Relax Into the Moment (try this tip)

Relax Into the Moment

By Leo Babauta  A guest post

You might be surprised how often we’re resisting life.

If you assess your body right now, I bet you can find some kind of tension or tightness. For me, it’s often in my chest, but sometimes it’s in my jaw, face, neck or shoulders.

Where does this tightness come from? We’re struggling against something — perhaps we’re irritated by someone, frustrated by something, stressed or overwhelmed by all we have to do, or just don’t like whatever it is we’re faced with. This causes a resistance, a hardening or tightening. Everyone does it, most of the day.

It’s normal, but it causes unhappiness, an aversion to the present moment, struggles with other people or ourselves, struggles with the task we’re faced with. What I’ve found useful is the idea of relaxing into the moment.

Try this:

  • Notice where the tension is in your body right now.
  • Notice what you’re tightening against — it might be someone else, or whatever it is you’re faced with.
  • Relax the tightness. Just let yourself melt.
  • Face the same situation, but with a relaxed, friendly attitude.

And repeat as often as you can remember, throughout the day. Just use the phrase “relax into the moment” to remind yourself.

What this does is helps us to face the day with less tension and greater contentment. We struggle less with how other people are, and instead might open our hearts to them and see that they, like us, are struggling and want to be happy.

We might face a task with less resistance, and instead do it with a smile. We might just notice the physical space around us and start to appreciate it for the unique gift that it is. And in the end, we’re changing our mode of being from one of struggle and resistance to one of peace and gratitude.


5 Ways to Relax…

Ring.  Ring.  Buzz.  Beep.  Bloop.  What’s all that?  Oh it’s your devices going off.  Deadlines are coming up.  You are stressed out.  Stress leads to sickness.  So take a minute to re-charge without feeling guilty because in the long run, you will be much better off.

How do I relax?

1. Go to your happy place.   Where’s my happy place?  If you don’t know, chances are you need to relax.  For me, it’s the beach.  Since I live near there, I can go stick my feet in the sand and relax.  But it could easily be a hammock, a favorite restaurant, a movie, a good book, or just closing my eyes for a few minutes thinking about my children, husband and dachshunds.  Or perhaps a massage in Jamaica.  Whatever:)
2. Listen to music.  I have eclectic taste in music.  Okay, fine, I listen to old music mostly.  However, I have songs that bring about happy feelings, so they relax me.  I can just put on some Rusted Root and send me on my way to my happy place.  I can listen to Celtic inspired music and dream about the day I actually get to go to Ireland.  And Bob Marley and his birds, well, I need them to remind me about the joys of little things.
3. Breathe deeply and be present.  Unfortunately, this one is my nemesis.  I work on staying present, but it’s like this giant battle in my head.  “Oh look.  It’s the past.  Let’s go there.”  Or “Hey, let’s go down this path to worry.  You like it a lot.”  Noooo.  Not there.  Path to now.  Let’s stay on that path.  “Wait, a bunny.  It’s leading me to what if?”  WHAT IF??  No.  Absolutely don’t follow the bunny.  Bad bunny.  Trying to take me down the rabbit hole.
4. Unplug from devices.  Bzzz.  Beep.  Bling.  Message.  Text.  Call.  Notifications x 100.  Groups.  FB status.  E-mail.  Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.  Stop the insanity!  That’s why for family vacations, people might be extremely surprised to find out the social media gal, that’s me, goes away to state parks that don’t have internet or any connection to the outside world.  Muhaha.  And if you are that person who has tried to remove Facebook from your phone for the third time…but re-installs it.  Or deletes their profile…and gets back on.  Well, at least you tried.
5. Get moving!  Honestly, this is the best.  I do “the yoga” to relax.  It helps me get into my flow, which I have mentioned before, is my moving meditation.  It is the way I truly and fully live in the now.  I listen to the teacher and focus only on me.  I don’t care what you are doing in the class, I really am focused on me.  Sometimes, I might make a joke under my breath that others close by might hear as I talk myself through a pose…but I am truly only thinking about the present moment.  I am trying not to talk to myself as much about my short comings…but working alone, I spend lots of time in my head.   That’s why this one is the best for me!!

5 ways to relax

No peace. Know peace…


Directing attention to my third eye, I could feel the tension build.  Wait, I am supposed to be looking beyond ordinary sight.  Let me clear my mind.  I can hear my instructor telling me to focus.  I breathe in and out and feel the warmth of the hot yoga studio envelop me.  The steam embraces me and I relax.  But I still can’t believe what my friend told me right before class.  No, push those thoughts away.  Focus on your breathing.  If I was her, I would…wait.  You are not her, and you need to focus.  Those thoughts can wait.  We both enjoyed our class and pushed everything away.  Drenched in sweat, the peace descended on me.  The tension released and somehow I felt a sense of clarity.

When my friends ask me for advice, I put myself in their position and answer as honestly as I can.  No matter what, my friends know that when they ask me something, they need to be ready to hear what I have to say.  I have learned over the years to hold back until I think they are ready to hear what I have to say.  Sometimes that does not always work, but if I answered in any way other than the truth, I would have no peace.  You see, I believe that in order to know peace, you must have that moment of no peace.  Get it?

When a deep question is asked, you must dig deep for the answer.  I believe that most of the time, you already know the answer, but it is uncomfortable to face.  As humans, we go through all the emotions that make us who we are.  Shock, denial, anger, bargaining with yourself (which often leads to guilt), depression, and my favorite acceptance and hope.  During this time, you have no peace.  Sleepless nights, anxiety, headaches, and tension occur until you finally come to your decision and know peace.  At that time, you will begin to feel a sense of relief and purpose knowing what you have to do.  When you begin to move forward, you will emerge a better person.  Your time is coming.  Trust me.

“The keys to patience are acceptance and faith. Accept things as they are, and look realistically at the world around you. Have faith in yourself and in the direction you have chosen.”  ~Ralph Marston



The first day of May was traditionally known as an ancient Gaelic holiday.  The sun has progressed to its mid-way point between the spring equinox and the summer solstice.  For me, it marks the day that I do the final countdown in my head.  I know that if I make it through this month, school is almost over.  This is always an exciting time.  I am reminded of a certain piece of literature:

“The month of May was come, when every lusty heart beginneth to blossom, and to bring forth fruit; for like as herbs and trees bring forth fruit and flourish in May, in likewise every lusty heart that is in any manner a lover, springeth and flourisheth in lusty deeds. For it giveth unto all lovers courage, that lusty month of May.”  ~Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d’Arthur

Oh yes, every “lusty heart” have beginneth to blossom for sure at my school.  We are lusting after pedicures, days in the sun, maxi-dresses, bikinis, sandy toes, cocktails, and actually reading a book for pleasure, not to the class.  Mommas are looking forward to play dates with their friends and kids, staying up later and looking for lightning bugs, going to the park and letting our kids just be kids.  As for me, I’m a no-schedule kind of gal in the summer.  Call me up on short notice and invite me somewhere.  Got an extra ticket to that thing you like?  Sweet.  I’ll go.  Yup.  It’s kind of like this in my head now:

For those of you who don’t know me, I had hair like Europe back in the day.  Don’t judge.  It rocked.

“How much of human life is lost in waiting?”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson