By Leo Babauta
You might be surprised how often we’re resisting life.
If you assess your body right now, I bet you can find some kind of tension or tightness. For me, it’s often in my chest, but sometimes it’s in my jaw, face, neck or shoulders.
Where does this tightness come from? We’re struggling against something — perhaps we’re irritated by someone, frustrated by something, stressed or overwhelmed by all we have to do, or just don’t like whatever it is we’re faced with. This causes a resistance, a hardening or tightening. Everyone does it, most of the day.
It’s normal, but it causes unhappiness, an aversion to the present moment, struggles with other people or ourselves, struggles with the task we’re faced with. What I’ve found useful is the idea of relaxing into the moment.
- Notice where the tension is in your body right now.
- Notice what you’re tightening against — it might be someone else, or whatever it is you’re faced with.
- Relax the tightness. Just let yourself melt.
- Face the same situation, but with a relaxed, friendly attitude.
And repeat as often as you can remember, throughout the day. Just use the phrase “relax into the moment” to remind yourself.
What this does is helps us to face the day with less tension and greater contentment. We struggle less with how other people are, and instead might open our hearts to them and see that they, like us, are struggling and want to be happy.
We might face a task with less resistance, and instead do it with a smile. We might just notice the physical space around us and start to appreciate it for the unique gift that it is. And in the end, we’re changing our mode of being from one of struggle and resistance to one of peace and gratitude.