I have a sweet kitty. She’s really shy. Last weekend she taught me something about fear.
I had company in town and having strange people in the house freaked her out! She spent most of the weekend hiding under the bed. I would peek in on her from time to time to make sure she was okay. There she was, tucked under the bed, scared and anxious.
Those of you who have known me for a while are aware of my history with fear. There was a time in my life where I had so much anxiety that I pretty much did what my kitty was doing now, I hid under the bed (okay… I was hiding “on” the bed, but really… same thing.) I didn’t see the similarity between my own experience and the one my kitty was currently having until the company had gone home.
As I lay on my bed recovering from the active weekend she snuggled up next to me and purred for hours. I know I said my kitty was sweet … but I wouldn’t go so far as to call her cuddly. Yet, today she was a total cuddle muffin. She was so content and happy. I noticed how relaxed she was, and I realized she hadn’t been able to fully relax all weekend.
I remember how it felt to be that anxious, always in a state of alert, danger lurking around every corner. At that time my one goal in life was to ‘try’ to relax, just stay calm. No matter how hard I tried, it was rare that I actually succeeded.
That’s what fear does to you. It robs you of your ability to relax and feel content, and that robs you of the ability to be happy. Because it is in that relaxed, content state that the most joy and fulfillment are found.
Learning to Relax
Consider for a moment that we are wired for fear. Fear and it’s friends Worry and Stress come automatically. Relaxation on the other hand, is a skill that many of us need to practice in order to master. So before I sign off I want to offer you a opportunity to practice relaxation in your own unique way.
- Think of one thing you can do to relax. It can be as simple as taking a breath, listening to song, moving your body, taking a nap, hugging your pet, laying on the floor and pretending you’re a pancake (ahhh…), or something else.
- Post your ‘one thing’ in the comments below.
- Next practice doing that ‘one thing’ every day for the next week (or maybe two).
Notice how you feel as you start to incorporate practicing relaxation as part of your normal routine.
If you’re looking for a wee bit of help in the relaxing department I’ve got tips coming your way. Be sure to subscribe to the not-that-frequent newsletter so they will be delivered to your inbox.
Now what ‘one thing’ will you do to practice relaxing this week? Do tell!