Pennie Hunt FILE

Cheyenne author Pennie Hunt

"Relax and allow the process of life to occur." 

When I said that to a friend of mine before the recent holidays, I felt the intensity of her response ripple up her back, forcing her to stretch upright and lean forward.

"Relax and allow life to occur? What about work, my kids, my husband? We have basketball games on the weekends, ballet practice after school, I volunteer on Wednesday night, my husband is out of town for work this week, and my in-laws arrive for a visit this Sunday. I have gifts to buy and wrap, cookies to bake, and my tree isn’t even decorated. Relax? The next thing you are going to tell me is to sit with my legs crossed and just be. Are you crazy?"

I could see she was desperately trying to control the pace and rhythm of her busy life. By doing this, the scope of her world was overwhelming her.

I know the symptoms of overwhelm because I see them often, and I have felt them many times. The symptoms are typically similar – the tired, drawn look with heavy under-eye circles from skimping on sleep; the extra 10 (OK, 15) pounds that are always trying to be lost, yet increase due to eating on the run; the endless checking of emails, texts and phone calls; the continual list-making of tasks and responsibilities required to get through the day and the week; and the quick defensiveness of why all of it is necessary and important. This causes life to be crazy and out of control. 

Sitting with legs crossed is not necessarily the answer, although the “just being” part is close.

This continual out-of-breath pace that life forces us to run is counter to what we are meant to do. When we are out of breath, we cannot allow life to occur, let alone relax to a place of enjoyment.

Breathing is important, but remember the only breath that is significant is this one; the one we are taking right now. The last one is over and the next one has yet to fill our lungs. And it won't unless we successfully inhale and exhale the current one. You see, you can't take more than one breath at a time, and the only important one is the one you are breathing right now.

If you use this concept in life, you will learn to slow down and experience one event at a time. View each event and experience as a breath. Just as you will begin to focus on the breath you are taking, you will also begin to concentrate on the event you are experiencing ... not the ones on your list for tomorrow or the responsibilities you have to others. It is this breath right now, this experience right now that is important.

Life will unfold. Maybe not in the vision of perfection that you hope, but it doesn’t have to be. You may be surprised to find that you CAN relax and allow life to occur. 

Pennie's Life Lesson: When you focus on the moment you are in, you can relax and allow life to occur.

Pennie Hunt is a Cheyenne-based author, blogger and speaker who teaches how to “Love Your Life ... NO MATTER WHAT!” Email:

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