I have issues with relaxation.

Well. Let’s just say that I don’t really like it.

Resistance to comfort. It’s my thing.

Clarification: I do actually love the sensation of being relaxed when I’m there, but I don’t like a lot of things that are supposed to be relaxing.

In the meantime, I’ve been working on becoming someone who can be a little more comfortable with relaxation in different forms.

By taking on a practice that is actually — and weirdly — a lot more challenging than it sounds.

A month of relaxation.

I’ve already started.

Because I’m sneaky that way. I have to work my way into things before I can commit to them actually happening. Today is Day Six. Gah! Day Six! See? Stressful already.

What does “a month of relaxation” even mean?

Am I relaxing for a month? Hell, no.

Because that would be terrifying. Plus I have about a million things going on right now.

So no. My commitment is to spend one hour a day doing things that I personally find relaxing. Yes. I have a list.

And yes, it was totally stressful coming up with a list of things that I find relaxing. And if you just snickered, you’re in really good company.

The “people vary” caveat.

My list isn’t your list.

Stuff that you find relaxing, I might find kind of anxiety-inducing.

Like massage. I have trouble with it. Love the results, issues with the process. My stuff. But there you are.

So the important thing here is not “these are things that are relaxing” but these are things that are relaxing for me.

Also, it’s bizarre how hard it was to find things that count as relaxing that don’t come with non-relaxing stowaways. Like, reading a book could be relaxing but then I have to remember to order stuff from the library (not relaxing).

And obviously everything is made more complicated by the fact that relaxation itself stresses me out, but let’s not get too tangled up here.

Some things that could potentially count as relaxing. For me.

  • A bath. Or a foot bath. With Lisa’s salts that make everything better.
  • Going to a spawna (my word for any kind of spa-ish place that also has a sauna)
  • Giving myself a massage with Heidi’s magic potions (my favorite — surprise! — is called Losing It)
  • Listening to a yoga nidra recording. It’s kind of hard to find any that aren’t ridiculously cheesy and annoying, so if you have recommendations, bring it on.
  • Doing an hour of non-sucky yoga. Or my genius Old Turkish Lady yoga. Or restorative eye-pillow feel-like-I’m-floating yoga.
  • Taking a nap.
  • Or going to take a nap and then not napping but resting my eyes and breathing.
  • Listening to my crazy Germany hypnosis CD that I love even though it’s kind of insane. Oh that Werner!
  • Falling down. I mean, jumping on my tiny trampoline until I fall down.
  • Taking my duck to the park.

Aaand a little discomfort to make all that comfort more bearable.

I’m also starting a practice of spending an hour naked every day.

Which is not even slightly relaxing or comfortable for me but I’m hoping will become more so.

Just to be clear, this is not part of my relaxation-comfort practice.

It’s more, you know, to balance the comfort with some discomfort since comfort makes me uncomfortable.

If that makes no sense, I can’t help you. Just assume that I’m trying a bunch of stuff and practicing and it’s weird and hard and complicated.

I’ll probably report back.

Especially since reporting back is the curse of blogging and also I kind of can’t help it.

If you want to join me in the grand experiment, you’re more than welcome.

Whether your experience of this whole thing is more “wa-hoo a month of relaxingness oh the joy!” or more “crap crap crap that sounds like an entire month of horrible” … it would still be nice to have some company.

Comment zen for today.

Please don’t tell me that massage is relaxing or if I just tried X KIND OF BODYWORK I would love it.

I have abuse history. Being touched by strangers is not fun for me.
Massage is something I can work on getting more comfortable with, but it’s really not something I want to actively take on for my month of relaxation.

Oh. I can also do without anyone pointing out the irony of a yoga and meditation teacher who can help other people relax because I just pointed it out myself. Awesome.

I think that’s it. Basically, if you can be gentle with my baby practice, I would appreciate it.

And if you want to use this space to launch a mini-practice of your own, share stories or complain about how stressful relaxation can be, rock on.

The Fluent Self