Re-entry after a long weekend can be a little tricky. It’s amazing how quickly I can get used to not having to get up early and adhere to an invariably busy schedule. But the interlude is over and now I must manage a breakneck week of appointments and activities that are enough for an army to execute. Some weeks are busier than others, and this week’s schedule seems a little daunting.
It’s easy to get caught up in the energy-sucking whirlwind of calendar chaos, which for somebody who likes to be in control of her life instead of vice versa, can create what my friend R refers to as “lifelock.” He defines lifelock as, “keeping all energy and laser focus on maintaining a firm and unrelenting grip so as not to let the precarious order of things that have been muscled into containment roll into a sea of pandemonium.” That’s a pretty fancy definition for not going with the flow, even if the flow requires you to be in several places at the same time when you are only one person.
So how do I relinquish the tenseness and tightness that comes from the embodiment of lifelock? Yoga is my antidote, but I can’t spend my entire day doing yoga. Although the blissful effects do last for a little while, on weeks like this it takes a lot of conscious effort to get back to my zen spot. Knowing I had a very over-scheduled week ahead of me, I took some extra yoga time this morning freeing up as much physical and mental constriction as I could before there was no turning back. While I was connecting with my inner sanctum I realized that there is one simple way that lifelock can be released, by relaxing my face.
When you relax your face, and I mean really relax it–let your cheeks loosen, unclench your jaw, soften your eyes, unfurrow your brow, erase the scowl from your forehead and lips (we often don’t even know it’s there,) and just softly breathe—you can dive into a moment of peacefulness. A tight face, or facelock, is an unrelenting cause of mind and body tension.
In this over-hurried, over-booked, over-stressed world of over-time, it is safe to assume that most people have lifelock and facelock and aren’t even aware of it. I succumb to this on a regular basis, but don’t realize how much so until I break out my yoga mat and stretch into some ridiculously ambrosial poses that help my worries momentarily disappear. But today, in the midst of the busyness I remembered to relax my face. When I did that my whole body let go. Then I stopped panicking about how I was going to get everything done, how behind schedule I already was, and how I would possibly be able to make it to the weekend.
There are so many components of life that we don’t have control over. Learning to just accept that heads us towards the lifelock cure. But in the meantime when I find myself facelocked in the grip of the frenzy, I will simply relax my face. And at the end of the day if I need just a little more, turn on some classic holiday jazz and smile.