By the title of this article, you may think I’m going to give you tools to relieve your tension. Instead, you’re going to get the opposite. I’m going to show you why you need tension if you want to make any kind of shift.
Yes, you read that correctly! We need tension to transform.
Now, before you get all tense for the wrong reasons, let me start explaining with a story.
As you know, I’m in The School of Functional Medicine Coaching. I’m busy studying and taking exams, and soon, I’ll be doing my practicum with a Functional Medicine Practice in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.
Over the past six months, I’ve noticed a lot of shifts in my own practice as well as the deep belief in bridging the gap between emotional wellness and nutritional wellness. You just can’t have one without the other.
I’ve also noticed that many of my clients just want things to be easy. They want things to be effortless, and they just want to be happy! Amen! Agreed!
But… (There’s always a ‘but’ isn’t there?)
To have all of the good stuff, you need to experience the other side, which is the tension.
There are two types of tension, physical and emotional, and you need to understand both of them if you truly want to shift.
Think about any exercise you do, whether it’s weight training, spin, Pilates, bar, yoga, and so on. Now, think about what you have to do to make a change in your body. You have to tense up your muscle for it to change, right?
If you’re taking any kind of fitness class, and you’re just going through the motions, you won’t make any kind of shift. Your body won’t transform. Engaging muscle to bone causes tension which causes the lengthening and toning of your muscle.
So yes, you need physical tension to make any kind of change in your body.
Think about when you’re doing any kind of lifting, holding a baby, grabbing a strap above your head on the subway, or carrying grocery bags. In all of these activities, you’re tensing to move towards action. Again, this is physical tension, and you need it to shift.
This is a biggie! Most of us are programmed to back away from emotional tension and confrontation. However, when you practice burying your feelings below the surface, a whole bunch of toxins build up in your cellular system.
Can you guess what happens next? All of those toxins cause inflammation which then causes aches, pains, mood swings, and most of all, unhappiness!
Despite all of the negatives, I believe that emotional tension is worth having because it ignites change in your entire well-being.
With that said, don’t run away from speaking up, saying what’s on your mind, or feeling your feelings. Instead, allow it. Allow the tension, because without feeling the tension, you can’t shift. You can’t transform. You can’t elicit any kind of change.
Remember, just as you can’t have a physical change without experiencing physical tension on your muscles, you can’t change emotionally without experiencing emotional tension.
Feeling and Managing Your Tension
Now, you may be thinking, “What should I do, Jen? Walk around saying everything that’s on my mind?” No way!
My belief is that you should allow yourself to feel the tension and make a CHOICE to respond on a level that helps you grow.
Many people have practiced for years to choose REACTion rather than responding, which is the opposite of reacting. Let’s take a closer look at what that means.
There are two words in reaction: REACT or ACTION. When faced with tension, you have a choice to take action on what’s keeping your emotional muscles weak and flaccid. You have the choice to flex your emotional muscles to promote change just like you have a choice to flex your physical muscles to promote change.
I’m a huge believer in the paradigm, “The way you do one thing is the way in which you do most.” If you’re just moving along your days as the victim, then you most likely are treating your exercise as a way to victimize your muscles. However, the truth is that exercising promotes shifts and changes lead to a transformation.
Here’s what people are saying about the SHIFT program:
“This is NOT a detox! This is a reset. Well yes, “technically” this is a detox, because you will completely rid your body of toxins, however…it does not FEEL like a detox. It just feels RIGHT!
“I have been working with Jen for many years as a private client. I have done many of her detox plans (in groups and on my own). I find at different times of the year, I need a good reset. There are many different reasons to do so. With this particular plan, I was trying to get my eating back on track after having my fifth baby (who is five months old now)! The lack of sleep and need to eat quick and easy meals (never a good combination) caused me to make decisions not in line with healthy eating. I was telling Jen that I had been feeling very bloated coupled with occasional stomach pains. I knew that my body needed a reset.
“THIS PLAN IS PERFECT! This plan in EASY. I love to cook and I find peace in my kitchen, so not only is it easy, it is calming! You are eating real food! You have choices! You are satiated! You are consuming good fat (do not be scared of that word)…you need it!
“I can honestly say that within 24 hours I felt a difference! I felt GOOD again! I have basically taken this 10 day detox and continued with it. There is nothing like sitting down to eat and seeing a plate (or a glass) full of goodness in front of you! Play around with combinations, add colors to your plate, and enjoy! DO NOT forget the water!”
— Nicola Masella