We are tired.
Some say we are stressed.
Others say we are too busy.
. . . to busy for this . . . to busy for that . . . and certainly too busy to take a break.
Others say that they will rest when they are good and dead.
The simple fact is that our culture does not value rest. we value “doing”.
I could point out how lack of sleep is linked to illness, causes accidents, and drags us down performance wise.
I could write about how we as a culture seem to fetishize and obsess over filling our time with everything and anything we can get our hands on so that we can prove our self worth with being busy.
But this is not what this post is about.
This post is about the deliciousness of rest. The quality of rest we get. And how we can experience and savour every juicy restful moment in our lives.
Because this blog is about finding ease. And the path of ease is like the path of water: fluid, simple, powerful.
First off, what really is restfulness?
I recently read an article that made me ponder this question. The article was a “critical review” of craniosacral therapy where the author likened it to no more than a “nice rest . . . much like a good nap” (the nap of course being the cheaper option). While the theme of the article had a different focus entirely, it made me reflect on my own experience with chronic fatigue and my own journey into what for me is “rest”.
For this moment, let’s assume that rest is a state of deep restoration for the whole person – a place where our whole being can simply be, where our tissues repair and regenerate, a place from where we leave feeling refreshed, alive, and vibrant.
Nice thought, huh?
Now when I take some time to apply the above definition, when do I feel “rested” in my life? When do you feel rested in your life?
I like to think of rest as a resource. A place I can go to get stronger, smarter, more creative. It can look different for everyone.
Remember your resources are your resources and they are unique to you. It’s best not to compare. What works for someone might not work for you – our body chemistry, lifestyle, and needs are different and we should honor our own inner intelligence.
Resting is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. And yes, it’s delicious. Just because something is delicious doesn’t mean it’s bad for you! We have developed a pattern of guilt – guilt around taking time for ourselves, taking care of ourselves. If you, like me, notice that you find it hard to explain to others or defend your “me time” find a strategy that works for you. In my world, the people around me respect “appointments”, so I ensure I schedule myself in – that way when I need a nap or a 3 hour chill out session, I simply schedule it into my week. And by the way . . . no one needs to know that your “urgent appointment” is with yourself – I find people are more that willing to give you privacy and space without question when you tell them you have an appointment. Period.
Lastly, when I think of quality rest, I think of being present. Being present is more than just a buzz word or hipster trend. Presence is a practice that has helped people of all walks of life for thousands of years. The simple truth is that if we are not well seated in the moment, it is easy for our precious rest time to fly by unnoticed. It is easy to get distracted and forget to enjoy the moment in front of us – to life that moment 100%. Most of us spend our time working . . . wishing we were napping . . . then trying to nap . . . thinking about a project at work . . .
When it’s time to work, work. When it’s time to play, play. When it’s time to rest, rest . . .