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Thursday, March 10, 2011

Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.

I am perfect as I am

'Tension is who you think you should be; Relaxation is who you are.'

Wow. Great quote passed on to me by my brother-in-law, Jeff. When I asked him where this quote originated, he wrote, 'Ancient Chinese Secret'.

Whether it is an ancient chinese secret or an ancient Jeff secret, it is profoundly simple and useful.

Tension is who you think you should be

This week I heard from a reader who had just started a new job. She woke up not wanting to go to work. Why? She was tense thinking about how she should be perfect already. She was only a couple of weeks into the job.

Another friend was in too bad a mood to talk with me the other night. He, too, was overwhelmed by a new job with enough work for two people. Being a person who likes to finish and complete jobs, he was wound up because he was unable to leave work feeling satisfied he'd accomplished anything.

And what about you? Think back over your last week. What caused you to be tense? How did it relate to who you think you should be?

Tension is Useful

We all wage our private battle of bringing together where we currently are with where we want ourselves to be. The  battle creating tension isn't the issue. It's what we choose to do with it.

Too often we think tension = bad and relaxation = good. The truth is, used properly, they're both good.

Tension will wear your body down if you fail to pay attention to it. But when you pay attention, you raise your awareness of  what's causing the discrepancy between where you are and where you want to be, thus freeing yourself to make conscious choices about it.

Relaxation is who you are

My reader in the new job chose to pay attention to the tension and address it. I responded to her stressed-for-success story encouraging her to relax:

"Working a new job can be intense. Give yourself time to ease into it. Show up, do your best, find a way to relax into it".
By the end of the day she had replied with:

"Susan, Odd you should say show up, do your best, find a way to relax into it. I talked with the woman who hired me about my stress and she said, 'Quit trying to do everything now. You have plenty of time. Stop stressing."
Funny almost the same thing happened for my friend in the foul-mood . He met with his new boss the next day who just laughed that he was trying to 'get it all done'. He told him to relax, and do his best in the job-without-end.

So there's the message for us all: relax. Relaxation is who we are.

Oh, and a Final Prayer

From website with prayers for MBTI types:
ISFJ: Lord, please help me to be more laid back and help me to do that EXACTLY correctly.

Moral of the story: If you can't give up being wound up, at least find a way to laugh at yourself. You can not be relaxed and stressed at the same time. Laughter relaxes you, and helps you be who you are.

Thanks to Jason Kalra for sharing the site with MBTI prayers.


Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Of course, I had to look MINE up: "Lord. Please help me not to be so perfectionistic! (Did I spell that correctly?)"

You're so right, it does help to be able to laugh at oneself! Sometimes I get tense trying too hard to relax!

LightartedSue said...

Jean, those are funny prayers! It so helps to take ourselves lightly as we keep up images! Your blog is of course, always perfectly presented!