This may be one of the most perplexing of life’s mysteries – learning to relax in the midst of great exertion. Many of us feel that we have to do one or the other: take it easy OR give it our all. Doing both at the same time can be a difficult concept to internalize. I know for sure that the two opposites need to coexist within us. Many secrets lie in understanding how to be completely at ease when boring full speed ahead. When we recognize this dichotomy – when we adjust to what at first seems like a contradiction, we can achieve more satisfactorily, be efficient and pursue our goals with elegance.
I had my first AHA! moment about this topic in 1988. I have always loved competitive sports and while watching the Olympics that year I saw an amazing performance by sprinter Florence Joyner (also known as “Flo-Jo”). She finished the 100 meter race about 3/10 of a second ahead of her nearest rival and as she glided across the finish line, she was smiling, calm, and totally in the moment. She was running faster than any woman ever had and yet she appeared to be totally relaxed. She exerted as much as she could while still staying “loose.” It was obvious even on the television screen that she had mastered this technique. I thought it was a miracle and I truly wanted to replicate that in my life.
I didn’t though. I kept up my frenzied life of working long hours, being ambitious, trying to be a “supermom” to my three girls. In the midst of all the busyness, I rarely felt relaxed. I loved what I did in those days so I enjoyed my life but I constantly PUSHED.
It has taken many years for me to see the value of this challenge.
I can still find it difficult more than I would like to let go in a moment of concentration or intense work. Yet when I do, I always seem to find a special gift, which often is discovery of an easier and better way to do a task.
Wise men and women have been advising us for centuries to surrender. They have written about finding the ease in the midst of tension and then feeling the joy in a significant release.
I just wanted to write a reminder for you and me.
Beth S. Cole
Thank you Beth. I needed to be reminded of this Truth!