If we’re lucky enough to reach a state of complete relaxation in which we feel unburdened by life’s troubles, it’s probably not because we somehow mastered mindfulness or meditated enough or practiced yoga for ninety days straight.
It’s likely because we acknowledged, accepted, erected and protected our own boundaries. Period. That’s where true relaxation comes from. Living a life with limits.
Back in my workaholic days, when my life had about as many boundaries as a toddler hopped on homemade speed, relaxing was work for me. Facilitating the healthy interaction of the various parts of my life was like a second unpaid full time job.
My home, for example, wasn’t a haven for joy and meaning and respite and human connection, it was an extension of the workplace. On any given day or night, I would find myself either completely overwhelmed by my work, or in withdrawal from it.
Because there was no escape. The minute you walked into the house, kablam, you were punched in the face with the circus known as my career. There was no room for any non work pursuits. There was no physical or psychological distance between work and everything else.
As my therapist used to joke, you were either in my work, or in my way.
What’s more, there were no cognitive boundaries either. Nothing could help me resist the temptation to think about work and focus my attention on the people or activity at hand. My attention was perpetually held hostage by work.
And so, even if people thought I was truly relaxed, I was just living in a strangled calm state. No matter how many days in a row I meditated.
Lesson learned, true relaxation is something that comes from having boundaries that are air tight and completely integrated into your life that you don’t even think about them.
Acknowledge them. Accept them. Erect them. And protect them.
This process requires persistent, dedicated effort.
But it’s worthwhile in trying to protect you from yourself.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Where in life do you feel the need for more effective boundaries?
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.
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