RESTING ~ slowing down to speed up
Day 14 of 30 Days of Adventure
Today, let's explore how to routinely replenish and revitalize our mind–body–soul with the miracle pill of rest.
Rest is often the most beneficial thing we can “do”.
Amidst lofty dreams, competitive environments, and addictions to people pleasing, staying busy, and yada yada yada … we deserve to be extra intentional in creating effective ways to rest and rejuvenate. Otherwise, the demands of everyday life can easily overwhelm and override our better senses and distract us from our deeper intentions.
So today, let's explore the why, when, and how to include more rhythms of rest into our adventurous journey!
Oh blessed rest, let us count (at least six of) the ways you support us on our adventure …
- Rest replenishes our mental, physical, and emotional reserves.
- Rest naturally releases what no longer serves us and realigns us with our awakening heart.
- Rest creates energetic freedom that allows us to better know where to invest our precious energy.
- Rest allows us to start again with even more strength, intention, and focus.
- Rest gives us the best opportunity to be in the receiving mode of effortless action (wúwéi).
- Rest is the birthplace of creativity, restoration, perspective, courage, hope, and beyond …
When we are doing, doing, doing, without adequate rest, we are literally killing our awakening heart.
In Mandarin (the standard Chinese language), the word busy (máng) is made up of two parts: heart and killing.
Resting takes courage!
Fear is often the biggest hindrance to giving ourselves space to rest. Fear of falling behind. Fear of letting people down. Fear of not getting praise from the world. Fear of coming face-to-face with ourself …
When you consider allowing yourself more rest, what fearful stories do you notice?
There is a century's worth of research, across various fields, that shows how the lack of rest carries severe costs.
Research demonstrates that inadequate rest leads to burnout which has detrimental effects on every level of our being:
- increased cortisol—the “stress hormone”
- disrupts the body’s neuroendocrine system
- weakens our immune system
- creates more grey matter in the brain
- inhibits creativity, problem solving, and working memory
As rest is an essential pillar of well-being, we can imagine (and feel) how detrimental the lack of sleep can be on our adventure …
On the brighter side, studies show how rest improves our moods, overall well-being, and performance capacity.
- increases alertness and decreases fatigue
- cultivates more patience and less stress
- improves reaction time, increased learning, more efficiency
- ultimately, rest allows for more productivity
- overall, rest improves our health and well-being
Now that we've felt into how rest (or the lack of) might be affecting us, let's play with ways to incorporate more guilt-free rest!
There's no wonder why rest is honored with serious reverence in various traditions.
And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed.
– Genesis 2:2-4 KJV
Abrahamic religions honor the Sabbath (or Shabbat, from Hebrew שַׁבָּת Šabat) as a day of the week set aside for rest and renewal.
Muslims offer five prayers daily and congregate together Fridays at noon for “Jumah” to refrain from work and commune in prayer.
Thai Chinese observe their Sabbaths to chant, rest, and reflect.
Babylonians count from the new moon to celebrate the 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th as “holy-days” by refraining from certain activities and resting.
Buddha taught that “Uposatha”, in accordance with the four phases of the moon, is for “the cleansing of the defiled mind”, resulting in rest, inner calm, and joy.
Cherokee honor the first day of the new moon as a time of quiet reflection and prayer.
Baháʼí Faith honor Friday as their day of rest.
The Supreme Court of the United States enforces contemporary “Sunday rest laws” to promote the secular values of “health, safety, recreation, and general well-being” through a common day of rest.
Rest is not something to honor just one day a week or when we sleep, but to be thoughtfully integrated throughout day.
Below are a few ways to integrate more nutritious rest into our daily lives:
😌 Rest in motion by pausing to simply be before moving on to the next thing to do. Notice, for example, each time you pass through a doorway and recall what it is you are doing and why.
😮💨 Take a deep breath to interrupt the additive go, go, go patterning.
😶 Sit in silence next time you are commuting somewhere.
😴 Take a cat nap in the middle of the day. When you're considering a second cup of coffee is likely the perfect time.
😌 Yoga nidra is a powerful and effective way to release and recharge! Try this one next time you need a 20-minute power-up!
🤳 Resist picking up your phone next time an unexpected opportunity to wait happens.
🧘 Meditate for a moment by consistently redirecting your awareness to a sound, the feeling of the air passing through your body, or the feeling of your heartbeat.
🚶♀️ Go for a walk to allow the brain to relax into a lighter kind of focus, which encourages more mind-wandering and aids later creativity.
🤔 Reflect on your day as you begin to wind down from a long day. What are you grateful for today?
💤 Sleeping is, of course, the ultimate form of rest and essential for a creative and productive life.
Let's reflect and uncover when and how to include more rhythms of rest in our life.
What activities, routines, and habits have been depleting your energy the most?
What time of day would you benefit most from resting for a few minutes?
What ways can you invite more rest into your day?
Over to you!
What has been one of your favorite ways to incorporate nourishing REST throughout your adventures?
We'd love to hear your thoughts in our community comments!