Being in what I call the "bulb" time of year, it seems clear that rest is a key to health and happiness for all of nature. We have a culture that doesn't inspire rest and is all about moving. However we live on a planet that has seasons, has half night and day, we run with 2 days off a week, indicating the power of rest. It is so key to a life of joy and well being, feeling alive and filled with energy.
When we are tired, we don't think as clearly, we are snippy, we risk health and illness, we can't know ourselves, our decisions are rash, our moods more of fatigue than balanced and on and on. There is no health and vitality when we feel behind and tired. In Indian medicine, any sleep before midnight, is twice as nourishing than after 12! Just getting to bed by 10 pm, supports all our state of being. We just can't be fully our wonder if we are tired and sleep deprived. Shifting our sleep patterns is a HUGE key to a greater expression and health.
Sleep isn't the only definition of rest. Rest is required to our physical bodies. The only time we can renew, recharge, repair and rebuild our physical body is in the parasympathetic nervous system of rest and rejuvenate. There is no other way for our body to renew if we don't use this nervous system! The other half of that nervous system is called the sympathetic system of fight or flight. So we have 2 and as night and day, we are to balance them. How often are we truly in this system? We can be in it at night when our body recharges if we sleep well. However as I said in the beginning, we also have the weekend cycle for this rest system and 2 of the 4 seasons are less active, encouraging rest.
This idea of rest and understanding of it so important to our well being, happiness and vitality! How can we run on empty and find these things? How can we expect to meet our goals, our expectations or our joy if we are not balancing these systems of our physical body. It runs as nature does, for we are made of nature so our body follows those laws. Finding ways to do this is a simple way to express differently in life. Creating balance in our physical system which effects our mind, emotions and spirit.
Steven Covey also spoke of our year being 1/4 leisure or relaxation and 3/4 working is the schedule of all the most powerful, successful people. This leisure is when our mind is open, no schedule or work on agenda, our creativity and presence available, all these recharge us for work and add to it with new ideas and ways. Any time we have this open, relaxed time, we get to reset, recharge and often get great inspirations of how to move forward. We can do this with our time throughout the day, on our weekends, taking moments throughout our lives to allow this openness to reset us.
I teach others how to sense and notice how this parasympathetic nervous system feels in our body. We can continually notice and switch into it throughout our day! We can begin to train this feeling, relaxed vibration to be part of our day, knowing the body will work to do this for us on its own! It wants to operate in this balance of our nervous systems as it was designed. As we use this daily, weekly, monthly and yearly to get ourselves in to this restful state, we naturally are creating a life of greater health and well being.
Adding in these ideas of rest can transform your life. Better sleep at night creates a clearer mind and better moods. Using down time as a way to recharge and enliven our work life with new surges of creativity supports our joy and inspiration. Noticing what this relax, recharge feels like viscerally, truly notice when we do something restful how our physical body feels, we can then find moments all through our day to do a mini recharge. This is a grand step in self care! One of the basics to our physical body. There is no way around it. We must understand the things that work best for it no matter what our mind or society say about it.
The proof is in the science, health and expression of the world around us as a huge, simple key to well being and beauty. Make it your goal this new year to find ways of rest. It can be a chill with a cup of tea for 5 minutes, a brief stop in nature on your way home, a moment of meditation between tasks. These all qualify as restful moments that can retrain and support our nervous system. Add in earlier sleep, downtime on the weekends or leisure you enjoy and even free hours to your schedule and you are on your way to more health, beauty, vitality and happiness!
It's all about rest, relaxation, renewal and remembering the power of the exhale! And linger in bed a moment longer as well. Slowly awakening, rolling about and getting your thoughts clear for a bright day before you even get up. These are ways to begin slowly, feel filled and energized for life ahead! Balance the key to a life well lived! Rest a way to feel fresh and open to all situations in clarity, relaxed and even joyful as you are calm to find solutions from an alert, rested place!
Elixir par excellent!!
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Lyn Hicks’ passion is to awaken others to their true joy through play and relaxation! Mentor, Teacher and Writer on The Feminine Way of living!
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