Physical Rest – what it really means

If you’ve been reading my blogs for some time, you’ll know I go on and on about resting. There’s two reasons for this: one is that it’s central to everything else I teach in my coaching, and two is that we can always use some help with this. Life, culture and lifestyles all work against resting.Seriously, even facebook can encourage us to rest less and keep facebooking more. There’s ALWAYS something fun/necessary/interesting/useful or appealing to do. And “doing” is the opposite of “resting”.

So, in this post I’m talking a little about achieving physical rest. You can also mentally and spiritually rest. I even read recently about social rest – which I think is really interesting and worth thinking about.

Physical rest. Seems kinda basic, right? Get off your feet, do nothing, relax. We can all come up with a list of things that would fit this category – curl up on the couch and read a book, have a massage, lie in a hammock or by a pool or on a beach, nap…..slow your body right down and “do” nothing.So – go do it. Right now. Pull yourself away from this computer or device, and go, sit/lie somewhere and just let your body be still. See how long you can do that, in the middle of the day, when things are all around you that could be done.

And for extra credit, still your mind in the process.

Yep, didn’t think you’d last long. Neither do I. But I’m getting a LOT better at it. This is due to two factors. Firstly, I got to the point where my body was breaking down because of lack of rest – autoimmune issues, joint aches, chronic tiredness/exhaustion, allergies increasing…..all those annoying, niggling things that wear our bodies down over time. I was weary. Very, very weary.

I had been relentlessly holding on to a job that was slowly killing me, ignoring the deep callings in my spirit to find the freedom of a life I loved living. The longer I ignored that call to change my life, the deeper and more all-encompassing my physical breakdown became.

Finally, it all ended because of a series of events in the workplace, the most stressful and worst year of the 15 I spent in that organisation, all of which resulted in my being offered a voluntary redundancy (they offer you a new job description or you can be paid to leave the company, because your existing job is no longer going to exist). Needless to say, I took the redundancy and freed myself from that place. And moved to Bali.

I had seen myself in Bali in a visioning exercise I had taken a group of clients through about 6 months before this point. I moved there for two months and thought I would spend my days building my coaching business and a few other money-earning streams I was developing. I arrived and got sick – the good old ‘Bali Belly’, which I put up with for over two weeks before seeing a Dr. I also arrived at my specifically picked villa which turned out not to have a few key things I’d been led to believe it did, all of which caused a high level of stress for me. So I wasn’t resting, wasn’t sleeping, feeling lonely and everything felt like effort. It wasn’t what I wanted or needed.

Then, as you’ll find happening more and more when you’re brave enough to take the journey to the life you’ll love living, Divine intervention shows up and delivers an opportunity to reveal the way to righten this wrong path. In this situation, this turned out to be a last-minute invitation to spend a weekend by the sea, in a town I’d never heard of, at a villa I knew nothing about, which may or may not have been better than the one I was in. There was risk, there was no guarantee it would be anything I wanted at all. And at that point, I didn’t even know what I needed, so it might just have been an investment of time, money and effort for no value whatsoever.

But I wanted a break from the situation I was in, and so I took the chance.

Needless to say, after three hours on Bali roads, we arrived at the black sandy beaches of the Amed area, on the north east coast of Bali. And my whole body relaxed. The views from the villa property were stunning, the pool was beautiful, the place was remote and quiet. And everything in my body relaxed. Immediately. Like never before.For two whole days I hung in a hammock, lay by the pool, lay on my bed, sat in the dining area (which was outdoor, overlooking the ocean on one side and the gorgeous volcano on the other). For the first time in a very, very long time, I rested. I did very little. I felt the warmth and the peace and I rested.

I tell you this story, not to make you jealous of my very blessed encounter with Balilia Ecoresort, but to make the point that even when I know and teach others about the importance of resting, I didn’t realise just how un-rested I was.

And also to highlight that certain place in the world will hold special relaxing powers over us, like our deep spirit resonates for some reason with a certain place and for me, being at Balila put my entire body into relaxation. It was the sweetest feeling in the world.

So what do you do when you don’t have a Balila in your life?

Meditation is my number 1, go-to answer to most things (me and Marianne Williamson, so I found out at her recent workshop in Sydney!). I am building a suite of meditation recordings here, if you need help. But here’s a simple place to start – just sit and breathe. Close your eyes, turn off the phone, music, tv, etc and just sit, and focus on breathing, more and more slowly with each breath. Feel the space between breaths, when your body pauses. Stop reading now, and do this for a few minutes.

Welcome to basic resting through meditative practice. Well done.

Let me know how you found it, in the comments section below.

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