There are two types of people in the world: goal seekers and relaxers.
The goal seekers are insane. I can say that because I was a member of the club for many years. If you are always trying to get somewhere, it means you don’t want to be where you’re at, and there’s nothing that leads to more personal stress.
You may be a goal seeker.
Goal seeking can take on many forms. At one end of the spectrum are the people who are trying to get ahead—those who are always pushing harder, using stress as a motivator, and hustling to reach some ever elusive goal.
Goal seekers are capable of incredible selfishness, and cause many problems without even realizing what they are doing. Collectively, goal seekers are responsible for a majority of our planets problems.
At the opposite end of the spectrum is a type of goal seeker who often goes unrecognized. Let’s call this person the escapist. We don’t typically think of someone who sits around all day drinking beer or doing drugs as a goal seeker, but they are. They are seeking to escape from their perceived problems. When you are in this place, you feel like the goal is to escape from yourself.
This person is not seeking escape from the true self, but from the mind based sense of self, or the ego.
Trusting total relaxation.
For a long time, I mistook escapism for relaxation.
I thought of relaxation as a form of laziness. I imagined that if I let myself truly relax, I would just be avoiding my problems and get nothing done; that I would sit around all day, doing nothing.
It wasn’t until I trusted myself enough to start practicing and allowing for total relaxation that I was able to understand the wonderful world of the relaxed lifestyle.
We can’t force ourselves to relax.
Relaxation is like floating in the sea—if we struggle, we sink.
True relaxation begins by allowing the negatives in our lives, and in our minds, to drop away until we find ourselves floating effortlessly within the ocean of life.
When we meet someone who has cultivated the ability to exist in total relaxation, we can feel it. The relaxers have a different energy that comes from beyond the body and the mind, and it’s an energy that comes from the root of their most true self.
One master of relaxation I met a few years ago was a young architect. He seemed to have infinite energy. He never became upset or stressed at having to undertake a new task, and above all, he was constantly having fun. As I got to know him, I discovered a number of traits that all relaxers have in common:
- Relaxers live deeply in the present moment.
- Relaxers realize it is okay to make mistakes and they are not burdened by them.
- Relaxers have fear only when it is appropriate to have fear, which means almost never.
- Relaxers allow themselves complete down time on a regular basis.
- Relaxers have discovered a life that is deeply grounded and peaceful.
- Finally, surprisingly, relaxers are fountains of creative action and ideas.
Activity versus action.
Goal seekers are full of activity instead of action. They are constantly doing things—often busy work, or wasting time. They never allow for a down moment as they are always making plans, checking email, accomplishing tasks, and rushing to the next activity.
Relaxers are comfortable with taking it easy until it is time to take action. When we are relaxed we can be aware, and when we are aware, we are conscious and needless activity ceases.
Relaxers tend to remain deeply present, which means that when an action is required, they are able to spontaneously spring into action and make just the right move.
Relaxers have done the hard work of getting comfortable with themselves. The architect I mentioned had a number of challenges in his life that caused him to look inward at a young age and come to terms with his uniqueness.
The relaxers feel no need to keep busy because they have no need to escape from themselves.
So have no fear of relaxation. You may feel you are missing out if you are not taking constant action. In reality, you are wasting time on inefficient activity, whether you realize it or not.
Go ahead, take the leap and do nothing for a while.
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Assistant Editor: Kathryn Ashworth/Editor: Bryonie Wise