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Questions about relaxation
Why couldn’t I relax well today?
The goal of relaxation is simply to show up every day. Sometimes it’s going to feel horrible. Sometimes it’s going to feel wonderful. You don’t have to feel relaxed every time you practise. In fact, you won’t. Sometimes you’ll think all the time. Sometimes you’ll want to stay there forever because it feels so beautiful. The only significant outcome is that you will gradually feel better and better over time. It’s very, very important to understand that you can’t do it right and you can’t do it wrong. It’s not about right and wrong. It’s simply about doing it and learning and growing from what you experience.
What should I do if my mind is constantly busy when I’m relaxing?
Sometimes people say, “I just don’t feel like I’m doing it right because my mind is chattering through the whole relaxation”. Please don’t judge your relaxation. Sometimes it feels really good and your mind clears. This is nice and can make you feel that you’re doing it right. But other times you’ll feel you’re not relaxing well. Your mind may be busy or you may remain tense throughout. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t a good relaxation. You still get the benefit even if you don’t consciously feel it. The point is, relaxation comes in different forms. The so-called ‘bad’ ones are good, and so are the good ones, of course. The general principle with relaxation is that it’s always good − so keep doing it.
Why do I sometimes feel uncomfortable after relaxing?
When you relax, you receive a lot of life force and it starts to clean out the blocked and toxic energy in your body that has been stored there for a very long time. You’re likely to experience some uncomfortable effects from this. It’s very important to be aware of this phenomenon because when it hits you, you can easily become confused. You may feel as though you’ve got a cold or flu for a few days. You may feel achy in your body. You may feel symptoms of an old sickness coming up. These are all good signs that your body is detoxing. You may experience many different kinds of physical symptoms. You might suddenly feel itchy. You might feel pain in some part of your body that you don’t normally have. Sometimes you can get some odd energetic feelings inside your body that are very difficult to describe. If you have an existing health problem, you might feel the symptoms getting worse for a while. This is usually the hardest thing to deal with. You’re supposed to be getting better but you feel as though you’re getting worse. Just imagine that you’re spraying a jet hose through your body, cleaning out a lot of rubbish. If you were already ill, there was definitely rubbish in there. Your increased symptoms are a sign that the rubbish is being cleaned out. It’s like cleaning a dirty house. You make a big mess while you’re doing it, but the final result is good. You may also have a period during which you feel more emotional than usual. You might experience an emotional outburst or you might go through strong waves of emotion. It’s very common for people who are depressed or emotionally sensitive to experience waves of emotion for quite a long period. When a wave hits you it can feel terrible. And when you’re detoxing through relaxation some of those waves can feel worse than normal, but after each one passes you will feel much better than you’ve felt in a long time. That’s one of the things to look forward to. There are many different detoxing effects. The general principle is that the negative feelings you experience are old energy being released from your body. It’s energy you no longer need. The older it is, the more unpleasant it might feel to release. If you’ve been very tense for a long time, you can expect quite a lot of releasing. There’s a lot of energy stuck in your system. But the end result will be worth it.
Will I feel sleepy when I relax?
Most people don’t feel sleepy when they finish relaxing. They tend to feel full of energy and more alive. If you’re somebody who thinks a lot you may find that the only way you can switch off is to fall asleep while relaxing. Sometimes you feel as if you’re partially asleep, but still slightly awake. It’s like being in a deep place where you can dimly hear the outside world but you’re so far away from it that it no longer affects you. This will happen naturally and it’s fine. If you’re really, really exhausted and you’ve been pushing yourself beyond your limits for a long time, you may feel very tired for a few days. This is a sign that you need to get more sleep. Take it as a warning. Make sure you relax every day and find some way to catch up on the sleep that you’ve been missing.
Can I relax instead of sleeping when I’m really busy?
Don’t get into the habit of trying to use relaxation to avoid sleep and good food. You need to take care of your energy, but you also need to take care of your body.
Questions about detoxing or releasing
When will I start detoxing? I have an important meeting and I need to be in good shape for it.
It hits different people at different times. Some people start detoxing almost as soon as they start to learn to relax. Some people don’t experience anything for months. In my experience, if you have an important meeting you’ll be fine. Somehow your body knows what’s on your agenda and it manages the timing for you.
Why do I seem to be so unstable?
