Day 12: Relax.

“If you are not enjoying the ride, then you’re not really on it”–Ini Anana

If you have had a busy week then you probably won’t need much persuasion to accept today’s self love challenge. So I promise to keep today’s entry short and sweet, so you can get to the important business of relaxing. Do you find it easy to genuinely relax? Without being mindful, I would easily have a tendency to be a “busy relaxer” with my mind still perusing what has to be done while I appear to be unwinding. Deepening our spiritual practice from yesterday’s challenge gradually fosters an increased capacity to relax as we begin to trust that you aren’t responsible for everything beyond our control. Allowing ourselves to pause and relax keeps us in the natural flow of our true essence, bolstering our sense of self appreciation. So why do most of us generally feel guilty about doing nothing while relaxing? I believe it stems from attaching more value to an outcome instead of the process. This creates the mentality that whatever is happening now is less valuable than what’s to come, which keeps us anxious, not fully present and unsatisfied with ourselves. Therefore, relaxing is a form of self acceptance, whereby freeing ourselves from the need to prove our worth enables us to simply BE ourselves. Releasing the constant pressure of ‘doing’ gives us the impetus to enjoy ourselves in our most authentic state, enhancing our self esteem and awareness. Without consciously switching our minds from the doing mode, we may remain perpetually distracted and tense, making it hard to enjoy even our desired rewards. Thus, by enabling us to detach our worth from external happenings, relaxing may offer the self awareness necessary to implement many of the prior self love principles.

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Believing that we always need to “do” or accomplish something in order to feel productive may create a viscous cycle of perceived inadequacy and temporary validation that keeps us internally insecure. More so, busy does not necessarily yield productivity if we are running on diminished inspiration and energy. Feeling good enough (within ourselves) in our relaxed state gives us clarity about what truly makes us happy and liberates us from simply doing what is expected of us. If we are waiting until the work is complete to rest then we may never fully appreciate our innate human value.

1.) Today focus on just “being” present instead of only striving to prove yourself by getting things done.
–Focusing on “how” we are doing things instead of being tunneled visioned in merely “what” we do allows us to remain true to our essence and values, making it possible to love ourselves. It will become hard to ‘enjoy’ our accomplishments if are anxious, impatient or unkind during their pursuit.

2.) Engage in an activity that allows you to relax your mind and restore your energy.

–Even after the self love challenge is over, it will be important to recognize and embrace periodic opportunities to relax. Perhaps you can schedule in appropriate daily, weekly, bi-weekly or mostly activities that allow you to take a time out and unwind.

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Don Miguel Ruiz highlights an ironic truth in his book “The Four Agreements”, stating that in simply taking action to gain a reward most people don’t enjoy their efforts and don’t do their best in life. Relaxing challenges us to seek worth within ourselves instead deriving our value from our external expectations. When we are mentally and emotionally open, present and unattached to an outcome then we become available to truly notice life around us and learn.

Have a wonderful day,

Till tomorrow,

Ini

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