By Anita Perryman
The practice of deep rest consciously happens (naturally) in some people due to old impressions. Just by doing something, you cannot achieve this awareness. You cannot bring up the intelligence or alertness in you by effort. This happens without effort, by relaxation, by reposing in the Self.
– Patanjali Yoga Sutra #18
I personally find rest and relaxation in exploring words – whether written or crafting them myself, in self-reflection and inquiry, in yoga practice and what I notice about my body and mind connection, in my time to be curious about nature and observing how it recruits my senses. R&R for me is employing time and using it wisely to restore my physical, mental, social and emotional wellbeing. Taken in regular doses, a little R&R goes such a long way and helps me to observe and be more aware of my busy-ness and sometimes banal banter.
Have you ever noticed your inner dialogue? It can be tiring hanging out in your mind playing out an entire scenario…and the outcome of that situation rarely ever plays out like the conversation you had in your head. It might sound something like this:
“I’m so relaxed, it’s ridiculous! It’s such a beautiful day though, maybe I should be a little more productive with my time.” “I’ve been meaning to de-clutter the spare room in the house for awhile now”…”or maybe I could cook up a storm, or plan a really cool yoga class for my yogis next week” OR “maybe I could just relax and soak up the ambiance”….AND boom banal banter, nothing achieved effectively; not even the relaxation component.
It sometimes appears I have a lot of time on my hands – I don’t have kids, I’m not married, I don’t even work full-time. Perhaps – inadvertently – there is a subconscious desire to fill life with supplementary projects and undertakings to the point of fatigue and burnout sometimes. Time is a notion and how it is utilised is the premise to how meaningful and joyously each moment is felt and lived.
In this fast-paced, social rich, competitive/comparative, modern-day society, R&R seems such a foreign concept as we strive to integrate living busily with some meaning and balance. Endeavouring to live all the components of life effectively and efficiently is tricky. Oftentimes it might feel overwhelming keeping up with all the ‘have to’s’ and ‘must do’s’ (that are simply our own agenda and feel important enough at the time to pump energy into). Striving to juggle way too many components has the potential to take us further and further away from finding a rewarding daily balance.
➽ When was the last time you had uninterrupted, quality time to tend to your deep inner contemplations? To sit with yourself long enough to afford such moments as just noticing your surrounds and inner dialogue and how they affect your internal state?
➽ How long has it been since taking delight in your feelings, what you notice about your body or what it is that makes you tick?
➽ Have you taken time out and really looked at yourself with a more gentle outlook that invokes some self-acceptance of you just as you are?
➽ When did you last contemplate the bits of you – that often only you – might consider less desirable (flaws) and wonder why it is you are that harshest critic of yourself?
➽ It’s not worth chewing over so much you become ineffective; however, it’s interesting pondering if you’re up for it!
I am susceptible to creating my own crazy-ness, where life feels as though it might chew me up and spit me out just to have me notice how out of whack and balance life is in that moment. It manifests as brain fog, fatigue, sickness and a general lack of motivation at times for me. These symptoms now serve as a reminder that it is time to slow down and get back to grassroots. Time to take time to gather myself and put things back into perspective.
I love more and more to explore the things that nurture my wholeness and revive my spirit, practicing R&R leads to an understanding of how it impacts life beneficially. I enjoy observing how by benefiting me, it can flow on to those closest to me.
You might ask yourself – What incremental change can I make to restore some balance to life today? and then perhaps make that little change.