Relaxing into the unknown…
‘Hey, Relax!’ Something we say to each other and we hear people say it to us, but do we actually do it? Do we relax? and if yes, how deep do we relax?
If someone says this to me, I usually become aware of how tense I actually am. My shoulders high up, my jaw stiff, wrinkles in my face. It gives me permission to relax a bit, to take a deep breath and let go some of that tension. But I also know that in the moments people say this to me, I am tense because I want to get something done, I am working (hard) towards a certain goal, a vision, a picture in my head of how I want my world to be. And I am working towards that.
So in the moment, I can allow myself to relax a little bit, but there definitely is a limit to how deep I can let myself relax there and then.
The deepest relaxation that I find is during, or at the end of, breathing sessions and active meditations, especially when I am in a week-long retreat and have practiced for some days. The experience of this deep relaxation is almost like a deep sleep, but very much awake and present to everything that is going on inside and around me. Very peaceful and regenerating for my body, my mind and my emotions. It feels like I experience a pure connection with my soul, a deep sense of truth and trust, openness to the unknown and being ok with whatever comes my way, knowing it will be exactly what I need.
I can relax into the unknown.
Of course, at a certain time the breathing session stops, the meditation ends, the retreat finishes. The experience of this deep relaxation has numerous positive effects on me that I carry with me in the hours, days and weeks after. But they too fade…
So my quest was to find this deep relaxation and ‘keep’ it. I know, there is no use in getting attached to this state, for everything changes all the time. But, I would like to feel this relaxation more often. It is so helpful in moving through my life feeling more connected, grounded and – yes – relaxed. Everything feels more in flow and easy. And I like that!
There are numerous studies on why relaxation is so good for us, needed and important. It is supposed to be our ‘natural’ state, yet we are so far from it often. And that is a waste, of our energy and our potential.
So, I experimented over the years with different kinds of meditations and breathing exercises and yoga to feel more relaxation during my everyday life. To keep finding that sense of deep relaxation and regeneration of my body on a regular basis.
I must say, during some periods this was easy, I was in a flow and on a daily, sometimes weekly basis, I got to experience the deep relaxation, and definitely more relaxation in general. In other periods it was and currently is harder. There are of course always other factors in play and depending on what period I am in, what season of my life, sometimes there just is a little time I can take out of the day to myself. Just a few minutes.
So over the course of these more challenging periods, I have found ways to find relaxation by exploring my breath and practicing in other ways then deep breathing sessions. I have created many easy to use practices that I can use during my day, even when I am around others or when I am doing something else like walking, cooking or being in a meeting. And even though I do not often find that deep sense of relaxation I wrote about earlier when I do just these exercises, I do find waaay more relaxation over the course of my day then when I don’t practice.
This practice makes all the difference.
In how I feel, how I function and how I experience my day. In how I can show up for myself and others. It gives me relaxation, calm and patience when I need it, it gives me energy, it gives me focus. It helps me feel on top of my game, whether my ‘work’ that day is actually working for my business BreathWorks, or whether I have a ‘mommy-day’ and I am at home with my twin babies and a toddler. Honestly, on those days I need it even more 😉.
Want to know more about how I turned my practise into an easy 6-week training that you can follow? Check out https://lisannevanniekerk.com/breathwork-online/