problems. However, we can train ourselves to notice rest and relaxation hiding within our regular routine. Setting aside some time to get more acquainted with what rest feels like in the body can support this exploration.

Utterly at Rest

Time Clock Piece, Tehching HsiehExcerpts from "Just One Thing: Rest," by Rick Hanson:

Tell the truth to yourself about how much time you actually – other than sleep – truly come to rest: not accomplishing anything, not planning anything, not going anywhere. The time when you don’t do anything at all, with a sense of relaxation and ease. No stress, no pressure, nothing weighing on you in the back of your mind. No sense of things undone. Utterly at rest...

Commit to what makes sense to you, in terms of nudging your schedule in a more restful direction, refusing to add new tasks to your own bucket, taking more breaks, or simply helping your own mind be less busy with chatter, complaints about yourself and others, or inner struggles.

Examples:

  • At meals, pause for half a minute with your food before you start eating.
  • When you complete a task, take a break for a few seconds or more before shifting gears to the next one.
  • Promise yourself that you’ll take a minute or more each day to sit quietly and remain present with yourself while doing nothing. (This is an essential type of meditation.)
  • Have real times each day when you truly “clock out” – no longer on task or accountable to anyone.
  • Encourage your mind to come to rest at least occasionally. Tell yourself you can worry/problem-solve/grumble later. The mind/brain is like a muscle (for example, using willpower consumes extra glucose much like lifting weights does) and it needs to stop working sometimes to replenish and rebuild itself.

Read the entire article here...

At Ease and Relaxed

Excerpt from a thank you letter I received after sharing strategies for finding and creating rest with a group of very attentive and engaged high school students:

linworth-letter “Overall, the day was a success in demonstrating that the path of wellness can begin with a few small steps that are approachable and fun. Students and other community members enjoyed the offerings at the Day of Wellness. The relaxation techniques workshop was a success. Students and staff took away valuable information on ways in which to relieve stress that was timely as finals were just around the corner. Attendees left the session feeling at ease and relaxed despite the abrupt ending due to the fire alarm.”