Do you often feel fully rested?
Or do you believe you don’t have time to rest?
…or do you think:
“Rest is for lazy people”
That’s what my mother told me once as a throwaway comment. But, because I didn’t want to be labelled “lazy”, I pushed myself constantly, refusing to listen to the increasingly loud messages from my body. As a result, I suffered bouts of burnout, stress and exhaustion even throughout my adult life, which ironically forced me to rest, made me feel undeserving and the very thing I was trying to avoid being – lazy : D
Now, I know this statement to be BS.
Rest (non-doing) is not for lazy people.
Rest is for wise people, because rest is vital for health and wellbeing and sustainable living.
Rest is productive, although this seems counter-intuitive in my culture of constant doing and striving for success. For some people, myself included, doing nothing is no easy feat!
One path towards rest I want to share with you today is yoga nidra.
Yoga nidra is a type of guided meditation that brings awareness and attention to various parts of the body, as a way of entering an altered state of consciousness and relaxation that allows the body and mind to rest, heal and reboot.
During lockdown, I listened to Philip Carr-Gomm’s twelve free yoga/druid nidra relaxation sessions which can be found at The Garden of Flowing in Perpetual Happiness. Then, when I discovered laughter yoga in 2021, I was delighted to discover each session ends with a yummy yoga nidra practice. Synchronicity would have it that I also recently stumbled across a podcast (link at the bottom of this page) about yoga nidra and the 40 day programme in Daring to Rest by Karen Brody.
As a coach, I think best practice is to coach myself first and lead by example, so I want to upgrade my personal yoga nidra practice and develop the yoga nidra part of my laughter yoga sessions.
This year I want to encourage others to take rest seriously and reap the rewards of a well-rested body and mind.
No more running on empty, you beautiful human beans. 2022 is our time to be radically well-rested.
Who are your role models for rest?
There is no human in my social circle who I would consider a great role model for rest. So my role model for rest this year is Remus Chonks – the furry baby cat of my youngest teen. Remus has mastered the balance of rest and play. OK, so he doesn’t have to worry about paying the rent or catching his food, so ‘work’ isn’t on his agenda. But he knows when to have fun and when to rest and he communicates this effectively. I have much to learn from him.
So, I think our pets and Nature could, unsurprisingly, be our best teachers. Animals conserve energy instead of pushing themselves to the point of chronic exhaustion through constant doing and striving to achieve.
Trees don’t blossom or bear fruit all year round. Nature takes periods of rest so it can sustain its cyclical journey. The human animal is also part of Nature. So, it is ridiculous to think us mere mortal human beans can be productive and sustain maximum performance 24/7/365, with little to no rest.
Karoshi (過労死, Karōshi), a Japanese word meaning “death by being overworked”, is evidence of what happens when we forget that rest is essential for health and longevity.
So, 2022 is my year of becoming a radically well-rested earthling, to lead by example, and guide others on their personal journeys to greater health and wellbeing. Whoop whoop!
You can read the full article about radical rest, here!
What space can you carve out to become well-rested, today?
Even inviting yourself to enjoy three deep, delicious, conscious breaths is a great start on the path towards greater rest. If you take just three mindful, deep breaths at every available opportunity, it soon adds up to more mindful, restful living : )
Onwards and LOLwards in Love, quality rest and laughter; learning to give fewer hoots and enjoy more guffaws. Happy Resting! xXx