Miracle #9 - Learning To Relax
An indoor aquatic center recently opened in my neighborhood and I signed up for a twice weekly"Water Workout"class there.
I love the fact that I can exercise without getting all sweaty.
It almost doesn't seem like a workout at all.
A lot of the exercises involve using a noodle or kick board to float on, so it is both fun and seemingly effortless.
This morning I went to class reciting my ACIM Workbook Lesson for the day - #256: God is the only goal I have today.
As I jogged through the pool, using the life preserver on the wall as a focal point and saying my lesson in my head, I thought about how A Course in Miracles has been like a life preserver for me, tossed to me by the Holy Spirit so that I no longer have to thrash around in life, struggling to keep my head above water.
I have never been a strong swimmer and I have never been able to float.
Last month I floated for the first time ever in the pool, and realized that in order to float you have be relaxed, and that I had never been able to relax.
Relaxation requires trust and I never had that, always thinking that I had to do everything myself or it wouldn't get done.
Suddenly, I can trust in God.
I don't have to do everything myself.
I don't even have to know how things will get done.
I only have to show a little willingness to move in the right direction, and God will make the way smooth for me.
I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight.
- Isaiah 45:2
This learning to relax has been a gradual process.
A combination of a daily practice for the past year of A Course in Miracles and three years of Tai Chi classes.
Tai Chi is a martial art that is also a kind of moving meditation.
Many people take it for the health benefits of reduced stress.
I started taking it just to have an activity that got me away from my desk.
I learned in Tai Chi class that I hold a lot of tension in my body - and that I always try too hard.
You cannot do Tai Chi well if you are tense or struggling.
You cannot make it happen. You have to relax and allow it to happen.
Just as Tai Chi helped me to relax my body, my ACIM lessons have helped me to relax my mind.
It no longer races to solve all the problems of the world, but instead focuses on God, and the problems resolve themselves.
Solutions just occur to me.
I don't have to strive to figure anything out.
Life becomes easy-peasy.
The only effort I need to expend is to keep my thoughts trained on God and to catch myself when they wander.
At first it seems nearly impossible, because most of us have thoughts like pin-balls, bouncing off in every direction.
But gradually and with practice, my thoughts became more like a bowling ball.
I just take a few steps to send it in the right direction, and momentum does the rest.
And more and more often, I seem to be bowling a strike!
Just as you improve at any sport with practice, my mind has become more and more streamlined, and less and less chaotic, with each lesson that I learn.
While life once seemed to be like swimming in shark-infested waters, now I can miraculously "float through" life.
Who wouldn't choose that?
Thank you, Holy Spirit
I choose the joy of God instead of pain. —Workbook lesson #190