The power of relaxation – sounds like a contradiction, no? Is that an oxymoron? Somebody dust off the Webster’s and fact check that definition, please! I’m beginning to think that relaxation is the new secret weapon and our most underrated superpower.
I recently had the honour of hearing bestselling author (and my new BFF) Elizabeth Gilbert speak. She so beautifully said, “The most powerful person in any situation is the most relaxed person in the room.” Elizabeth talks about how we rarely use the term “relaxed” in relation to female role models.
“When we think of all the women who we admire — the ones we know personally, current celebrities or historical figures — we use terms such as “bad-ass”, “fierce”, “resilient” and “disciplined”. Occasionally, we’ll celebrate women as “vulnerable” or “wholehearted”.
But we never celebrate women for being relaxed. As good, successful women, we’re expected to be endlessly productive. Relaxing is synonymous with “laziness” because if we’re not contributing, creating, prepping, or taking care of someone, our worth is depleted. Elizabeth really turns this on its head – explaining how a lot of women who appear to “have it all” are in fact, miserable. Anything but relaxed.
Elizabeth comments that being relaxed shouldn’t be the end goal or the reward, women should aspire to become calmer in our daily routines and by giving ourselves permission to relax often. This month I’m going to try to be that kind of powerful. Be “the calm” in the room, the regulating person who puts others at ease. Easier said than done, especially on the road, but I’m going to try and focus on stillness, sink into the simplicity of my surroundings, and just relax.