If you’ve become very out of balance and your body (or your life) is rebalancing through relaxation, you may find yourself swinging from one emotion to another, sometimes feeling wildly off course. It will feel as though life is pushing you all over the place. This may also happen with physical symptoms. It’s uncomfortable, but remember that you’re healing. Every time you feel out of balance there’s a natural healing process going on. The key is to let go of trying to control everything and let nature do its job. It’s far more intelligent than your limited mind and will rebalance you automatically if you allow it. One of the simplest ways to learn to let go of control is by relaxing even more. The more you learn to relax, the more you’re able to feel the energy that’s flowing into you, and then you have much more of an idea about how to manage yourself on a day to day basis. This is particularly hard for control freaks. All I can say is to trust the process. Trust nature, because the more you do so, the more balance you’ll find in your life.
Why have I crashed when I was feeling so great a few days ago?
When you feel really good you open up and receive more energy. It’s like a jet hose pouring through your system. Sometimes when you receive that extra energy, it dislodges some older, blocked energy from your body. If that blockage was rather solid because it’s been there for a long time, it can be uncomfortable as it’s coming out. How you experience this is that you were feeling really great and now you’ve crashed. You feel awful. Essentially you’re feeling that old stuff coming out. It’s like you’ve had constipation for a long time, but now what’s in you has got to come out. This can be uncomfortable, but it’s also a time to be grateful that you’re clearing out a bit more of the garbage you’ve accumulated because it’s going to make you feel much better in the long term.
Questions about results
Can I get a quick fix?
Some things will happen more quickly than others. If you relax daily and keep an open mind you will experience many quick fixes along the way. However if you’re looking for a quick fix to reach your dreams nobody can do this for you. You are the only person who can connect with yourself, your heart and your natural desire so that you can find what you want to experience in your life. You will know when you’ve found it because it will make you feel warm and connected and it will make you smile. There’s no hurry and there’s no quick fix for the important parts of life.
Can relaxation help me with challenges in my work?
There are some specific situations where it’s really useful to relax, especially if you find them challenging or you want to be at your best. You can relax before a presentation, an important phone call (maybe for just two minutes or so), a meeting, a networking event, an interview, a date or anything that makes you feel nervous. One woman told me how much difference relaxation has made in her life. “When I forget to do my relaxation, I feel like I want to kill my husband, but if I do the relaxation, I just feel like I want to massage him and I understand why he’s so tense and stressed. I’m a completely different person.”
How can I apply this to improving my health?
If you are sick and you want to get healthy, thinking about being sick will make you worse, but thinking about getting healthy will make you better. Thinking about yourself and how miserable you are will make you worse. But thinking about enjoyment and laughing will make you better. Focusing on pain, symptoms and suffering simply create more of the same, so it’s important to find any way you can to let go of all that and enjoy yourself more. Relaxation is essential.
How can I apply this to my relationship?
If you’re worried about a relationship, personal or business, thinking about what’s wrong with it will deplete your energy severely. You can get caught up in this for days, weeks, months and even years, with disastrous consequences. On the other hand, if you simply take some time to think about or write down the good that person brings into your life, to appreciate their good qualities, or to think about them with love rather than criticism, the energy of the relationship immediately begins to shift.
Can this help me with intimacy?
Here’s a small but very powerful tip if you’re having problems with intimacy in your personal relationship. Once things get out of balance between two partners it can be very difficult to rebalance. Bad experiences get in the way, nervousness builds up on both sides and blame can quickly set in. Things get worse and a vicious cycle emerges. Love is the key to shifting this. If you put the emphasis on coming from a place of love, truly ‘making love’, this dissolves tension and allows for a higher level of experience that can start to break the negative cycle. It’s simple and you can do it, but you need to be willing to let go of being right, proving yourself and being the best. Love doesn’t score points. It doesn’t prove anything but itself. And it gives without expecting anything in return. This will give you lots of energy.
How can I apply this to money?
If you’re worried or afraid about money, regardless of whether you have a lot or a little, your energy supply will become drained and it will become much harder to make money. However justified you feel in being afraid, it only makes things worse, so it’s essential to turn this around. You can’t do it by pretending, so you need to find some genuinely positive things to think and feel. You can find ways to appreciate the wealth you have in your life already, regardless of what’s missing. A good strategy is to focus on trusting that everything is going to be fine. Trust is remarkably powerful and feels very good, so it lifts your energy. That, in turn, brings you better results. You’ll need to practise a lot, especially when your mind wants to freak out and tell you there’s nothing to trust.
Questions about the voices in your head
What can I do about negative self-talk?
