Rest…Deep soul bolstering rest can be seen as both essential and yet in todays fast paced ‘destination bound’ society, a luxery that many of us may feel we simply don’t have time for.
Even when we take time to ‘relax’ it will often be in the form of ‘doing’ something, (perhaps to lessen the guilt or maybe so as it looks like we are still ‘achieving’ something) be it a yoga class, a walk, gardening, watching t.v.
And whilst these relaxing activities most definitely have an important place in our holistic toolbox for health and wellbeing, do not mistake these relaxing activities with actual REST.
REST as in, doing nothing other than resting your bones, your body, your mind. REST, where you allow your mind to wonder, meander and daydream as you gaze out of the window. REST, as in when you let your body release to the deep hypnotic draw of a guided Yoga Nidra. REST as in curling up on the sofa and closing your eyes and senses for a wee while.
So many of us associate taking rest as bailing out or being lazy. I’m not suggesting we rest all day every day. As with everything there is a balance. There is both very much a time for doing and a time for undoing. Both connected and fuelled by the other. A delicate reciprocal dance between the two if you like.
I remember my lovely Grandad, even once retired kept this dance between activity and rest going beautifully. He would tinker around in his shed fixing up old bicycles and tending to his vegetable patch. But without fail, after digging up the veg for that days main meal, home cooked by my nan, (and ALWAYS eaten at lunchtime ~ never the evening) he would go for a walk along the tow path, before returning for a good 40 minute rest/sleep on the sofa before resuming his daily activities. He lived to the ripe age of 99 and kept that habit up until the last year or so of his life.
He didint see it as a ‘treat’ or ‘indulgent’. He saw it simply as a way to rest and re-charge, so as he could then carry on, fully present through the rest of his day.
I for one, am done with the narrative of resting only when utterly depleted and feeling guilty if im not seen to be ‘doing’ /‘busy’ from the moment I wake.
There have been literally years when I have felt I have had to be in a constant active state incase I was ‘caught out’ doing ‘nothing’ and was considered lazy. The truth is, it left me with a nervous system that was crying out for tenderness. In a desperate state to be soothed, to be cradled and in a space where it felt safe enough to let go and ……
R E S T.
Rested, my body/ nervous system/heart/ mind, feels re-booted and more resiliant.
Rested I am more present and there to fully support loved ones.
Rested I am able to re-enter life and all her rich opportunities, more inspired, creative and receptive.
And you my love…..Will you let go of the narrative? will you gift yourself rest long before you reach the stage of desperate depletion? Will you recognise it as just part of a balanced mindful approach to living fully and expansively?
I hope so.
There is much to be unpicked in our beliefs surrounding rest but maybe that is for another day. For now, why not make a cup of something warm in your favourite mug, settle into your favourite corner on the sofa snd press play on my REST WELL SLEEP DEEP playlist and gift yourself some precious and rich R E S T.