Tension is nothing more than muscles poised to move. Now, if you're running from a moose stampede, that will be of some (admittedly not much) help. But most of the time, those muscles just ready themselves for nothing--and they do it so often that it seems easier, in the end, simply to stay that way.
Enter chronic tension. Tension is the elbow nudging you in the ribs, the voice whispering, for no reason other than a short attention span and a cruel delight in constant movement, 'hey, hey, can we go now?'
It doesn't matter that you're reading a lovely book in the hour before you have to go to work, that a moment ago you were delightfully content. Tension wants to move, to go. Even to work. And then once you get there, it wants to go home, back to the book, robbing you of any sense of place, of peace, of free time. It's what pulls you by the hair through your Fridays, steals your Sundays, and makes you doubt yourself and how you spend your every waking moment.
Discomfort--physical, mental, emotional, or situational is something we all do our best to avoid. Right? Human nature. But some discomforts remain--discomfort with one's body; unease around a certain social situation; frustration in the acquiring of some skill or another. We spend so much energy either avoiding (read: ignoring/distracting) those feelings or berating ourselves for having them in the first place ("I should be a better person...etc").
First of all...that *should* thing? Well, that's a subject for another post; short answer, stop the should-ing. But most importantly--you've got to let those discomforts in. Right?? They're just going to keep knocking. Or, perhaps a better metaphor--the telemarketer is going to keep calling until you take the two minutes to pick up the phone and say, firmly, clearly: REMOVE ME FROM YOUR LIST (please & thank you).
Done and done.
Same thing here. Let that discomfort in. Feel it out. What does it want? Chances are, as soon as you feel it, it g...
See, here's the thing. I know there are two ways of approaching a task--the optimist/opportunity route and the pessimist/drudgery route.
I know this. But I'm not sure I know how to feelhow to know this... I can use every tool in my yogi/herbanista toolbox, but I still have to fake my way toward optimism, toward believing that things are opportunities rather than obligations.
So, I begin to wonder if this is a chemical reaction? Genetic predisposition? Like being born right-handed or left? Can people really change that mind-set? Or is it always an effort, always so much work?
I don't know. But I can't believe we were meant to work that hard.
For me, the battle against anxiety and depression, tension and resistance had ruled my life for years.
But then I realized I was thinking of it the wrong way. Why is it a battle? Why was I focusing on that battle? What if I focused on everything around that battle? What if I quieted that struggle by heightening the peace that inevitably came between each dissonant sound?
And it works. It works. But, here's what happens: usually, we have moments of absolute clarity and feel as though we’ve conquered our demons, but then, right around days 3-5 (ish), they come roaring back, fiercer than ever.
This is tension. This is resistance. This is what happens when we resist the moment we’re in. We get anxious. We feel as though there’s a rift between where we are and where we want to be.
One of the first tools at our disposal is relaxation. I know—it’s hard; it takes time to learn to relax.
The key—NOT JUDGING yourself for how you feel. As soon as the tension creeps in, move...