“Violin strings, as you know, will snap if they are too tense, or taut, and yet if to loose they are of no use to the violin. “The normal and natural condition for a person is to neither be tuned up too high, with tautly stretched muscles, nor to settle back and be soggy, like wet dough…
“Keep to the feeling of in-between. For instance, be please, yet poised; be gay, yet calm; animated, yet relaxed. Be full of joy and deep peace, which is the perfect balance of inner and outer expression. “Now, the normal state of the universe and of the human body is
rhythmic. First tense (not intense), then relax; tense, then relax. You see it is rhythmic action, then reaction….
“You perhaps are apt to take yourself, other persons and life in general, too seriously. Learn to detach yourself from things. You are too concerned, and become too literal, or too intense.” You…, France Wilshire
“Be intense, but not tense.” Dr. Rob Gilbert*
Can we bring more natural rhythm, more ebb and flow to our writing day? Can we be intense: poised, focused, alert — without being tense: contracted and clinging, anxious and overly serious? Finding that balance, that sense of poised yet relaxed concentration, takes practice, but it can be the key to having a productive work day. Being receptive and open gives us a better chance of catching those wisps of ideas and well-tuned phrases that make our writing sing and dance.
The man who first discovered Babe Ruth once commented that the great Bambino wore the same expression whether he hit a home run or a strikeout — it was a carefully cultivated attitude to indifference — he cared, but not too much. And if he hit a slump, he accepted it as the natural rhythm of the baseball game; instead of tensing up and getting anxious, he simply hit his way through it.
So let’s take a tip from the Bambino — let’s learn to be intense without being tense. When we bring this sense of rhythm to the page, our body is poised, yet relaxed: we can work longer without feeling fatigued. Our mind is sharp without being stressed by straining too hard to “get it right” or perfect. And our commitment to our work shines brightly without being iron-fisted or ham-handed. The result? We’re more productive and more energized — sweetly tuned. Write on!
*Check out Dr. Gilbert’s fabulous Success Hotline (973.743.4690).