For the past week I’ve been working at relaxation in its various forms and I have been largely unsuccessful. When I say to myself ‘relax’ my body seems to have the opposite reaction.‘Oh no, here we go again. She’s going to force us to sit still or lay down or partake in some mind numbing exercise that we’re really not cut out for.’
I don’t consider dancing for three days at the Folk Festival relaxing. After all, my feet ached (so much so that I switched to my jogging runners), I had to stop to catch my breath on many occasions and I was hot, sweaty, and dehydrated to the point of confusion. But I could not stop. It felt entirely involuntary – kind of like breathing. ‘Of course I will get up and dance to this celtic jig and I will jig.’ What other choice was there? None!
And perhaps, this is one of the keys to relaxation – going where the body wants to go, where the spirit sends us, where the music moves us. It is EXHAUSTING to hold a spirit back, to sit a body down once in blissful movement, to wonder how this will look to others, to analyze why I feel the need in my soul to dance, to sit oneself down in a lawn chair and simply tap a toe when what one really feels like doing is jumping and twirling and spinning and singing and giggling uncontrollably. It is like going against the grain, swimming upstream, it’s like driving with the emergency brake on – you can do it, but it’s difficult and it’s work and it’s exhausting.
So maybe relaxation is that flow, that active engagement of the part of you that knows what it needs to do at all times. Ahha – that is the God part – the part that ‘knows’ what it needs to do at all times – consciously or not. I am taking deep breath as we speak – I’m more relaxed already.