The Many Faces of Rest
Studies talk about the lack of 'rest' in our society, the kind of rest that pertains to sleep. When we don't ensure that we're getting the 'rest' our body requires, there is an impact on our ability to think clearly and wade our way through stressful moments. We likely feel less grounded and more led by our emotions. Our body doesn't function with the same vitality and aliveness typical of when we're 'rested'.
I notice that when I'm tired, I am more likely to be triggered by old memories/unconscious programming. When I'm rested, I am up for challenges at an entirely different level. I respond rather than react.
'Rest' also coincides with relaxation. Many people don't give themselves the opportunity to simply 'rest' unless they're sick. Their bodies have to scream out, "Take care of me!" by getting a cold, for instance. Bed 'rest' - permission to just be and nap during the day! - is almost too good to be true for someone who is consistently pushing themselves to keep busy, work, and strive for that something more. Note - this is not about discouraging working, being in action, and striving; it's about encouraging balancing states of relaxing, simply being and 'resting'.
There are people who spend thousands of dollars on holidays so they can do nothing - in other words, 'rest'. Their vacations are of high value because such experiences are so rare in their lives. Coming home with the glow of relaxation and rejuvenation from a 'restful' holiday has us feeling ready for what's next.
I particularly appreciate the use of the word, 'rest', in reference to how we are in our relationship with life. Do we take the time to 'rest' into our emotions, allowing them to just be what they are without trying to fix them?
What a difference it makes in feeling connected to ourselves when we stop and 'rest', listening to what's happening deep inside of us. We allow ourselves to sink into a chair. Our tension lets go. Our mind gradually relaxes; spaces between our thoughts open up. Suddenly, original thoughts emerge from a different place - a wiser place. Through 'rest', inspiration and creativity have the opportunity to float to the surface and express themselves.
'Rest' also ties into 'resting' into what life offers, experiencing and accepting what is, without having to fight and resist. When we move downstream with the river instead of fighting our way upstream, we relax into our bodies. Through this level of 'rest', new possibilities gently arise and movement forward occurs. Life occurs in an organic way without urgency and fear as there is no agenda, no focus on the past or the future. A sense of trust gently propels us forward as we know that life unfolds according to its own time and wisdom. We let go.
I invite you to take a moment. Find a quiet space in which to sit or lie down and rest. Drawing your attention to your breath, discover and embrace this sense of 'rest' that can deeply nourish you. There is nothing to do in this moment.
Say to yourself with a loving and open heart:
"I release my need to be busy and control my emotions, my circumstances and the people whose paths I cross. I rest into myself - my heart, my spirit, my life. I rest into who I am right now in this moment, trusting I am okay. All is okay. I relish the time to restfully soak in the light, even if it's only in my imagination. I move past any boredom, enjoy the lack of needing to anything else, and notice the bliss."
Be with the following poem called "Walk Slowly" by Danna Faulds, from her collection entitled "Go In and In":
- It only takes a reminder to breathe, a moment to be still, and just like that, something in me settles, softens, makes space for imperfection.
- The harsh voice of judgment drops to a whisper and I remember again that life isn't a relay race; that we will all cross the finish line; that waking up to life is what we are born for.
- As many times as I forget, catch myself charging forward without even knowing where I am going, that many times I can make the choice to stop, to breathe, and walk slowly into the mystery.