One of my touchstones this year is "Find a Place of Rest in the Middle of Things." It is a guiding principle I once learned at a training in the Metta Institute. We can always tell ourselves that we will get rest once the weekend/vacation/next year comes, but sometimes that is not enough. For me, it has meant that I need to find places to pause, rest, and be present throughout. Paradoxically, the rest can help me to work more efficiently instead of working continuously through. This is no easy concept and I struggle with it. I love the work I do in life, so I have more stamina to keep pushing through...BUT, it helps if I take the time to rest. Rest for me is not surfing the internet or watching television; that is simply tuning out and escaping. Rest for me has been enjoying a restorative yoga class, taking a 15 minute nap, being quiet, allowing myself to laugh and smile, talking to friends and family, journalling or allowing my whole self to completely do one thing mindfully--like cooking a delicious and healthy meal or create a piece of art. I must admit I can work on incorporating this principle a little more often, but I'm glad I accomplished the rest that I did throughout.
This past week, I let myself enjoy a full week long stay-cation (that's a vacation where you stay at home.) I highly recommend trying one of these! There is no stress in packing to go somewhere or with travel, and the dress code is quite lax. I'm not ending this vacation feeling like I need a vacation from my vacation; I simply feel restored and relaxed. I feel ready to embrace my life work again with increased mental acuity and a re-examined perspective. It has reminded me just how important it is periodically to rest. My other great epiphany this vacation is to loosen my reins on timelines for my goals. I am a very goal-driven person, but I think it is time to simply be for awhile, to put down roots in my new home, and give life a chance to unfold organically for awhile. I know eventually where I want to end up, but pushing too hard right now won't get me where I want to be. As the saying goes, it's time to just go with the flow.
I hope you will find the time you need to rest as well, whether that be a vacation, stay-cation, or simply finding the rest you need in the middle of things. If you need some ideas to get started, I would recommend the spring 2015 edition of Yoga International magazine. This is 128-pages of great ideas to relax and unwind. If you don't participate in yoga or find yoga intimidating, don't worry. This issue is not just about yoga poses, but includes several helpful ideas to promote relaxation.