We wish you a wonderful holiday season, and we want to remind you to take time to unravel the tensions that naturally accrue at this time and that may have been building in recent years.
Here are three steps to do this:
1. Release the Tension
The typical areas of tension are the jaw, shoulders, and diaphragm.
It’s common for people to clench, hunch, and bear down in order to push down emotions and protect themselves from vulnerability.
These tendencies block the flow of energy and prana, limiting the ability to relax, communicate easily, and digest and flow with the present circumstances.
This quick technique counteracts the habit of tensing and contracting. You can practice this alone or in the company of others.
- Become aware of your body’s position and notice the overall state of your being, e.g., contracted, restless, heavy, stuck. Scan your body for specific tension spots.
- Gently inhale, and use exhalation to penetrate through the tension consciously. To assist the process, imagine the breath and prana gently traveling to the tense areas in whatever form you wish, for example, as light, liquid, or vapor.
- Let the breath release any physical and mental knots, and imagine them dissolving. Allow prāna to flow.
- The key is to use the technique repeatedly. Repetition of a positive karma cultivates positive patterns. And the best patterns create wellbeing. They make you feel good. Feeling good is healthy. You’re not meant to be tortured by tension.
2. Surrender Rigidity and Perfection
It’s easy to get caught up in rigid ways of thinking and behaving that don’t allow for flexibility and creativity. Rigidity always comes with authoritarian words such as ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t.’
Rigidity, combined with ideals of perfection, pushes you beyond your limits. The antidote is to pause and take a little time to discern what is essential and what isn’t. Some loose ends are better left to fray for your health and sanity’s sake.
This approach also helps to reduce everyone’s stress levels, including the people you most want to please. Allowing yourself to be seen as imperfect is a generous act of humility that helps others accept their imperfections.
You can then live more spontaneously, and that’s better for everyone.
3. Repair the Exhaustion
If the intensity of recent years has left you feeling exhausted, it’s likely to take more than a quick-fix solution to restore vitality. The tendrils of long-term exhaustion weave deep and complex blockages into the body-mind.
Releasing exhaustion and finding renewed vitality and optimism begin with accepting wherever you find yourself in your inner life and outer world. And part of that means acknowledging your exhaustion and not continuously pushing through. This enables you to let down and relax, replenish and rejuvenate yourself. But it does require a decision to stop constantly running, striving, and trying to fix everything. And, of course, you will need to consistently act on that decision.
This is how you return to a sense of balance and vitality.
Make a habit of scanning your body for tension spots and releasing them through the breath and visualization.
Be aware of rigid attitudes and the drive for perfection – the militant voice of should and shouldn’t, must and mustn’t.
Acknowledge exhaustion and allow yourself to be wherever and however, you find yourself.