Are you so used to feeling tension and stress it has just become the norm? I hosted a workshop recently and I asked everyone to share the physical sensory experience of what they then label tension and stress.
I had a myriad of responses:
Burning sensations Tightness Constriction Anxious Dull aches Heaviness Twitching and a sense of having to move constantly
It was easy for people to tell me what they feel when they feel tense and stress and when.
In the mornings getting to work, at work, in the evenings, when talking to my boss, when talking to my Mum, and on and on….
Then I asked a difficult question:
What is it like in your body when you are feeling the opposite of tension and stress?
After some time musing they shared:
Light Warm Free Ease Flowing Peaceful Full with satisfaction
I asked them to name when they felt these sensations.
“Oh, I remember once when I was on a holiday, I was totally relaxed, going to sleep early, waking and walking and breathing in the fresh air and my body felt light, I almost felt like I wasn’t there but I was at the same time.”
“I remember when my husband proposed, we were sitting under the moonlight and I felt a warm glow, I felt full of love like a beaming light.”
“I was playing music and I was completely immersed in the song.”
“I was dancing….”
“I was in the garden…”
And then, I said to the group what is a name for what you are describing now and is the opposite of tension and stress.
We came up with “grace”.
The answer to how often they experienced grace in their life left us all feeling a little sad.
“I remember once”, “when I..” “occasionally..”
Is this how we want to live our lives? That grace, peace, ease and contentment are occasional experiences and tension and stress, anxiety, aloneness are the norm?
Now I know a little tension and stress is good to jump start us into action. But if you are searching for answers to questions like:
What is stopping me from being who I know I can be? How come I can never create a great relationship? How come I don’t know what to choose in my life?
If you have tension and stress 99% of the time is it any wonder you may be living a self defeating cycle of dis-belief that you will ever have the relationship of your dreams, or figure out what to do with your life… etc
What do you think that tension and stress is telling you? To do more of what you are doing or maybe something else?
We can be with the tension and stress and work out what it is that is that is creating the tension and stress in the first place, (that is the topic for another blog), and we can also choose to do more of what gives us a sense of ease and grace in our lives.
This week here is an invitation for you.
Focus lightly on what gives you a sense of ease and grace. Get out your journal and answer these questions. You may even like to find a buddy and ask them to do this exercise with them. Share your thoughts, feelings and beliefs with each other.
What does it feel like in your body when you are tense? When and how often do you experience that? What does it feel like in your body when it is the opposite of what you just wrote down? What would you call this experience? When and how often do you experience that? What can you choose to do more of what creates this experience of “grace” or whatever you have called your experience? Is there something to give up? Some thing to do more of? Something new to try? A false belief to dis-own? A new belief to claim?
If you can not remember what gives you a sense of grace use your imagination.
Imagine you are a child again. Even of you had trauma as a child there is often something that we did or found to create peace and happiness for ourselves.
What is it that you did freely in your most joyous moments?
If you can not remember moments of joy, love, peace, grace and fulfilment use your imagination now.
Imagine what you would be doing, who you would be with, what you would be believing about yourself if you had this sense of grace in your life.
Imagine what would give you this sense of freedom and grace in your life now?
Then choose to do more of that!
As always if you have taken the time to read this story, and do this exercise making the time to share your experience helps both you make sense of your experience and helps others through your generosity and your vulnerability.
Love you to share your questions, comments and challenges below
Love to you