We've just come off a long weekend, where many had the opportunity to relax. But did you take that opportunity? Or were you stressed by not actively "bettering yourself"?
Being at ease is difficult for any creator/founder type.
You stress about not having enough money in the bank, "just in case."
And every time you try and relax, you're triggered into feeling like you should be doing something.
It's like relaxing is a trigger that reminds you that you're not where you want to be.
This "survival" mode feels wired in – and the goalposts keep moving.
It's only those rare moments when there's real business progress that we feel like you can relax.
This habit, like an addiction, drives you forward. Whether it's programmed in by your family, your peers or the culture. Not having "enough" is the drive for so many of us.
But our bodies (and minds) want balance, and balance comes from equal parts stressors/drive and equal parts calm and relaxation. This balance of "doing" and "being" is ancient. It's the ying/yang that we seek. Not too much relaxation or apathy, but not too much stress either.
Getting into the Flow
If you are unable to relax, be at ease, and be present, it's unlikely that you are able to go with the flow of things.
You have the opportunity to get into the present moment.
You can connect with your family, enjoy a dinner, enjoy the beach or a walk. You can be there and be at ease.
But when the protective structure of work, of your normal life, of your habits dissipates, you're instantly left feeling uncomfortable.
And when the walls of that structure fall down you feel... shame.
Uncomfortable with the shame, you fix that by returning to your work or being hard on yourself for attempting to relax.
And then you're right back into your protective structure of striving.
Comfortable to be back, but uncomfortable for why you're there.
Especially since there is something else available right now for you. You can almost taste it.
And you regret that you missed it.
So how do you go with the flow? How do you be at ease if you also have a programmed habit that feels fear as soon as you give in to the flow of the moment?
You let go. You break the boundaries of the structure. You allow yourself to step beyond them.
Your mind has declared that there is something scary that will happen to you if you allow the walls to dissapate. If you step beyond the boundary. If you give in to the temptation.
You fear there will never be a way back, that you will lose yourself and all of that protection will be gone.
That if you do what your mind perceives to be "bad" you are then "bad" and corrupted.
But what if corruption is what you need?
The bars of your comfort zone have given you a story that is easy to accept for someone like you, someone hardworking, with good intentions, who wants to do well for themselves...
The story is that you have to keep a lid on your own enjoyment. That you have to protect yourself. That you can't take a wrong step, less you be out of control.
Less you become like all of those other "non-strivers" those you judge.
Those that you judge for your own justification of playing safe.
While your discomfort doesn't feel like a safety zone, it is.
Just because you run a business, or have a startup, or your own project that is risky and "different" doesn't mean that you don't have your own growth edge which will propel you forward.
I'm not asking you to take the next 5 months off and binge eat food/drink at the beach. To take a mini-retirement. Although I don't think it would be the worst thing in the world for you to do that.
For now, I'm only talking about 2-3 days of allowing, letting go, and stepping outside of the tightly controlled grip on the reality you are trying to force into being.
If you want to learn to be at ease... you have to relax enough to let the ease happen.
And that means giving in to stepping across the line you've kept for yourself. In a way, becoming the thing you so much want not to become.
Only then can you find the balance you're seeking.