While this time of the year contains joy, happiness and connection, it can also be fraught with overwhelm, burnout, stress, strained and unmet expectations/standards and grief. I witnessed this as an educator with high school students whom either were in the crushing system of poverty and racism or were caught up in the stress of the holidays from their parents/being over scheduled and exhausted from jobs, school and extracurricular obligations. I witnessed this again as a therapist and student of Zen with the same situations but more tools to offer. And now, with energy work, I can see as well as feel, how important it is to listen to our intuition, pause and rest when we need to and replenish. It really is an act of love. It is an act of courage. When the ego and conditioning all around us is giving us the constant list of what we must do, what we should do, how this proves that we are “right, good, productive” people if we keep going or get the list done, it is all there to keep a standard and belief going that doesn’t serve us or anyone else. If we are not aware it can individually and collectively be projected consciously or unconsciously on to others through judgement, coercion, pressure, oppression etc. For more on naps can be an act of love and resistance, listen here and check out Tricia Hersey’s work as the Nap Bishop.https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/podcasts/item/tricia_hersey_silence_nap_ministry This is not another thing to feel badly about though, this is to be aware of how everyone can fall prey to beliefs about rest and pausing. We even get bamboozled into believing there are right ways to do it, how long you are supposed to do it for, etc. Then we stop because it is just too exhausting to keep up with all the should around the very thing that was supposed to replenish us!
Pausing is an invitation to drop all of it. Let it go. Start paying attention to when you need to lay down or take a second to close your eyes, take in the silence and pause. I have been even more actively practicing to stop the minute my intuition and/or body gives a signal that it is tired and needs a break or I need to slow down the thoughts. It used to be excruciating. In my twenties, I couldn’t even finish out a whole yoga class. I couldn’t sit for two minutes in silence. I couldn’t bear to nap. Or rest. It has taken years of small steps and falls and all kinds of things. But I am in a place now where I welcome the silence. When I take a minute (or 10) and listen to my body and pause or rest, I suddenly have an amazing amount of space and time to do whatever is needed. And the “problems” that were there or taking up a lot of energetic and mental space are cleared up or gone. It is magical. It allows of more fun, play and enjoyment!
This isn’t a bid for self improvement, you are already an amazing, unique expression of Life! This is the encouragement to try listening to your body and intuition and see what you notice. Let us know what you see in the comments below, contact us through the website or join us in the membership at your own pace!