Preparing for the Relaxation UnChallenge

I just opened my eyes after a brief meditation, holding awareness that tomorrow I start a Relaxation UnChallenge.

I have been thinking that it will help to set some intentions before starting, and it may help to share this with others.

And here I just want to write what has come up, and what I plan and hope to do. I don’t want this to feel structured or formal. Rather, it is like a digital freefall of writing. I certainly won’t take the time to revisit or reformat it. I shall post it raw and naked in whatever form it comes out.

It came to me in the past days that I may try the Relaxation UnChallenge in a flow against the levels of relaxation. In the first phase I will try to ‘notice’. In the second phase I will try to decontract. In the third phase I will try to open to flow and relationship. In the fourth phase I will surrender.

Of course, I hope to let go of trying any of this. And just let it come.

I keep coming back to what I learnt in the summer.

Don’t do relaxation. Let it do you.

I think I might start each morning with some Tai Chi and a light meditation. It will mean starting the mornings earlier, so I will also go to bed earlier. I will go to bed with an easy book. Something that feels like holding a warm mug. What a shame I have no one to hug these days. Well, that’s part of surrendering too.

In the evenings I will do a full body scan; connect with my outer body; my muscles; my tissues… and then my skeleton and organs and then my very thoughts and feelings; inviting them to let go.

I remember my lessons now. How do you relax? What does the mind do in relaxation? It doesn’t try. It simply places attention on that which we want to relax. And the relaxation happens. There is the essence of the art. Not striving or forcing, but noting and anticipating gently. Then openings unfold and reveal themselves.

(I am still in my freefall flow… I think of my teachers and the teachers that taught them…)

What of activities? What will I do in the days?

Hmm. Well on Friday I will be with friends. Old rugby playing friends with busy lives and big responsibility And rather than drinking in excess, I will be sharing that I am there to be as relaxed as I can and see what unfolds. On Saturday I will be going for a run with Lou rather than a business meeting. On Sunday I will be walking in the park and going to the cinema – that is quite a ‘stop’ for me. On Monday I am meeting Jen and going for a meditation… Maybe that’s enough planning for now.

Each day I will try a mindfulness bell. At each moment this can bring me back to the noticing, or decontracting, or opening or surrendering.

Towards the end of the ten days I will be at two thanksgiving meals and can relax through gratitude.

All the while I shall take notes and notice what I notice.

There it is.

These are my thoughts on the days ahead, unfolded and raw.

Will I post this? I think I will.

And the image? Deer represent gentleness… and they came to hang out with me quite a bit over the summer.

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