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The Vibrant Moment – Remember: Enjoy the moment.
Tools from the Center for New Psychology
Publisher: Doris Jeanette, Holistic Psychology Mentor, Coach
August 7, 2013 is National Play Day. This is a great reminder for adults and children to get outside and have fun moving and grooving.
National Play Day is a wonderful follow up to my recommendation last week to the regular The Vibrant Moment readers. I suggested for good mental health you need to enjoy some pleasure every single day. Here is the link if you did not read it: http://thevibrantmoment.com/?p=688
So, were some of you able to add more pleasures this week? I sure did. I call vibrant moments being in heaven on earth.
Here is a list of some of my heavenly moments:
Swimming in a beautiful blue pool cleaned and softened by rain water
Swimming slowly on my back looking up at the glorious blue sky
Strolling in Rittenhouse Park while giving and receiving smiles
Cooking walnut crusted trout, Swiss shard and corn on the cob
Eating walnut crusted trout, Swiss shard and corn on the cob
Relaxing in a lounge chair outside looking at green trees and insects flying around
Sipping coffee with bits and pieces of pound cake underneath a canopy of trees
Gently resting my head on my buckwheat pillow in clean sheets
Taking a warm, long shower after hard housework
If you were not successful in enjoying more pleasurable moments this week, ask yourself, “What stopped me?”
In the USA, our Puritan and Germanic backgrounds rewards hard work and staying busy. If you work hard, you are rewarded. If you do not stay busy, you are punished. This means that if you want to avoid punishment you have to keep working and stay busy all the time. This is what most people do.
Resting, doing nothing, relaxing and enjoying life is a sin. Yes, a sin.
This Puritan Ethic conditioning is hard to break free from once it takes hold in your body and psyche. If you do not pay attention to how your conditioning stops you from enjoying pleasure, you cannot put into practice the action steps needed to break out of the bad habit of not relaxing.
At the age of 34, I consciously let go of control and relaxed. Immediately, the most painful guilt experiences crippled me again and brought me back into control. Every time I relaxed, I felt like a sinner. Every time I experienced pleasure, I felt like I was sinning.
No wonder I had such trouble learning how to relax in the first place! Every time I relaxed, I judged myself as lazy. Or to be more precise, I heard my father’s voice in my head calling me, “Lazy.” His judgment stopped me dead in my tracks and tightened up every muscle in my body.
Later in life when my father was dying, he confessed to me that he desperately wanted nothing more in life but to be able to put his feet up, kick back and relax. But he couldn’t. He just could not relax, no matter what he tried to do.
I suggested to him that he could stop making himself wrong when he relaxed. However, he was never able to rest, do nothing and enjoy just being in the moment. My father died an anxious man. While it is too late for my father, it is not too late for you.
If you listen, you can hear the exact judgments you learned from your parents, teachers and priests. These mental judgments keep you from relaxing and being in the moment. You must get rid of your mental judgments if you want to kick back and enjoy the moments of your life.
Of course, when you break free, you experience guilt.
Guilt is a given. This is when you really have to pay attention so you eliminate the irrational judgments in your head and keep moving forward. If not, guilt puts you right back into darkness, anxiety and depression.
So, using learning research, I felt like a lazy person for a while and continued to relax my body. I felt like a sinner over and over again, as I continued to enjoy the pleasures of living in the body.
Soon the control guilt had over me began to vanish and I could kick back and enjoy the moment without any guilt what so ever.
Share your feelings, thoughts and comments about guilt, guilt-free living, control, workaholics, Puritan conditioning and relaxation therapy below.
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