Things turn out the best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out. ~ John Wooden

It’s easy to tell someone to relax. Someone other than yourself, of course. But we will work to change that. Because now we come to the third component that makes up our friend KARL™ (To remind you, the first was “Know” and the second “Accept”).

It is fascinating that the one action that should be easiest to apply – relaxation – seems often to get the questioning reaction, ”but how?” Many of us feel we’re only at our peak when we’re stressed, or when we’re pressed to do a dozen things at the same time, or when we’re sure that our life is only meaningful when there’s too much to do. Moreover, even though relaxation is the one thing that requires you to do absolutely nothing, it seems to be the hardest to follow. Go figure!

This actually reminds me of a joke that I heard once. In it, a businesswoman goes to a meditation class, and the yogi asks her what she hopes to get out of it. She says, “I need to relax – fast.”

Sound familiar?

Before we can talk about relaxation, we first need to take a look what makes it so difficult for us to relax. For many of us, in fact, for most of us, relaxing isn’t natural. We’re too programmed to consider being busy the mark of self-worth. We’re too wrapped up in self-doubt and sometimes wrongheaded self-appraisal to see that relaxation is a way of helping us sort things out.

Some events leave you tossing and turning in bed for nights on end. You relive the events in your head a thousand times over. What could you have done differently? Why did you say that? How could you have prevented it? Why did you not see it coming? And, finally, how can you be so stupid to allow this to happen? Why is it that “stuff” seems to keep getting in the way of our ability to relax?

The truth is, bad stuff happens to all of us. Take a trip into the past and remind yourself of the first time your heart was broken. You spoke to your friends about it endlessly. You kept going over every detail of what was said or done. You rehashed every conversation over and over again. You wondered if you wore the wrong outfit, or just weren’t pretty enough. Maybe it was something you said, or that one wrong look you gave him.

But when we come to accept the past – and not forget it – our outlook changes. We can take responsibility for our part in things, and realize that we cannot control everything or everyone around us. And we all make mistakes. While at the same time, we all try to do good.

We’ll examine the concept of relaxation further in the next several posts. But now, tell me – how hard is it for you to relax? Do you toss and turn? Do you spend too much time thinking over what might have been, or what you might have said, or what you have to do tomorrow, rather than living in the moment?

I’d love to know – your journey is our journey. Thank you for sharing!


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