Friday, September 26, 2008

Relaxation Strategy: Letting Go a Little

The single boldest thing I could do (that would be useful) would be to get rid of my "Don't Tread On Me" reflex.

It would increase the back and forth between my inner and outer worlds, which is awfully good for a writer or a person.

But I've always liked my DTOM reflex, which makes it all the harder to let it diminish a bit. (I almost said "get a grip on it.")

However, I think I've made my point with that stuff now, and would do well to ease off.

The advantages would be:
*greater ease of mind
*less tension of neck, shoulders, and jaw muscles
*energy to spare
*maybe fewer book drafts, maybe more forceful writing
*no unpleasant incidents at the dentist's, or need for expensive nitrous
*maybe fewer allergies

The disadvantages:
*possible weight gain due to loss of tension
*possible need to eat less chocolate because of weight gain
*no excuse for drug trips while having my teeth cleaned
*I might get invited to more committees and parties and have to say "no" more
*loss of a familiar way of being

Irrational reasons I haven't done this already:
*someone might infiltrate their wrong opinions into my head
*if I'm not sufficiently separate, I might blur with other people and they'd get all the credit for anything good I do--or just not notice me enough
*I might lose my originality
*someone might drag me into stuff I'm not interested in or cause me to run late or make some dreadful error
Well,you get the idea... In writing this, I'm starting to get it too.

But getting the idea is different from actually relaxing my inner sentry system that I'm not even conscious of.

My strategy for getting rid of the Don't Tread On Me reflex:
*trusting that mere intent will help some
*meditation every day
*vigorous exercise (15 mins of jump rope a day)
*not letting too much build up unsaid
*noting how unappealing wariness is in others

I'll think of other things later, I expect. But that's enough to keep me busy for now.

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Debra W said...


Change is hard, but that doesn't mean it isn't necessary or good. You are who you are whether you allow people to tread on you or not. The one thing that I noticed about the DTOM reflex is that it involves a certain amount of defensiveness. Maybe, while you are going over your lists(which I found very interesting, by the way), you could try to focus on which parts of this reflex are causing you stress and harm, and which ones are actually healthy and desirable. Only you can figure that out.

People cannot control you unless you allow them to. Sometimes, we allow others to tread on us for one reason or another. I think your lists will give you some insight into that. If you like your DTOM reflex, for the most part, then keep it! If it doesn't seem to serve you well, anymore, then ditch some of it. I do like your strategies for getting rid of the reflex. Those can only be useful!


Peggy Payne said...

You're right about not dumping it all, Debbie. Not that I'd be able to.

And I got a lot out of making those lists. Blogging has become a form of thinking for me.

Debra W said...

I agree that blogging can be a form of thinking. I find that it is a great way to focus on, or complete an entire thought. A thought that might ordinarily just pop in and then pop back out, almost unnoticed. Blogging gives me a chance to really examine some of those momentary thoughts.

Peggy Payne said...

I wonder if some of the things I've said will please me later. No doubt some will seem like a tattoo could 25 years later. (That's a hypothetical. I'm totally tat-free.)

But any writing is from who one is at the time. That's part of the point.