There is a rhythm to life. There are always ups and downs – that’s how it is at every level of existence. One of the keys to being able to relax and lead a balanced life is to accept that life is this way. Surrender to the process. Surrendering is not the same as giving up. It just means that we don’t waste time and energy resisting. That alone helps us to relax. The comment below from Karaj summarises this nicely. It comes from the post, ‘Relax, Enjoy Yourself‘:
06.30 E&M 60 mins. I found it difficult to get up this morning and I felt demotivated during the exercises. I wonder how it is possible to achieve consistency in my life such that even the minor fluctuations are ironed out.
[Karaj: This is how life is. Flow with it. You cannot iron out anything. That is a fantasy.]
That is not to say we should be passive and do nothing. Quite the opposite, we should give everything, but know that attachment and expectation cloud our view. Just because we think things should happen another way does not make us right. Relax, find your balance, and from there you will see things differently.
This appraisal of a young sprinter from one of the world’s greatest ever athletes, is equally as applicable to us in our daily lives. However hard we are working, however fast we’re running, it’s always helpful to relax. And the good news is: it’s a skill – one which we have many opportunities every single day to practise.
Life In The Middle (p.346)
When I was first told that it was better to lead a balanced life between the extremes, I disagreed, arguing that surely the trick is to live more consistently at the top of the range. And that is what most of us try to do, seeking and creating emotions and feelings which ‘make us feel alive’. Experience has taught me, however, that a much more peaceful and sustainable life of contentment and calm can be found in the quiet space at the centre of everything.
(When the breathtakingly impressive free solo climber, Alex Honnold, was asked whether climbing sheer rock faces without any ropes gave him an adrenaline rush, his reply was: ‘No, there’s no adrenaline rush. If I get a rush, it means something has gone horribly wrong. Actually, it’s mellow.‘)
Balance Means Balance (p.281)
This is a journal entry from November 2001, when I discovered just how prone I was to the imbalances of mood. Once I realised that I was trying to maintain my balance at the top of the waveform, a quietness descended. A quietness which made me less excitable and more effective.
Are You Still Breathing? (p.520)
Whatever procedures and methods you discover to help you relax and find your centre, none will be more effective than the simplest of them all: breathe. Whenever you find yourself in a stressful situation, ‘when your mind has rule over you, or your emotions have taken hold’, remember your breathing. Focus your attention there and feel the calmness which follows. Breathing is always with you. You do it anyway, so why not make the most of it.
Additional posts: Drop Everything For A Moment | Relax, Your Future’s On Its Way | Relax, Then Relax Some More | Mondays & Fridays | Quietness & Balance | My Balance Is My Success | Vulnerable When Tired (or Excited)