I saw this simple, yet powerful quote on my most recent visit to my acupuncturist. I was immediately struck with the powerful wisdom in this proverb, and the possibility for missing the REAL POWER hidden in this message.
On one hand, these words are an observation - another outside-in interpretation of how things happen to you. When you are tense, it’s because something outside of you causes you to think of how things should or could be. When you are relaxed, it’s because nothing is wrong in your world.
But there is something far more transformative on offer here. From an inside-out perspective, it is clear that you CREATE tension inside your body when you CHOOSE to entertain thoughts about how things should be, might be, could have been, will be or won’t be. In other words, when you have thoughts that do not pertain to what you are doing RIGHT NOW, and you add more thinking to those thoughts, you WILL suffer. Why? Because you are up in your head. You are not dealing with reality. You are analyzing and over thinking. You are not in action, focused on the present moment and what there is to do NOW.
It is why young children are always relaxed and never tense. They have not yet LEARNED how to be tense. If you want to eliminate tension, use your imagination like a child. The imagination is for creating, dreaming, and role-playing. To worry is a misuse of your imagination.
To get back to your natural state of relaxation, you don’t need to do anything. But you also must be willing to let your thoughts go. Slowing down your mind is not hard work when you recognize that EVERY thought you ever have is just a possibility. If it is one that leads you away from your natural relaxation, you can simply let it go without adding more thinking to it. For it is only the thinking you do about your first thought that creates the tension.