The Importance of Resting your Spirit

About a month ago, I wrote about how rest is important for your health. I continue to discover ways in which this is true, in my own life and in the growing body of literature on the topic.But it’s not just health that rest enhances. The work of your spirit, your true self, needs rest. To find a life you love living, a wholistic and fulfilling life, you must have rest in order to have a “healthy” spirit.

In part, I believe this is because rest (and I mean waking rest – the ability to be resting and restful whilst awake, rather than needing to fill every waking moment with activity and productivity – as well as sleep) is the first step to cultivating stillness. And it is only in stillness that you can hear the quiet calling and subtle inklings of your spirit. And without hearing those, you’ll never find the path to the life you love living.

So we practice getting rest for our bodies, rest for our minds and rest for our spirits. And in that process, we cultivate the ability to get still. As we get still, we come up against our Ring of Fire, as Martha Beck call it, and we also begin to experience the deepest part of ourselves. It’s a stillness that breathes, a personified stillness that expands out beyond all human activity and expands inward into the vastness of who we are.

When we are connected to that part of ourselves, we are able to visualise our true selves, living lives we love; we are able to feel the yearnings and see the sparks of our future path as they begin to light us up and take form; we can feel the promptings that pull us toward things we’ve never thought about, desired or understood before.

But the stillness needs to come before that connection is possible.

And the rest comes before the stillness.

There’s also another level at which rest is important for the work of your true spirit.

When we embark on a journey to follow those yearnings and promptings, the quiet voices, we will invariably encounter struggle between our desire for this new path and the fearful self that longs for security and safety – it is afraid of the new path because it is not sure that you are trustworthy – that you will look after it properly.

So, hearing from your body when it needs to physically rest, and then resting, is part of proving to your fearful self that you can be trusted to take good care of yourself. This works similarly with other kinds of rest – feeling when your mind needs rest and then resting it will be the same (ie when you’re doing heavy thinking or learning work). Of course, it is also similar with your spirit. Feeling when it needs to rest, and then resting it as it requires, will continue to build the trust your fear needs to start relaxing when you dream of a new life, you love living.

As you build trust with yourself and learn to be your own “good parent”, ie learning to say no to a fun night out when you really need an early night, or saying no to the TV when you really need to do something quiet and low-stimulation…. as you gain the ability to do this, you’ll begin to find the fear of taking steps toward your new path a little less intense.

If you need help with learning how to rest, check out my Resources Page, where I’ll soon be posting short class recordings of resting techniques which may help you.

I’d love to hear about your questions, experiences and thoughts around the topic of resting your spirit. Do you understand what that means? Do you have great go-to ways of resting that essential part of yourself? Is resting of any kind a great challenge for you? Share your story in the comments section, below!

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