Should we release tension?

9 August 2016 0 Comment(s)

Tension in the kitchen - Gordon Ramsay


Since I’ve started talking about the contents of my coming workshop (SIT – Space In Time), I have had some very interesting and thought provoking conversations. One topic that has come up about 3/4 times with people whose opinion I value, is whether it’s actually important to release tension consciously at all. One of those conversation took place in the kitchen when I was preparing a few dishes for guests at a speed of 100 miles per hour… Have you been in those kind of situation where speed is just needed? I was telling Donya (my daughter) that I found it challenging to work that fast and still release some level of tension. It required so much more vigilance and tenacity! This is when she asked what I considered a very intelligent and important question. It was in the lines of: Do we need to release or soften the very tension that is helping us speed up to do more? I interpreted it in my little head as: When adrenaline and all its friends are kicking in to give us the focus and speed that we need to achieve our goals, is it not counter-productive to soften the tension they create?

In my opinion, it isn’t. The way I see it: adrenaline and its friends, fuel an internal fire whose energy and warmth goes to my limbs so that I can do what I need to, at the speed that I need. This fire, when we are unconscious, runs lose with no internal mechanism to allow us to decide the level of its heat. We can only cook a good meal on a gas cooker or a barbecue if we know how to handle its flames. If we don’t we end up with either charcoal food (fruitless actions) or burn ourselves (exhaustion).
When I was younger, I remember, the flames of this inner fire could get so intense that it would need to find a way out….Picture a Dragon’s breathing out fire! Can you imagine? Donya still remembers!
So my answer to her question was: the more I practice learning to release some of the tension during stressful situations, the more I’m learning to handle the flames of my inner fire, the more I can adjust its flames according to a particular task. When we look at the face of an Olympic champion, we can see an underlying calm and togetherness, despite the intensity of what they are going through,

The question is: Is the tension and it’s amount necessary now?  Can I not achieve my goal without it? The answer might bring you some laughter and smiles!

We can’t avoid tension! Not only can we not avoid it, we need it! Our hearts needs it to beat, our lungs need it to inhale. For most of us, our mothers needed tension to give birth or, we wouldn’t be here in the first place! But even then, she would have been advised to relax when possible and not to lose her breath (if she was lucky to have an experienced midwife!)

I see the release of tension when it is at its pick – even if it doesn’t release but it is intended – as a great ‘nervous system push up’! Who knows what we can do with stronger nerves? Perhaps, we can have move fun doing the things we really want in the playground of life? What do you think?

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