One really big thing to watch out for is negative inner talk and guilt. If you tend to be too yang, you probably have an inner voice that says things like, “I should be doing something. I should be busy. There’s so much to do. There’s so much I’ve got to get done. This is ridiculous. This is such a waste of time. I’m not achieving anything here. Look at me. I’m just thinking all the time anyway, so there’s no point in doing this because it’s not going to work. I’d be better off doing something useful.” Your mind will go on and on like this. If you tend to be too yin and you’re trying to get things done or take action, there will be negative talk as well, and it will go something like this: “This is a complete waste of time. There’s no point in doing anything. Everything I do goes wrong. Everything I do is a failure. This isn’t worth it. Even if I do this, it’s not going to make any difference. Nothing makes any difference to me.” It’s extremely important to take no notice of the negative voices and simply do what you need to do to rebalance your energy. The purpose of the activity is what’s important, not the voices that go on inside your mind. They are simply filling up space. Nothing they say is actually true. It helps to be kind to them as though they are misguided children. You’re not trying to eliminate or destroy them, because that tends to make them even stronger. Give them some love and then just keep doing what you need to do.
How can I do this properly? I don’t ever seem to find true balance in my life.
You may be trying to be perfect. Perfectionism almost always leads you perfectly in the wrong direction. If you keep on trying so hard to be perfect, you might find you end up in completely the wrong place. When you’re driving you’re almost never perfectly on track. You’re making constant tiny adjustments to your direction. If you go a little bit too far one way you automatically correct yourself because otherwise you’d find yourself driving off the side or into the middle of the road. The honest truth is you don’t know exactly how to get to wherever you’re going. Even if you have a very clear goal, you don’t know what the challenges are going to be along the way. It’s much more valuable to strive for excellence than perfection, and then you can make constant corrections to get closer and closer to what you want. This will keep you more balanced − but never perfect. So stop trying so hard to be that way and enjoy the ride instead.
Am I trying too hard?
When you need to recharge your energy, especially if you’re wound up, it’s easy to force it. You try to relax and recharge in the same way that you’re used to working. Your inner dialogue runs like this: “I’ve got to relax, I’ve got to get some energy, I’ve got to do it fast and it’s got to be now.” Relaxation becomes just another item on your to do list. But relaxation and enjoyment can’t be forced. They’re about allowing. Sometimes it means you have to sit there for a while and wait. It will feel like nothing’s happening. You’ll feel impatient and that it’s a waste of time. Your mind will tell you to do something more useful. But you need to allow the energy to flow in its own way. Relaxing is not about you doing. It’s about you not doing it. It’s about you allowing, receiving, being relaxed. Just being. If you find yourself in a position where you’re trying to force things, that’s not relaxing. You need to let go and allow it to happen naturally. The same goes for enjoyment.
Why do I experience so much resistance to doing something that I know is good for me?
When you commit to doing something that expands your existence, you will experience feelings of obstruction. It will bring up negative voices in your head, excuses for not taking action, fear and many other versions of resistance. The bigger your commitment is, the more resistance you’ll experience. There’s a trick to handling this. Practise listening to the voices in your head that expand you and make you feel good, and learn to tune out the voices that make you feel bad because they contract your energy. The bad voices say things like, “You can’t do that. You’re not good enough to do that. You’re not worthy to do that. You’ve never done anything like that before. Why should you be able to do it now?” Not one of those voices makes you feel good. The good voices that expand you say, “It would be amazing to do that. I’d love to experience that. I wonder how you do it. I wonder what kind of people we need to get that done.” These voices open you and make you feel lighter. One of the biggest arts in life is to learn which voices to listen to and which voices to tune out. Think of your mind as having buttons like those on an old-fashioned analogue radio. You can twist the tuning button to tune into any voice you want and then use the volume button to make it louder or softer. That’s where you get to make powerful choices, but it takes lots of practice. Don’t get discouraged − keep working at it and you’ll see yourself making progress.
How can I get over fear?
If you think small you will never expand your energy. It takes courage to think big and grow. It takes courage not to listen to the voices of resistance. If you don’t have a lot of courage, now is your chance to develop it. We all have something that holds us back. Some people have fear. Some people lack confidence. Some people don’t have enough energy and others don’t have enough knowledge. It doesn’t matter. You can learn all of it. Take baby steps in the right direction. Some simple baby steps are to relax when you feel you should be stressed, to trust when you feel there’s nothing to trust and to walk towards what you fear, rather than moving away from it. You will find that what you fear grows if you run away from it and recedes if you move in its direction.
How can I see if this is really working?
