Relaaaaaax (said with a stressful tone)


I remember being in labour with our youngest – my apologies to the boys for this bit. The doctor was doing his stuff (no more details needed) and deciding to open theatre for her assisted birth. I was a bit under pressure and he told me to relax. I clearly remember thinking, “Relaaaaaaaax? Are you serious?” I didn’t speak it, I had no words.

That was 14 years ago and today it occurred to me that was probably the last time I thought about trying to relax.

Four kids, two businesses, a number of projects and a speaking career later a lot of people tell me I am amazing. I ‘m not, I’m just busy and you know the saying, busy people get things done. I don’t know exactly when, but in the  last 14 years being stressed became normal for me.

I mean sure, I go away on holidays and relax in the sun but you are supposed to relax on holidays – including the trip to Mexico when I thought someone was going to mug us the entire time we were there. Anyhow I digress.

Being exceptionally busy with work changes and upcoming speaking engagements I made a conscious choice in January to extricate myself from some commitments and to get organised to make other commitments flow better.I didn’t do it to relax, I did it because I thought I would fall apart if I had to add anything else to my life and schedule.

Today I walked into my office and sat at my computer and felt an unusual sensation in my body. I was thinking about what I had to achieve this week and what I had on my horizon and saw that there wasn’t anything pressing and I actually felt myself relax. It’s a strange sensation being relaxed. And in a way that is a little alarming. Don’t get me wrong, I am not creating alarm in my head to replace the stressed feeling I live with (that would be just like the old me, creating chaos to hide chaos) I simply became aware that I liked this feeling and I now have a job to make sure it doesn’t take me another 14 years to remember.

I’m not sure how I will anchor this relaxed feeling so that I make it a part of my life more often. It’s such a new feeling and I bet something will pop up soon to challenge it.

What do you suggest? Do you exist in a state of stress? When was the last time you really felt relaxed? How do you remember to feel relaxed in the real world? As opposed to feeling relaxed in the unreal world of holidays.

I think part of my answer will be to say NO to things that come up and to remember my boundaries and to become aware of when I am going off track. Those are the practical actions that I teach that means I love myself. Debbie Alford reminded me today that being relaxed is about being kind to self.

What do you think?

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