To me, learning to rest and restore felt like an anxious experiment that had gone horribly wrong. Like a painful detox. Like a very uncomfortable and squirmy and scary trip to the dentist. It was not a natural feeling for me, to rest and restore – let alone consistently (it was done only on weekends and vacations in my book). I like to produce. Achieve. Multitask. Work. Create. Act on ideas. Very anxious about time, getting to my lists, etc.
But I’m way on the other side of it now and my rest and restore practice is about three years strong. And it feels like a freaking miracle.
I was forced to start this practice the summer of 2014 when I hit yet another wall of burnout but this one was different. The wall was massive, unscalable. I was barely functional (body/spirit/mind) for about 6 weeks.
First came rest. Then the practice of building it in every single day. Then came restoration. Of my spirit. Soul. