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I love resting.
I love lying in bed and just closing my eyes for a while.
I love sitting outside in the sun and not doing anything at all.
I like sitting or lying down and just breathing.
But it’s something I’ve had to work at—being okay with rest, with slowing down.
I’ve often noticed a discomfort fill me when I do it, an unease, a feeling as if I should be doing something (anything) more worthwhile with my time.
Although I rest and prioritize it, especially when I feel that I need it, I still notice some of those lingering uncomfortable thoughts and feelings move through me, undercurrents of stress or worry percolating within me, wondering how I’ll “get everything done.”
I still notice myself at times judging myself for resting, feeling on some level disappointed that I’m doing it—that I need to do it. I’ll notice myself thinking about how I could be doing something productive, about how I’m wasting valuable time, wondering if I’m missing out on opportunities to do something that will actually “get me to where I want to go.”
But I know myself, and I cannot go hard all of the time.
I also need space to pause, to breathe, to linger, to be.
I need to have softness in moving between the things that I’m doing.
I don’t enjoy rushing or pushing or forcing through things—although I still notice myself trying to do this too much of the time!
It’s a hard habit or pattern to break.
A couple of weeks ago, I felt so stressed, and it was mostly because I felt like I was trying to fit too much into my days—moving from one thing to the next without any real space to breathe or rest in between.
Several years ago, I did a yoga teacher training course while working full time. I also had a part-time job working at a gym a couple of early mornings a week because I wanted the gym membership.
I can remember one period where I worked a full week, then had my training on the weekend, and then worked another full week. I also went to a movie the Friday night before my Saturday yoga training. By the following weekend, all I wanted to do was lie down. I was so burnt out that I couldn’t do anything. I felt low and depleted.
I cannot push hard all of the time.
I don’t even like how it feels when I try to do it.
And I don’t think most of us can do it.
We need rest. We need to relax. We need to slow down. We need to soften and let ourselves be.
We need to let ourselves take it easy, to not push so hard all of the time.
We need space.
I even know that I am more productive if I rest, if I take my time, if I take it easy, if I give myself space and grace to slow down. I know I will come back to whatever I have to do with more energy; I’ll also feel more balanced and centered, more focused and connected.
I think so many of us carry this unconscious energy—a desperate inner feeling that we need to “do,” that we need to keep moving, that if we slow down, we’ll “fall behind” or we’ll run out of time.
But if we’re self-honest, we’ll know that that energy doesn’t align with how we truly feel; it’s not who we are. It’s disconnected from our hearts, from what we want, from what we need.
We all need a little space to pause and to breathe.
We benefit from slowing down and tuning in—from giving ourselves the space to rest and to be.
It allows us to soften, to rejuvenate, to center, to ground, to connect back into ourselves.
There are so many things we have to do, real-world practical things, like work and errands and so many things. But we also need to find a way to be easy with ourselves, soft, gentle, caring, and understanding.
We need to be able to tune into what we’re feeling and into what we truly need.
And then we have to allow ourselves to do what it is we know we need.
I prioritize rest because it feels good and I like it and I know that I need it.
I’m still working with observing some of the discomfort that comes along with slowing down, but I’m learning from that energy too.
Everything can be a lesson if we’re willing to pay attention.
Rest is so dang important.
And we all need to do it sometimes.