We were having our usual conversation.
I was so excited to tell you about the response that I heard on my latest question. I was pondering on how to have constant remembrance.
“I heard the words: surrender, let go, relaxation,” said I, eagerly.
You were silent for a second or two, before quietly responded, “Is there.. relaxation?”
“Of course!” I said.
I was taken aback by my own response. The words could not help but came out. It was spontaneous. It was also a tad too quick and sounded defensive. A sure sign of the opposite: there was not (enough) relaxation (yet).
A metropolitan dweller such as I often takes for granted how much I have armed myself to tackle everyday challenges. An understandable and familiar mode of survival, amidst the mounting pressure and spiralling speed of life. Physical (and emotional) tension is building up, without my being aware it.
Even as I sit typing this note, I can feel the tension throughout my body, with the neck, shoulder, and upper-lower back, showing themselves more than others.
The lovely thing is that awareness of such condition alone can bring wonders. We only need to acknowledge–as a first step–that there is tension. The realisation immediately brings the body into a deeper level of relaxation. Like a person who has been shouting and finally feels heard. As the body relaxes, it becomes better prepared to tell us its stories and, when it is ready, to concentrate on what is arising.
There are of course other things we do to be more relaxed. Rest, exercises, diet, conscious breathing, and entertainment come to mind. But to jump straight to those things before giving a proper acknowledgement to the tension is like taking medicine before knowing enough about the condition. Another rushed action. It feels too intense for me.
So first thing first. Allow me to notice how it is within me. Currently, I notice physical and emotional discomfort; as well as space and health. Then accept what is. Accept that there is that and listen to it. Accept the thoughts on whys and perhaps some emotions that come with it. Accept the fact that there are reactions and non-acceptance to those thoughts and emotions. Ask what it needs and listen to its response.
Right now, my body just wants to be quiet and do nothing. Let it be.
“That’s it?” one may ask. It does not sound much, much less effective. Indeed, it is an unfamiliar path that I am treading at the moment. To be still. To look and listen. To accept what is. A self-experiment on a safe laboratory environment I call [my] life. One that consists of many unlearning from the things I have built myself with. Got to start somewhere.
This episode stemmed from the memory of that question from a friend, “Is there .. relaxation?” which has persistently surfaced these past couple of weeks. And my soul responded truthfully.