Rest to Receive
When I first chose to stay home to follow my bliss and figure out what my path truly was, I had to learn to rest. In fact, I read How to Relax by Thich Nhat Hanh. In this short but sweet book, Nhat Hanh writes:
"We human beings have lost confidence in the body just knowing what to do. If we have time alone with ourselves, we panic and try to do too many different things. Mindful breathing helps us relearn the art of resting. Mindful breathing is like a loving parent cradling a baby, saying, 'Don't worry, I'll take good care of you; just rest.'"
In Italian, this called "Dolce far Niente", which means "the sweetness of doing nothing."
This rest is just that rest--short for restore not being lazy. We rest to restore our body, mind and soul. Rest replenishes us and allows us to receive. When we do not pause or rest we become stressed, physically ill, scattered, exhausted, imbalanced and out of touch with our own lives. As I learned from my very first self-help book I ever read, Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, your inbox will always be full. There is always something to do but it doesn't mean you have to do it all or be busy all the time. Our society is focused on doing and not being.
Resting is the key to receiving. We cannot receive messages from our higher self (our intuition) if we are constantly busy. We need that time to be open to possibility. We need the space to allow ourselves the time to reflect and work through transitions and allow ourselves to dream.
I keep receiving the message that I need to be in a more receptive state to receive the answers I seek. I pray, I do yoga, I read spiritual books, I work with cards, I practice affirmations and I used to meditate with mantras. If you look at these practices--they are all healthy and mindful but they are active. There is no room in there to be open or receive. Even my meditation was active. I have recently changed my meditation to one of just quiet breathing. I am allowing myself to be open to possibility.
I realize with this world-wide shift, many of us are being invited to rest. I know some are working harder than ever but the majority are being invited to rest and reflect. Rest can make people uncomfortable for many reasons. One reason is that many see their worth in what they do. Some people need to feel "accomplished" each day to feel worthy. But working on getting to know yourself and working on figuring out how to be your best self makes you very worthy. When we rest and let our body and mind be still sometimes parts of ourselves surface that we don't like. But the more we practice being with ourselves the more we will discover and work through.
Here are some ideas for incorporating just a little bit of rest into your day:
Take a yoga pose and hold it. I feel sukhasana, balasana or savasana would be best for this choice. You can take a pose in the morning and have some deep breaths or after your work out or in the evening.
Turn off all media and sit for a bit in quiet. Sometimes we do not realize how much media distraction we have in our home. Shut it all off and just be for a bit.
Take a warm shower or a long bath and just focus on enjoying the water.
Sit outside and close your eyes. Feel the weather on your face and listen to the sounds of your neighborhood.
At night, before turning on the tv or going to your phone or picking up a book, take a moment to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Let yourself begin to unwind and listen to what your body is telling you.
If you feel shame or uneasiness resting, incorporate affirmations. "I deserve rest." "When I rest, I am safe." "When I rest, I am worthy." "Resting is good for me."
Listen to restful brain waves such as theta or alpha--you can find free tracks online.
Consciously release tension in your body throughout the day as well as take deep conscious breaths.