Loosen your grip on Life

Loosen your grip on life. Sometimes we need to let things work themselves out in their own time and in their own way.

—Calm App Reflection

Image from Unsplash by Mick Haupt

Are you a golfer or have taken a lesson or two before deciding it may not be the sport for you?

If so, you might have begun your efforts holding the club with a death grip and swung with all your might.

This approach never works and we eventually learn that a more flexible and looser grip is the way to go.


On what life matters are you gripping too tightly?

Where would a more relaxed and flexible approach help you perform better and enjoy more strolls along life’s fairways?

I trust that tomorrow’s brain is going to turn up and have something meaningful to contribute.

“I trust that tomorrow’s brain is going to turn up and have something meaningful to contribute.”

Dan Cullum, Chiropractic Physician at NaturalHealthCenterok.com

Image from Unsplash by Etienne Girardet

How often do you find yourself stuck or stopped by a particularly thorny problem or issue?

Many times, when we persist and double down on our efforts the only thing that doubles is our frustration.

It’s at these times we keep using the same neural pathways over and over with nothing to show for the effort.

Taking periodic breaks and even sleeping on things almost always breaks this cycle and clears the mental cobwebs that have us trapped.


How often do you take breaks in your days to clear your mind?

On what issues would a clean slate of a new day and a new brain offer you something more meaningful to contribute?

If you’re too busy to sit for 10 minutes you need to sit still for an hour

“If you’re too busy to sit for 10 minutes you need to sit still for an hour.”

—Zen Proverb

Image from Unsplash by Alex Ware

During my busiest working years, it was a source of pride for myself and many of my colleagues to pat ourselves on the back for our workaholic tendencies.

When asked how someone was doing words like slammed, jammed, and swamped were ways we stoked our egos and compared ourselves to mere mortals.

We were not only booked virtually every minute of the day, some folks actually overbooked themselves to show how incredibly important and indispensable they were.

For many of these people this way of operating had a double edge with a considerable downside to their health and their espoused important relationships.


To what degree do you include buffer/relaxation time into your daily schedule?

Consider starting with blocks of ten minutes and work your way into hours, days, etc.

Feel free to reply to this post on how this proverb applies to you and your world.

You don’t find your ground by looking for stability

“You don’t find your ground by looking for stability. You find your ground by relaxing into instability.”

Cory Muscara, founder of the Long Island Center for Mindfulness

Image from Unsplash by Dominik Jirovský

Have you ever gone camping and had to sleep on the ground? Perhaps you were invited to a sleepover as a kid and the floor was all that was available.

How soft or firm is your current mattress? What qualities of this most important piece of furniture do you value most?

Do you recall the years of the water bed craze?  As a proud early adopter, I still recall the initial instability and the “motion of the ocean” when we first rolled in each evening.


Where would relaxing into areas of instability in your life help you discover the stability you seek?

What pleasure and fun might be available if you simply learned to go with the flow more often?

when we step back from a single brushstroke

“It’s when we step back from a single brushstroke, that we can see the whole painting.”

—Tamara Levitt, Author and Mindfulness Instructor

Image of Barry and Rachel at Hamilton

Barry and Rachel at Hamilton

When was the last time you attended a concert, a major sporting event, or perhaps a Broadway play? Where were you seated in the theater or stadium? Were you up front practically on the field or stage, back in the bleachers, or up in the balcony?

Recently I had the opportunity to see the touring group of Hamilton, with my wonderful daughter Rachel, who came to Michigan with our grandson Weston.

Our seats were in the balcony section. Surprisingly, we enjoyed both the show and this particular vantage point, which gave us the opportunity to take in the show’s entire spectacle. In some moments, we chose to zoom in on certain scenes with a pair of binoculars.


Where in your personal or professional life would there be great value in stepping back from the daily brushstrokes of life and take in more of the painting of your entire world?

The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it

“The time to relax is when you don’t have time for it.”

—Sydney J. Harris, 20th Century American Journalist

Image of a man floating in water and reading a book

Image from Unsplash by Toa Heftier

Time is a funny thing. Among the priority topics in a coaching relationship it usually is in the top three to five items people wish to impact.

Billions are spent each year on all sorts of books, blogs, workshops, webinars, and seminars to help us all manage this elusive and seemingly scarce resource.

You are welcome to download my free workbook, Time Management Strategies and Tactics. Enter the password “BarryDemp” when prompted.

The reason for all this attention is that there is simply too many “to do’s” for the time available. We have all experienced being drained, as if we were a smart phone battery needing a recharge.


How can and will you allocate some of your precious time for relaxation and renewal of your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual energies?

Please consider replying to this post regarding the actions you take and the difference it makes.


Resolving Difficult Problems

“A difficult problem at night is resolved in the morning after the committee of sleep has worked on it.”

—John Steinbeck, American Novelist

Image of sleeping man

Image from Flickr by Or Reshef

A growing body of evidence demonstrates the ability of the unconscious mind to work on a problem that requires a creative solution. Similar results have been gleaned in studies on daydreaming, and its value in producing creative and more original ideas.

Turning inward mobilizes the right hemisphere of the brain. The sleeping or relaxed brain cuts out many distractions, which leads to greater capacity to solve problems.


How can you invest in a good night’s sleep, a power nap, or even a bit of daydreaming to more fully tap your creative problem-solving powers?

What the carrot said

“What did the carrot say to the wheat?  Lettuce rest. I’m feeling beet.”

-Shel Silverstein, Children’s Book Author

Image from Flickr by LollyKnit

Image from Flickr by LollyKnit

Most everyone agrees that we should all eat our veggies and a balanced diet for optimal health.

Exercise and the proverbial “use it or lose it” philosophy is another component to health and wellness. Rest, sleep, and recovery time, on the other hand, often take a back seat to diet and exercise. Here are some key facts that may inspire you to give rest an equal footing with nutrition and exercise:

Rest and Relaxation:

  • Protect your heart
  • Lower your risk of catching a cold
  • Boost your mental power and memory
  • Lower your risk of stroke
  • Improve your mood and feelings of well-being
  • Help you make better decisions
  • Help you lose weight by reducing stress eating
  • Lower the incidence and risk of disease by boosting your immune system


What steps can and will you take to increase the quality and quantity of your rest and rejuvenation strategies to enhance your health and overall well-being?