Rest Like You Mean It

November 18, 2010 at 9:30 am 1 comment

I have been thinking of this idea of resting and stopping since I heard Rabbi Jonathan Sacks talking about Pursuing Happiness on Being on National Public Radio. His quote has stayed with me: paraphrase

“Sometimes we don’t pursue happiness, we just need to stop, slow down and
let happiness catch up to us, we call that the Sabbath.”

Then I was reading Martha Beck on “Lying Low” in O Magazine. We all go through peaks and valleys of successes and challenges. Some larger than others. Sometimes all at once and seem insurmountable. And certainly the new economy has given us a ride in the peaks and valley of life. Martha also talks about stopping and letting go. Instead of resisting the challenges or pushing back, don’t do anything. Rest, let the valley happen, breathe into it. Let go of the burden, clear your mind, restore and heal. And Martha brings us to Psalm 23:

“Yea, though I walk through the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”

To lower or eliminate the fear, Martha suggests making a list of things that bring your comfort, support and hope. When it gets tougher, make the list longer. This will help your brain turn off the fear. Martha says, “Humans are the only creatures in nature who resist the patter of ebb and flow.” If you have a dog, you know pulling on a leash does nothing, the dog just stops and waits. But if you release the tension, walk back to the dog and make them walk beside you, they come along. Release your leash – let go – reframe – call a friend. Go with the flow.

And this thought process made me think of the Serenity Prayer.

“God, grant me the serenity; To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can; And wisdom to know the difference.”

When I am pushing and something else is pulling, I try to stop and determine what the message is? What am I missing? Why am I trying to fit a square peg into a round a hole? I tend to have shower epiphanies. Problems I am working through or something I am trying to write comes to me in the shower…when I am not thinking about it directly! (And I tend to use essential oils and scents in my shower, so maybe the sense of smell adds to the clarity!)

So when meeting a challenge try resting like you mean it – think toddler nap. Take some space and time to let the flow go and stop trying so hard to make the fix. Compassion and understanding starts with you.

Entry filed under: A Better You. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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