Hello Beautiful one.
Today let us explore the idea of ‘rest’ – true rest – together.
Rest, like the idea of ‘self love’, is a concept that is very poorly understood by most.
There are many huge misconceptions about rest, about what true rest really looks like, about the benefits of resting, and the supposed consequences of resting.
All of this has worked together to create a society of chronically over worked, over stressed, over taxed and miserable human beings, who struggle to find the answer to their growing list of physical, mental, emotional and spiritual issues – all of which could be totally or at least partially remedied by adopting some ‘true rest’ time.
You see, rest is one of the most important subjects for humanity to look at in this moment.
For rest has the power to fully and completely transform our world.
More importantly, rest – true rest – has the capacity to completely transform YOUR world.
The only problem is, you have been trained to avoid rest like the plague.
The Struggle With Resting:
If you are one who struggles with allowing yourself to rest, or one who struggles to find the true meaning and benefit of rest even when you are ‘resting’ – you are not alone.
Our world has taught us from the very beginning that this is a dog-eat-dog world. That the early bird gets the worm. That in order to survive, in order to thrive, one must be hustling all the time.
There is a societal glorification of busyness. Ours is one where we celebrate the 80+ hour work week. The athlete who continues for years to push their body to the brink. The entrepreneur that stays up night after night after night perfecting their project. The student who burns the candle at both ends to get the best grades. The working mom who cooks gourmet dinners every night, attends every soccer game and dance recital and still manages to look like a million bucks.
We praise those in our society who have sacrificed rest in order to accomplish their goals. We love to hear the stories of those who never let themselves breathe – even for a moment – and we revere this behavior as something to aspire to.
The only problem with this? We are a society that is becoming increasingly burnt out. The rates of anxiety and depression among those who live in the Western world system are skyrocketing. The levels of peace and satisfaction people are feeling are plummeting. Relationships are falling apart left and right. People are feeling more and more lost, more and more listless, more and more like they can’t remember WHY they began working so hard in the first place.
What started out as a seemingly well intentioned goal of being ‘the best’ and ‘the most’ or even just to ‘reach ones potential’, has turned into a continual rat race that is leaving most people completely unsatisfied – and worse – sick.
We are fed the message over and over again that to rest is weak. That when we allow ourselves to ‘not do’ that we are succumbing to stagnation, the lesser lazy aspects of ourselves that threaten to take us down completely.
We are a society that is petrified of stillness, because we have associated it with meaning that we are worthless, meaningless, contributing nothing and are therefore fundamentally unworthy of love.
Most of us truly believe that to rest is to admit that we are weak. Frail. Fragile. Broken. Not good enough.
Perhaps you feel this way about yourself? Perhaps you believe that to rest is to fail? That when you try to take a break, that you are committing some horrible crime? Maybe you feel guilty for taking time for yourself to be unproductive? Perhaps you fill every single moment of your day, in order to avoid ever having to slow down, rest and ‘be’ rather than ‘do?’
Could it be that you have a fear of resting? And what it means to rest?
So even if you do engage in restful activity, you never actually FEEL like you are resting, because with the restful activity comes a flurry of anxiety and fear that prevents you from being nourished by whatever restful activity you have chosen to engage in. It seems no matter how you try to rest or check out, at best you get numb and at worst you feel so terrible about yourself that you run back to activity just to make those awful thoughts and feelings go away.
The Underlying Root Of Never Resting:
Now, why would this be the case? Why would we feel so afraid of rest? Why do we make resting mean the end of the world, the end of our value, and the end of our worthiness of love? Why do we run so fast, hurting ourselves, burning ourselves out over and over again just to get back up and do it all again?
We are a society afraid of rest, truly because we are a society that is afraid of SELF.
We do not want to be still with ourselves. We do not want to be still with life.
We do not want to face all the stuffed down emotion, pain, fear, false beliefs and other aspects of the self that have been abused and tormented that will inevitably rise to the surface when we take a moment of stillness.
This is the true root of our fear of rest. Plain and simple.
We are running from ourselves. It is now a socially acceptable – and even commendable – thing to be disengaged from our inner beings by continuing to fill our time. To be onto the next task, the next accomplishment, the next prize.
Simply, we are a society of traumatized individuals who feel that we cannot heal those traumas, and so we must run from them.
Constant business is our best escape route.
Next week we will finish up this talk on rest by exploring the shadow aspects of not resting, the true benefits of rest and how you can start to allow for rest in your life – where you may be resistant now.
For now, simply allow this information to settle in your soul. Wrestle with it a little. Allow yourself to feel into the truth of it.
See you next week.