#SLPY40Days // Week 4 // Restoration // Relax with What Is and Remove the Rocks

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By Greg Galloway // January 27, 2016

It is always interesting how certain topics come up when you need to hear them the most. For me, this was the case; this week’s theme of "Restoration/Relax with What is and Remove the Rocks" is exactly what I needed to hear during this 40-day program.

“Bigger, Faster, Stronger, More,” or “I will sleep when I am dead.” How often do we hear these words? We live in a society that is constantly on the go. We, myself included, feel a need to constantly be “doing,” creating long “to-do” lists and checking the items off as we go. For many, how busy we are is a bragging right or a badge of honor to wear. It is great to have a sense of accomplishment and to get things done. Do we try to do much? How does all the doing and busyness leave us feeling or what is it doing to our bodies? I know for me, when I am burning the candle at both ends, it leaves me tired and in a few instances I have caused injury to my body. What is the motivation behind the all this “doing” and busyness? The realization I came to a few weeks ago during this program is that I create busyness in my life to not have to deal with issues that are happening. It is easier for me to be “doing” instead of feeling.

Restoration is about acknowledging the importance of self-care. It is important to create a daily self-care practice that allows us to rest, process, and to feel good. Meditation, a restore or yin yoga class, a walk, bubble bath, massage, journaling, reading, are all great practices or self-care. Rest is so important to our mind and bodies, yet for many of us we have created a negative definition for the word.  Rest makes us happier, healthier, more whole, and allows up to show up in a bigger way.

I think it was Baron Baptiste that said: “As the pressure builds you are left with three choices: Run away, Stay and Struggle, or Stay, relax, and you will discover what is really there.” When we are able to stay and relax with what is really happening we are not in a reaction, but more in an exploratory state of being. Being curious around what is really happening, such as what are the emotions taking place and what sensations are happening in my body is a good place to start.  I know in my yoga practice when I am struggling in a pose (which happens all the time), if I continue with what my normal default reaction is the experience is very difficult and not very enjoyable. I find that if I can actually surrender, i.e., Relaxing with what is happening in my body I am able to experience the pose in a whole new way.

In Rising Strong, Brené Brown references that “choosing to be curious is choosing to be vulnerable because it requires us to surrender to uncertainty.”  When we can allow ourselves to simply stay, and relax with what is and be curious around everything that is happening with our emotions, thoughts, and feelings -- “the middle” -- we are able to avoid our default patterns of reactions, and are able to consciously choose how we respond in any given situation.

Diving deep in the “Rising Strong” strong process, I have become more aware that this work is a constant practice of unlearning past patterns and reactions; “Removing the Rocks” that we have built up with years of conditioning, and learned responses. This practice allows us to live the way we were each destined to live. Meditation was one of my “rocks” I had around the 40-day program. Writing a “SFD” is a great way to shed light on all the rocks that have piled up and where we can start to unlearn past patterns and reactions to situations and begin to remove rocks.

Most things in life take work and practice. Participating in this 40-day program is a reminder to me to not rush the process.  I have spent years approaching life in certain ways and just because I have a new awareness around issues, etc., does not mean things will change overnight. It will be a daily, weekly, monthly practice around being aware of how I am reacting any given situation and then choosing to relax with what is and stay in the arena and not default back to old patterns.


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