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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Relax And Renew-It's Up To You!


Greetings and Felicitations!

Today I want to talk about something that we rarely do, or rarely do well--relax! If you are like me, you have that inner agenda inscribed on your mind. Therefore, even if you do sit down for a little bit, perhaps from exhaustion, do you really unwind? That is my friend Renee, above, a yoga instuctor, doing just that!

Here are some tips that I have gleaned over the years.

1) Don't watch the clock, and remove your watch occasionally. This will slow you down.

2) Take a "Zen" break, close your eyes and count your blessings while waiting in line, or waiting in general.

3) Stretch, this relaxes the tension in your body. Inhale and lift your shoulders up to your ears, then exhale and loser them.

4) Listen to music, keep is soft--New Age, Classical, Soft Rock. This lowers anxiety levels.

5) Recite the Serenity Prayer; pray to "Accept the things I cannot change, have the courage to change the things I can, and have the wisdom to know the difference".

6) Time Out! Turn off your TV, computer, cell-phone, and Blackberry for a few hours each day.

7) Practice a slow hobby--gardening, yoga, Pilate's, needlework, painting, writing, etc., with meditative qualities.

8) Take a scented bath--lavender produces alpha waves, which relax you.

9) Pet your cat or dog

10) Breathe with slow deep breaths, breathe in for a count of 5, hold for a count of 2, breathe out for a count of 5. This mimics your sleep breathing.

And!

"There is more to life than increasing its speed." --Mahatma Gandi

"Nothing excellent can be done without leisure."--Andre- Gide

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."--Ovid

"To be quite oneself one must first waste a little time."--Elizabeth Bowen


Here's a poem about relaxing from my book, Water Running Downhill! Enjoy!


THE ZONE

While sequestered as a willing tenant in
Your self-made prison of busyness
Dream of ways you can be free

To give yourself the gift of
A precious few moments, no distractions
Lock out your outer “life” and meditate

Find that it is almost a new experience, as
You may have forgotten the sensation
Of pure awareness, and nothing else

So used to being the “amazing balancing act”
You have found it hard to stop doing and planning
And just become still

Discover that one can see so much clearer
When traveling at
The speed of now


Peace out!

(: >) Joan

Resources:

Carl Honore, In Praise of Slowness: How a Worldwide Movement Is Challenging the Cult of Speed.

Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer.

Lori Erickson, "Not So Fast, How to Take it Easy In a Hurry-up, Stressed-out World", Family Circle, 11/29/05.

Norine Dworkin-McDaniel, "Love Your Life", Family Circle, 10/18/05.

4 comments:

  1. Joan, I do many of the things on your list. Very good advice. I was running wide open for a couple of years and didn't know that I was, but now I am practicing working at a slower pace, relaxing more and sleeping more and better.
    I listen to a CD by Belleruth Naparstek every night as I go to sleep and I'm snoozing quite well.

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  2. Great advice. Everyone needs to relax more and the world would be a kinder and more gentle place to live.
    Sam

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  3. Joan Ellen,
    Wonderful advise. I sure needed this today. It seems the more I hurry, the more I get behind. Thanks for this uplifting posting.

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  4. Of course, at MY house, "the speed of now" is pretty swift! I think we're slowly realizing that "multiplexing" isn't quite the panacea we thought it was, but I still find myself looking at people sitting on a front porch or taking a leisurely walk and think, "Don't they have things to DO?!" Much wisdom in those quotes from Gandhi and Ovid.

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