Thursday, May 01, 2008

Relaxing in India

Sometimes we can all use a little reminder to pause, take a breath and relax.

On a trip to India several years ago, in the midst of the enormous city of New Delhi I found a delightful surprise. If you've ever been to New Delhi, you know it is immensely busy, crowded, loud and chaotic! The traffic is a jumble of cars, buses, bicycles, carts pulled by various animals and lots of pedestrians. It can be quite overwhelming and stressful to find oneself in the midst of this sea of humanity.

As I was traveling through the city one day, my bus paused at a stop light (which many people there don't really obey, by the way). I looked up at the traffic light, and in the middle of the red light were white letters, in English, that read, RELAX. I was astonished! I chuckled to myself and wondered how on earth that had come to be.

A little while later, I was stopped at another red light, and I observed the same phenomenon. It too said RELAX.

There were actually many lights that had this little 'message' added to them.

What a great reminder, that anything, even a delay, can be an excellent opportunity to pause, take a deep breath and relax! We are required to stop at red lights and I venture to say that many of us are impatiently waiting for them to turn green so we can get on with it! In our impatience and future focus, we miss the present moment.

These little messages in India convinced me that every red light is an opportunity to recenter myself and sink deeper into a state of peace - no matter what chaos surrounds or indwells me.

Now, no matter what country I'm in... I try to use every red light as a reminder to take a deep breath and sink into a little bit of relaxation. Give it a try! Try to do it at every red light you encounter for an entire day and see how you feel!

Or pick something else... when your cell phone rings... take a deep breath and relax. How about when you flick a light switch on or off? Just take a deep breath and relax. Pick something that you do many times a day on a regular basis and use it to help train yourself to RELAX!

This simple practice can change your life!!

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