Tension and Relaxation

Aug 16, 2023


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

~Chinese Proverb


Does the word “should” bring tension to your body? I know it does mine, along with those thinking-thoughts. And, at times, I can go down a serious rabbit-hole.

I should:

  • be kinder to myself
  • not be so self-critical
  • be more generous
  • be less judgmental
  • know more, be more, give more, believe more
  • be a better mother, better teacher, better friend
  • let go of this and let go that… etc, etc.

Maybe you have your own list? Seems like we all do.

A friend suggested that when the “should’s” come to my mind, it is a sign of should not. I agree because those should’s are not coming from Divine Love, nor are they compassionate and loving. Instead they are coming from the ego, the thinking brain, which is usually in the past or the future—it’s that part of myself that feels she’s not enough.

We are enough, I am and so are you. We can feel it, when we choose to reside in present moment awareness.

When I want to release going down a rabbit-hole any further, I consciously relax and expand my breath, it lets the tension go, and I return to neutrality. It’s a quick and simple form of meditation that works.

There are many different techniques to expand your self-awareness. Experiment and find out what works for you. Here are a few suggestions:

  • qigong movement: wild horse shaking (standing and shaking the body) letting go physically
  • listen and/or dance to a song that lifts your spirit
  • go for a walk outside and embrace nature’s abundance
  • call a friend, and vent for 3-5 minutes
  • take the time to sit (5- 10- 20-minutes) and let the mind settle
  • write down your thinking-thoughts on paper (option to burn it afterwards)

May you discover what clears your mind, calms your emotions, and enhances your ability to feel supported to flow with each moment of the day. Rinse and repeat often. It’s a lifetime practice, not one and done.


photo: Erik Nystrom




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