Relax...

... as I sat in my car this morning waiting for it to warm up, I noticed that the outside temperature was 15 degrees... I turned on the defroster, and stepped out to scrape the windows... in about 5 minutes, I was finished.. I slid back behind the wheel, and noticed that I was shaking slightly from the cold... it reminded me... I've had this same feeling before in movie theatres... air conditioned, dark spaces... drinking an ice cold Coke... totally absorbed in a movie... and the next thing you know, your body is shaking to generate heat.... it's all psychological... it's not like I was going to die from exposure in a movie theatre... and it's not like my body needed to be shaking after five minutes outside either.... sometimes, your mind plays tricks on you... just like this morning...

... as I sat there, I realized that I had let my subconscious take over... my body was shaking because I had "stiffened" myself against the cold.... as the frozen air started sinking in, my body had taken over.... so, I took a deep breath... lit a cigarette, and made myself relax... I didn't try to fight the cold... after all, the car will be warm in a minute.... so I just relaxed and let myself feel the cold begin to sink in... relishing the very feel of it.... in ten minutes, the car was a toasty 74 degrees... no harm done... and I'd had a great time...

... sitting here now, I am thinking that this simple approach applies to a lot of things in life... relaxing, and letting things wash over you... rolling with the proverbial punches... rather than standing shivering and trying to buck them.... and not just outside effects like heat and cold... but other things... like fear or love... when your instincts take over, relax... stop for a minute, and let your mind regain control... every experience offers a unique sensation... savor each one....

by Eric on January 18, 2005 | Bullshit (15) | SWG Stories
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Bullshit So Far

Since this advice comes from a man who's been to Alaska, I'm taking it :-)

Bullshitted by Harvey on January 18, 2005 11:32 AM

Yup, I stepped out into 1 degree weather here and did the same thing. Cept I didn't have anything to smoke while relaxing,,,

Bullshitted by Michele on January 18, 2005 01:24 PM

relax...way cool. I need to try that in other aspects of my life...always something good here, Eric.

Thanks.

Bullshitted by Christina on January 18, 2005 06:03 PM

I wish I could relax. Maybe I should take up smoking...

Bullshitted by Jen H on January 18, 2005 06:50 PM

I'll drink to that.

Bullshitted by Blake on January 18, 2005 11:54 PM

Man..I needed to read this BEFORE I wrote my own post today :)

Bullshitted by Sheilah on January 19, 2005 01:33 AM

I remote start my car as I don't have time to sit and relax. I'm too f-ing busy stressing about all the stuff I need to get done.

Bullshitted by _Jon on January 19, 2005 10:47 AM

_Jon - a Jedi can FEEL the stress flowing through him... :-)

Bullshitted by Harvey on January 19, 2005 10:55 AM

... exactly, Harv... exactly...

Bullshitted by Eric on January 19, 2005 11:15 AM

its 11am in detroit and we have 10 inches blowing around and more is coming...and I love it!!!

one of my most treasured Detroit memories was when I was watching a house this californian rock star had purchased in a crappy east side neighborhood and it dumped a foot. I went outside to shovel and these two 8 year old black kids walked by on the way home from a cancelled school day. Of course the stereotype is that they are callow and ignorant and wouldnt have anything good to say, newsflash-black people in Detroit are very racist to whitey in their hoody, but I don't play. So's I says to the kid "Man, this's a lot of snow,huh?" thinking he'd take the opportunity to say something victimlike or just thniking that he'd ignore me. But he just cut right through my game and said "I think its beautiful" just like that, without missing a beat.
It was a heart melting moment and I just stood there wishing his parents and I could be so cool.
I stood there watching the two goofs trudge away thinking that there's always a future and its just as likely to one a lot better than I dould ever imagine.

Bullshitted by thad lucken on January 22, 2005 11:29 AM

I too have sat with my whole body shaking from the "cold." Then an old Minnesota Swede taught me to let the cold wash over me, relax and un-hunch my shoulders. Much better. Now I enjoy Minnesota winters and go skiing and snowmobiling. My frineds think I'm crazy now because I'll be heard wishing it was just a little bit colder so the Ski-Doo will run that much faster!

Bullshitted by RapidTransit on January 23, 2005 12:36 PM

..Eric,after reading your piece it brought back a memeroy of being the first to take to a frozen lake,big lake,no ruts,no tracks just a soft spray coming off the skis at 50+ maybe more,it just felt like a cusion of air..so serene..its the little things..

Bullshitted by Rob_NC on January 23, 2005 04:24 PM

Yeah, but still don't touch your tongue to a frozen flag pole, dude. It ain't all just a psychological experience.


Bullshitted by Ray on January 24, 2005 12:20 AM

Years ago, when I studied Tai Chi briefly, the sifu made a similar observation. "Watch people walking through the rain," he said, "and notice how they are hunched over against it and cold and miserable. How much happier they would be if they just accepted the rain and walked upright through it."

In the years since, I've practised this advice and found that it does indeed work. I still don't like getting soaked, but for anything less, accepting the rain sure does make it a darn sight more pleasant to walk through...

And it reduces that pesky muscle pain that comes from tensing up all the time...

Bullshitted by Dwight in IL on January 24, 2005 01:34 PM

The technique works for times like those in a dentist's chair -- when you think you just can't take another moment. Focus on the tooth that's being drilled, listen to the drill. The pain lessens. It doesn't go away; it just goes down..... Maybe we can't think and feel at the same time.

Bullshitted by Tony on January 27, 2005 06:44 PM