Rest is deeply personal.
I’ve been leaning into rest a lot lately.
It’s been a deep intention to let my body get to know and connect to a deeper form of rest this year.
Like real rest, not the rest where you’re lying or sitting down but your mind is still thinking of all the things you “should” be doing. Can you relate?
We hear about rest a lot and no wonder, so many are tired. I get it, there has been a lot on our plates, and even more so in the past two years.
But to truly rest, we need to be able to unlearn the indoctrination that keeps us unconsciously harming ourselves, that keeps us “working” even when we are trying to rest.
This runs deep within our unconscious, and programming within our bodies and cultures. Depending on what body you’re in this programming and relationship with rest can be even more challenged.
So let’s do the work together.
Let’s prioritize rest.
Learn how to rest.
There are also a few nuances we can dive into here as well.
The accessibility of rest depends on who you are, and your privilege.
Our relationship with rest has become shadowed by guilt in our overproduction society. Our need for perfectionism and hiding our trauma within doing, or staying busy.
We have convinced ourselves that resting is lazy or maybe it’s something you heard or were told growing up.
So when we believe we are engaging in rest, is it the deep nurturing rest we believe it to be?
There may be seasons within our life that rest is not an accessible state within this moment in time.
And during these times how do we cultivate and nurture moments of rest?
What does that look like for us as individuals?
Have we even considered how rest impacts the nervous system of a traumatized body?
This is a whole blog on its own- please note that if this is you, there is nothing wrong with you if you try to rest and feel activated by the non-stimulus. We can become triggered by rest when our bodies and nervous systems don’t feel it’s safe to do so. This is where somatic healing and embodiment come into play. This will definitely be another blog topic.
This is a conversation that has been on my mind for the past few years. And certainly received a new lens to look through since 2020 arrived. Finding myself in a place where the rest that I was used to was no longer in the picture. And before you say it… you must prioritize rest and make it happen. One must consider the logical mathematics, of the hours and minutes available within a day and the amount of sleep a human needs in order to survive. When we find ourselves in survival mode and our nervous system on high alert, restful moments and breaths can feel like washing oneself in a cup of water versus an entire bathtub.
It was certainly hard not to judge myself during this time experiencing survival mode. And of course judging, myself came naturally when I’ve been preaching for the past two decades that self-care and rest are needed in our daily lives. Not even realizing the privilege in which my worldview leaned towards a belief that every single human on the planet could create multiple minutes a day or hours a week towards self-care and rest.
When one finds themselves in the muck of their own belief system that can actually cause harm, shame and judgment, we must consider a moment of reflection and pause.
So in order to continue the framework cultivated in my lifestyle of one hour a day within my practices; this required me to sacrifice hygiene, food or sleep. When you have committed to working 12 to 16 hours a day seven days a week, in order to stay afloat after months of no income and the need to survive in this new climate… To say that I wasn’t prioritizing rest, or making time for it simply did not apply. One could even say an ignorant and offensive statement to make when one is drowning. Just swim!
So what did I do?
I offered myself small moments of time when I could.
I offered myself compassion.
I reminded myself that I am doing my best in the circumstances that I’m in.
I reminded myself that the structure which I have cultivated is not about perfectionism. It’s about cultivating a relationship of nurturance towards my humanly needs, my spiritual needs, my emotional needs, and my intellectual needs. So for about a two-year span, I certainly did not meet all of these needs. Most days I did not even come close.
So how did connect to deep sacred rest?
Prioritized connection to nature.
And in this a deep return to nature… Any time I spent socializing I offered us to walk through nature. This allowed me to nurture myself in many ways and made all the difference in the world. I offered myself even simply three minutes connecting to breath just outside my front door.
And as I think about my relationship with rest and the days I simply crave hours of sitting in front of Netflix melting into the couch, with greasy fingers and a full tummy. And though at the moment it feels like that nothingness is restful. It may or may not be. It can certainly be restful when watching nurtures me and does not elevate the nervous system. It can certainly be restful if the guilt of resting does not overshadow the experience of rest itself.
What I recognize lives within my deepest craving for rest is stillness.
Is the silence of the forest.
The silence that comes within the ocean waves crashing at the shore.
With the birds that sing their songs.
There is a type of silence within those sounds of nature that invite me to lay my head down and simply be.
Sacred rest is deeply personal.
This is something I will continue to dialogue with and share within my yoga classes, embodiment and coaching sessions.
What does your sacred rest feel-look-sense like for you?
Notice the way the voices in your head tell you all sorts of reasons you cannot rest. Become curious about those voices.
If you feel like you don’t have time to rest, challenge yourself, perhaps it is a matter or prioritizing for you.
If you find yourself not having the privilege of not engaging with rest… what can it look like for you? Three minutes laying on the floor taking deep breaths?
The embodiment of rejuvenation, rest and your medicine are the conversations that light me up. Cultivating a lifestyle that helps you feel more connected is my mission and zone of genius.
Hi, I’m Natalie.
Spending as much time as possible with the forest and ocean that surrounds me, talking to the trees and animals.
The spaces I offer as an Embodiment Guide are trauma-informed, unlearning oppressive systems and decolonizing spiritual practices. The invitation of our time together is for you to deepen your connection, and wisdom, embodying your medicine. Working with folks who are here on a path of healing, space holders, guides, and changemakers.
If you are curious about the work I do and would like to connect, you can:
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