Have you ever felt like your life is soooooo busy? Overloaded? Do you take time to refresh, revitalize, and rest?
Wayne Muller says,
“In the relent busyness of modern life, we have lost the rhythm between work and rest. All life requires a rhythm of rest. There is a rhythm in our waking activity and the body’s need for sleep. There is a rhythm in the way day dissolves into night, and night into morning. There is a rhythm as the active growth of spring and summer is quieted by the necessary dormancy of fall and winter. There is a tidal rhythm, a deep, eternal conversation between the land and the great sea. In our bodies, the heart perceptibly rests after each life-giving beat; the lungs rest between the exhale and the inhale.
We have lost this essential rhythm. Our culture invariably supposes that action and accomplishment are better than rest, that doing something—anything—is better than doing nothing. Because of our desire to succeed, to meet these ever-growing expectations, we do not rest. Because we do not rest, we lose our way. We miss the compass points that would show us where to go, we bypass the nourishment that would give us succor. We miss the quiet that would give us wisdom. We miss the joy and love born of effortless delight. Poisoned by the hypnotic belief that good things come only through unceasing determination and tireless effort, we can never truly rest.”
If you lose the healthy rhythm of work and rest, take a moment to sit quietly, close your eyes, and breathe. The power of intentional, deep, thoughtful breathing can be profound. When you breathe deeply from your diaphragm you engage your parasympathetic nervous system—sometimes called the “rest and digest” system, a system that can essentially reverse the body’s stress response. Deep, intentional, mindful breathing can help calm the mind and quiet the moment. In this quiet, know that joy and peace are available to you. Whether you incorporate breathing exercises as a daily practice or whether you engage a breathing exercise during a moment of stress, find the practice that best suits you and the environ you are in. Sit or lay in a comfortable position, close your eyes, ideally position one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest to “feel” the expanse and rhythm of your breathing, breathe deeply and steadily for one to ten minutes… even just a few breaths can do wonders for momentary respite. In the quiet expanse you create, allow your wisdom to speak out in the silent restfulness, to find the joy and peace that are yours to draw in. When you open your eyes, bring the joy energy from this quiet space into your life; build upon it to realize the benefits that greater respite can bring you—calmness, peacefulness, greater insight, renewed purpose, clarity, perspective, etc. In essence, it can open you to your joy.
Consider adding more restful moments to your day. Consider a full day of rest each week. How would that impact you?