april twenty-first

Ironic: an often misused term that encompasses as great deal of truth regarding human behavior.

Some who eats healthily and exercises regularly could have a heart-attack; after hearing a plan baring absolutely no interest to an individual, he or she might reply with ‘sounds great’, when really they mean ‘sounds lame’; or, a person who boasts about ‘relaxation techniques’ via yoga and meditative breathing could very well be laden with a great inability to relax themselves.

I have always been deeply enamored with the idea of irony (most due the the fact that several individuals do not truly know what it means, yet keep it alive amid their daily discourse). However the moment I look in the mirror, it becomes more and more apparent that I am – perhaps – one of the most guilty culprits of an ironic existence.

Every day I put forth a great energy in ensuring those around me (whether it be at work, or school) learn to take pressures off themselves, relax and let what is be what is. Yet, for some explainable reason, the moment another applies this very wisdom onto me, I become both defensive and bothered.

In all honesty, I do not know why. Although I am not your a-typical 21-year-old, university student, I feel very fulfilled in the way in which I lead my life. I eat way better than a great deal of people… in general, I’ve learned a lot about one’s body and mind, which has enabled me to pass on my musings to others, I get more accomplished by 12AM than most do all day; and yet, for some reason, every once and a while I feel the need to… stop. Yet, refrain.

I do not suggest that one should be happy with their lives all the time. Sometimes you may feel like your daily habits begin to sound more like a ‘rut’ than they do a ‘life’, causing you to crave immediate change; this could be a haircut, a trip or – in more extreme cases – a change in career choices. However most people are able to take this leap, or make this change, while I feel as if I am unable to do so.

Last night, over a rather emotional discussion with my mother regarding the subject, it occurred to me that I, a relaxation advocate, have absolutely no idea what the word ‘relax’ means. I’ve gone so long exercising my generally active (both related to fitness and not) lifestyle, that I have honestly forgotten what it means to relax.

I decided to look up definitions – both scholarly and not so – to help me bot define and practice it more often:

  • Engaging in enjoyable activities which cause you less stress and bring forth happiness
    I do believe I do this through my yoga and meditation in the morning, as well as my short jogs. In those moments I feel calm and at peace with myself. Lately, I have also been practicing breathing techniques when I begin to feel anxious. I engage in circular breaths, with closed eyes and usually recite a mantra. Lately, my main mantras have been: 1) ‘run for your mind’ and 2) ‘let what is be’.
  • Having and easy-going or lose attitude
    I feel like this is an area which could use some great work; rarely does my hair get let down.
  • Become lose or less tightened
    Again, a principle in yoga which I hold very dear. To loosen both one’s mind and body, allows them to feel connected with every aspect of the same: mind, body and soul. Yet, again, something I have a difficult time doing off the yoga mat.
  • To chemically straighten the hair, removing curl and eliminating frizz
    Never have I personally done this, but I have known a few who have.
  • To relieve from stresses
    Again, an area that requires some work. Though, with my circular breaths and momentary meditation, I have been feeling somewhat more in control of my stresses. The moment I feel any form of anxiousness, I immediately close my eyes and breath evenly in and out, while telling myself that that which you cannot control is not your concern, you are your concern.
  • Calm, collected and confident
    I feel like this triad of c’s are all areas in my life with could use a great deal of attention. While I could argue that I am collected, it is probably that I am far too collected and could truly be a bit less. Furthermore, I – while it mightn’t be overly observable – am in no way a confident human being. I will stop here as I do not feel the need to drench this with self-deprecation.

I am sure I do not have to tell you that the list goes on an on… including some very unusual examples; these are the ones that truly spoke to me, however. Mostly the last one: calm, collected and confident. In fact, the moment I read it, I stopped. Perhaps it is this which I must focus on these next four months; perhaps these are the words which I should truly be defining.

Yet, I suppose, until the moment I can fully submerge myself into an existence of the aforementioned relaxation triad, I will just continue to breathe: inhale… exhale… inhale… exhale… and be.


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