This process of expansion continues throughout your life. You’re going to be expanding all the time, but it usually goes in steps, so it’s useful to recognise the signs when a new level is coming up. It can take many months for a shift to happen, and during those months you may feel quite discombobulated. It can be uncomfortable. Dissatisfaction is always involved, which is a good thing as it helps you define what you want instead of where you are now. Please recognise that if you’re having an uncomfortable time in your life, it means you’re expanding. There’s a shift going on. If you feel it’s been going on for a very long time, you’ve been resisting the shift. That’s why it’s so uncomfortable. The only thing that makes it difficult for us is that we either eat too much rotten food (by thinking constantly about problems) or try too hard and end up forcing everything. The energy lifestyle is about life becoming more enjoyable, more effortless, more easier in yourself, lighter and more natural.
Questions when you feel totally stuck
I’m totally stuck and I can’t see any way out at all. What can I do?
You’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. A classic example of this is when you’re married and you’re dissatisfied with your relationship. If you think of staying in your relationship, it feels disappointing. If you think of leaving, it’s terrifying and you don’t know if you could find somebody else. So you feel you’re completely stuck. You can’t change what you’ve got, and you can’t leave it − neither option feels good. It feels as though there’s no way out. The simple principle for all situations like this is to understand that there is a way forward, but you can’t see it at the moment. Then you need to trust that it will show up. Sometimes you can gain a different perspective by ‘rising above’ the situation. Imagine you’re looking down on it from above and see if you can discern any solutions. Sometimes you just need to wait patiently for something to show up. Trust is the key. To go back to the example of the marriage, I’ve typically found that people in this situation have no idea that their marriage can be healed or what that involves. Healing a marriage doesn’t just patch up the cracks and leave everything the same as it was before. Through healing, the partners gain a new level of love and connectedness they’ve never experienced before. It’s a profound and beautiful experience. When you wait and trust, knowing a solution is there even if you can’t see it yet, you attract the people and situations that can help you find your way out of being stuck. By remaining positive, and not giving into focusing on the problems all the time, you invite solutions.
I feel so negative at the moment. What can I do?
Start off at the beginning of the day by choosing how you want to experience the day. The simple way to do that is to say quietly to yourself, first thing in the morning, “I want to enjoy today”, “I want to be happy today”, or “I want to love my work today”. This usually helps to improve your experience. You can use your emotions as a guidance system. If you feel good, you’re on track. If you don’t feel good, you’re off track, so check what you’re thinking about. Are you thinking about problems? Are you thinking about something negative? Change it. And be patient with yourself. It takes time to become more positive – and lots of relaxation.
I’ve been practising everything you’ve said. Why isn’t it working any more?
Life is constantly evolving and changing, which means that very often what you’ve learned previously and what worked for you very well stops working. When this happens, you need to learn something new to achieve the next level. This is something that will continue to happen throughout your life, but it can be very confusing. For example, you can learn some relaxation techniques, and then find yourself facing a serious challenge only to discover that however you use those relaxation techniques, nothing seems to work. There always comes a point where you just need to let go of everything. You let go of all techniques, everything you know and everything you’ve learned. You simply go back to the very basics and relax directly. This is the true relaxation at the heart of every specific practice − and beyond them all. It is the ground to which you can return again and again whenever things get tough. You relax, trust and let go.
Why do I feel as if my life is falling apart?
Essentially, life is a constant process of creating new versions of yourself and letting go of old versions. There’s a pattern to this. The beginning of the pattern is that you feel dissatisfied with something and you want more. You want to experience more happiness, a new role, different clients, a better relationship. If you connect with what you want, instead of what you’re dissatisfied with, you connect with the energy of the new version of yourself and you start to feel different immediately. The tricky part is that this triggers a process of letting go of the old version of yourself. When this occurs, you feel as though you’re losing something. In fact, that’s exactly what’s happening. You’re losing an old aspect of yourself so you can let a new aspect in. The feeling of losing is what makes you feel negative things. You may feel afraid. You may experience terrible doubt about yourself, your life and your decisions. You may feel very out of control. You may even become so uncomfortable that you completely forget the new things you want and start to hold on tightly to what you’ve got. It’s important to be aware of this tendency, because life will become more and more uncomfortable until you let go and allow the new version of yourself in. The more you recognise the patterns of this process of growth, the easier it is to deal with them when they show up − especially the two difficult parts, when you feel dissatisfied and when you feel you’re losing everything. It’s vital to know that dissatisfaction is always the beginning of a new step forward. If you’re clear about this, you can say, “I’m dissatisfied. What do I want instead?” That creates a very quick shift. When you feel life is falling apart you can say, “I feel really negative. I must be letting go of something. That’s good. It means there’s a new version of me coming that’s better.” This will instantly neutralise the struggle and make it easier to handle. My clients often laugh because whenever they’re really struggling with something I’m very happy for them and I always tell them it’s good. I truly mean it.