This last Friday, I had the great fortune to sit and listen to Elizabeth Gilbert (Think Eat, Pray, Love and you know who I’m talking about) speak to a group of women at the FAB event in Sheridan, Wyoming. Before she even started speaking, I was overwhelmed with the amazing grace surrounding me, present in each beautiful woman sitting and waiting in anticipation of what was about to be presented. I think it is safe to say, that no one was disappointed by night’s end.
Elizabeth gave us a rare offering in this day and age…she challenged us all to learn the art of RELAXING. Not the “go get a hot stone massage” type of rest, but the development of a way of being which allows for assuredness that no matter what, all will be well. When Elizabeth presented us with this unique thought, the first response I had was, “that is what I do…help my clients to find that state of peace and sureness.” I wanted to start passing out my business cards to everyone in attendance! And then Elizebeth went on to describe three points to help us women in today’s crazy culture to actually get to this elusive way of being.
One, establish priorities. Women are fixers of all, and what generally happens in that role is that the fixer ends up being the one needing fixed after being completely depleted. So we were encouraged to pick 3-5 priorities and commit to these, allowing those which did not make the cut to fall into someone else’s domain. The idea of saying “yes” to what is important resonated with me, as saying “no” is always difficult.
Two, get comfortable with appropriate boundaries. This has been a topic I have investigated thoroughly with my therapist through the years, so I started to kind of tune it out. However, Elizabeth addressed it in a new and enlightened way. She challenged us to find what is sacred in our lives and simply draw a circle around it. When it becomes sacred, you treat it as holy and surround it with your love and care. It’s not so much about keeping things out, rather it is more concerned with protecting what is most holy in your life. Again, a positive spin, a “yes” rather than a “no”.
The third point about made me fall off of my chair. We were told of how an interviewer that had spoken with multiple successful women said there was one thing they had in common. And this one thing wasn’t shared until the tape recorder had been turned off and all the things that were “supposed” to be said had been spent. Each one of the women divulged that they had had a mystical experience at one point in time; that visit from something beyond themself which pointed to a grander scheme. And in that moment, they knew where they fit into that larger picture and that what they did made a difference and served the greater good. This is what gave them the empowerment to continue forward through all circumstances.
So RELAXATION is not all passive. It is about taking active steps along the way which ensure we are coming from that place of “Yes”. Establishing priorities, identifying and honoring what is sacred, and truly engaging in that which is bigger than my own self are ways to create a space for life to flow. As a Contemplative Healer, this message struck to the core of my understanding of how we are called to walk this earth.
I am comforted to know that my own personal path has led me to a place in my life where I can help others to touch upon this possibility of having real RELAXATION, and not just a 30 minute break from the craziness which surround us all. Learning to quiet the brain stem and reset the nervous system can result in the creation of a new way to approach each minute of the day; coming from a place of assurance and resolve; knowing that in the end, and perhaps even right now, it’s gonna be alright!