Being healthier and happier - relaxing into it
"If I could just learn to relax, then I would be healthier and happier". We have heard this a few times from our contacts and clients and even bathed in these thoughts ourselves once in while. After all, we continually meet barriers which block us at every turn; at least it can seem so at times.
A friend of mine points out "most businesses are a bit rubbish" and im sure some people feel that applies to their lives. One Zen master said "nothing goes the way we think it will." This is an expression of a useful mindset rather than a statement of absolute fact.
When the challenges of life come along, what mindset or state should we strive to be in to meet them? I guess many of us would say a "balanced state" without really thinking too much about what that means or how to get there.
The truth is - relaxation - and breathing in particular, are important and beneficial in that they can calm us in the short term and draw our attention away from whatever troubles us. Unfortunately breathing alone is unlikely to work if we have ingrained attitudes and associated strong emotions. These will keep us literally stuck in our established patterns of thought and emotion.
The real magic happens with our physiology when we learn to shift our feelings - not just our thoughts.
Learning NLP techniques can provide greater awareness of your individual state and provie some leverage not manhandle your state into something useful.
Biofeedback systems and approaches are also perfect for this because they can give us guidance as we seek balance. Over time we can use feedback of our state to embed more useful mind-body states. It's good for people dealing with stress and many conditions that upset the body's autonomic system balance. It's good for athletes and artists seeking peak performance. It's potentially good for anyone with a body.
The concept of balance
When you think about it, the concept of balance is part of our everyday consciousness. We use the word liberally as part of our language. A seriously ill person's life may "hang in the balance." People talk of the need of "work-life balance." Someone who is suprised by something talks of being "caught off-balance." In front of the Old Bailey in London we can look up and see the symbol of fairness and justice - a set of balance scales.
So why is balance so important to humans? Why should we care about the idea of reintegration, and being centred and balanced?
Very simply, being centred is the key to managing conflict and making effective decisions when under extreme pressure. It's the best state to be in to manage our lives. Just consider, how could we reach any decision about the nature of a particular challange and its appropriate response whilst we are off balance?
There is a very important principle we can make use of here. Mind and body are linked. If you know how to be physically centred then your mind and spirit will come into balance as well. Likewise if your body is off balance you can regain your equilibrium almost as easily by reaching a balanced mental state.
Simple as this seems it works. The trick is to make "finding your centre" as natural as breathing; something that you do instinctively without thought. This takes a bit of practice.
Martial artists have spent thousands of years studying the art of balance. Not just to increase their technical skills in the martial arts, but to ensure that they are in the right frame of mind - a suitable state - to meet life and any conflict in a relaxed but alert manner. It is not possible to face an opponent in karate off-balance with success any more than it is possible to face a business challenge off-balance.
In the martial arts, your main balance point is located a couple of finger widths below your navel. This centre is where you should be living, whether you are under attack or just watching life flow past. And you know what - this point is a junction of time and space - an organ which is more sensitive to attack than the intellect can ever be. If we learn to focus on this point (you have heard of gut instinct haven't you?) you would be better protected than if you hired a bodyguard.
If you dont't want to be a martial artist, learn NLP or jbecome a monk - learn more about biofeedback techniques and technology. They help you get into balance. We can help