Monday, February 8, 2010


When I wrote that last post, it hadn't yet occurred to me how small a part relaxation has in my own life. Granted, through light meditation before bedtime, I'm able to sleep no matter my stress load or state of relaxation. But its not a natural relaxation, which is what I had in mind from that previous post.

Relaxation is generally considered as a state free of stress. Both the Eu-stress, which is considered positive stress, and the more common Stress, which is considered negative. Note that it does not say "free from stressors."

Stress is one of the epidemics of our age, and as such, is often blamed for any host of illnesses and ailments. Basically, everything from chronic knee pain to kidney stones to migraines.

In a society such as ours, the elimination of stress altogether is not an option. If you leave your cell phone off, an ailing loved one might not be able to get a hold of you. If you don't check your email, you won't have to sift through spam, but the big presentation from your boss will not be given to you.

How do you get around this? Lately, Sean and I have been reading a series of books from a man named Seth Godin. The latest book in his series is called "Lynchpin". It is basically a way of thinking and behaving so that instead of being a cog in the machine, you are in fact the lynchpin holding everything in place.

This is not to say that all the blame for the things that go wrong will be your fault. No no no... it means that though you might be replaceable, you are indispensable. And therefore, the powers from above will not want to replace you.

What does this have to do with Relaxation?

I'm getting there, don't worry! In the chapter I'm reading, he talks about finishing things. Its not that progress is bad, or long term projects either. But, think about it: if something is done, do you stress about it? No. Period.

Mistakes, failures, cutting loses... those are all finished. Done. Moving on from a project that has failed is not reprehensible, in fact, it could be considered admirable. If you realize that hitting a nail with your hand is futile and dangerous, do you keep doing it, or do you go out and get a hammer? You would go out and get a hammer. Or maybe, you have a friend who has a hammer and would be willing to help you!

Pride often doesn't let us let go of our woes. But it is that stubborn pride that sets us up for an even bigger fall, or quite possibly for a nail in your hand(I've done that, it really hurts).

One of the simplest things that I've realized is that if something is bothering me to the point where I can't sleep, I ask myself a few questions about it.

1. Can I really do anything about it right now?
2. Will getting up and fixing it make a difference tonight?
3. Does anyone other than me care about this issue?
4. Could it actually wait till the morning without causing more damage?

Generally, the first question and some light meditation are all I need to fall fast asleep.

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