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When we’re struggling, is it really necessary to jump through hoops and turn ourselves inside out in order to feel better, or could it be far simpler than that? Could it be much, much easier?

Join me this week as we consider our built-in ability to be self-restoring as we allow ourselves to come back into balance.

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Week by week, more and more people are telling me about the toll the last year has taken on them. As they speak, some of them have a sound in their voice that reminds me of Henry David Thoreau writing about people living “lives of quiet desperation.” Many are feeling physically drained or exhausted. Others are struggling mentally or emotionally. Quite a few have told me about missing the social contact they so freely enjoyed a year ago.

As you might imagine, our conversations eventually turn to discussions of measurable options for change. The array of possibilities ranges from the smoke and mirrors of the latest fads to things with a proven track record for healthy change.

We can fill our days with things that restore and heal and refresh us, things that help us to reset our vision, and things that reignite our imagination. We can sign up for a new spin class or take a vacation or begin walking a couple of miles every day. We can start training for the next marathon or join a yoga or martial arts class. We can stop putting off writing that best seller we’ve been thinking about. We can enrich our current relationships, end unhealthy ones, or begin new ones.

Regardless of how you choose to go about re-centering and feeling better, it might be important to start by being mindful one of the most fundamental things about being human.

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The fact is, we don’t have to do anything extreme to live well or to be content with our lives and with yourselves. It’s a matter of becoming consciously aware that like the rest of the universe, human beings are built to be self-correcting, self-healing, and self-restoring from the inside out. That means we don’t have to struggle or work at it any more than we have to work at digesting our lunch or building red blood cells or breathing.

Something built into us—built into each of us—innately knows how.


self-portrait by Scott Lennox

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You’ve probably discovered that we get in our own way when we insistent that we have to think or act perfectly, or that we have to perform exactly the right techniques in order to experience wellness or peace of mind or to feel good again. That’s one of those socially acquired traps we set for ourselves when we’re not listening to our inner wisdom.

Yet, when we stop and give ourselves the time and space we need to really hear ourselves, something generative and healthy and enlivening takes place in us with no strain at all. Clarity returns and we naturally tap-in to the states that are the most healthy and right for us.

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[ music begins—Open Air by Helmut Schenker ]
[ Courtesy of Epidemic Sound ]

Yesterday, I had the privilege of working with a young man who was quite tearful and anxious when he came to me. He and his girlfriend had argued earlier in the day, and he was frightened and unsure of what to do to resolve their situation. After listening to everything he had to say, I quietly asked him to close his eyes and allow his breathing to become a bit slower. Then I asked him if he was willing to gently let go of some of the tension in his gut and in his shoulders and neck.

“There’s really no way to do it wrong,” I told him. “Just feel your breathing slowing down and imagine the tension you’ve been feeling draining down through your legs and down through your arms and out the tips of your fingers and toes.”

In less than a minute, his face softened, his shoulders relaxed, and a look of deep peace came over him.

“What are you feeling right now?” I asked him.
“I feel calm,” he said, almost whispering.
As he opened his eyes, his smile widened and he asked, “What did you just do to me?”
“Nothing,” I said. “You did it from the inside-out when you stopped and paid attention to your relaxed self.”

As he was leaving, he thanked me and hugged me.
“I know what to do now,” he said. “We’re gonna be alright.”

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Today, in conversation with a high-level executive who has been feeling melancholy, I had the privilege of sharing something similar. As he slowed his breathing down and focused on the backs of his hands for a few moments, he spontaneously entered a state in which he was not thinking at all. In seconds, his mind became quiet and he felt better.

It really is that simple.

Each time we allow silence and stillness, something changes for the better inside us without any struggle at all. In a very real sense, one of the most useful things we can do for ourselves is nothing at all. Regardless of how accustomed we have become to the busy-ness we’ve imposed on ourselves, we can always stop, for just a few seconds or a few minutes or even longer, and allow ourselves the priceless gift of self-restoring.

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This week’s Beautiful Question is a simple, yet profound one if you’re willing to create the change you want in your life. Here’s the question.

Because healing and rebalancing are normal and natural for us, what thoughts or habits are keeping it from happening, and what elegantly simple things would help encourage it?

After you sit with the question and then experience some of the healthy changes that come about because of it, write and tell me about them. I always love hearing from you.

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As I say each week,
My Light with Your Light

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Thank you once again for joining me in these podcasts as we keep doing everything we can to respond to life in increasingly effective ways. As always, I’m open to your comments and feedback.

If you find these podcasts useful, don’t hesitate to share them or tell others about them. That’s a great way of helping me get a voice of calm and collaboration and balance and encouragement out into the world.

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I’m Scott Lennox, and this has been The Beautiful Question.

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The Beautiful Question is a One Light production, written, produced and engineered by Scott Lennox at HeartRock Studios in Fort Worth, Texas, as a way of paying forward to life, being fully present, becoming better engaged with things that truly matter in a complex world, and committing to a healthier future for all of us.

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