Lynn -- I very much enjoyed your article on internal resources. As the chief instructor of a dojo in Portsmouth, NH, I am often in the position of suggesting that my students relax. I also try to help my tense partners relax when I'm not teaching but practicing. I'm always looking for new ways to teach and to maintain an energized relaxed state myself, and your article brought to mind a revelation I had recently that has turned into a new internal practice.
The more I train, the more I notice that tension is contagious. When my partner is tense, I become tense, and when I'm tense, I'm sure my partner "catches" it. So lately, instead of telling my partner to relax, I move the focus to my own body and begin to notice where the tension is. With practice, I am able to detect more subtle areas of tension and relax them. The more I utilize this internal resource, the more relaxed I become, and -- big surprise -- so does my partner. At the same time, I comprehend the depth of the connection between us. I see that it only takes one of us to make a change that both of us experience, and I wonder whether our newfound relaxation might radiate out to the rest of the dojo.
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts. Good ki!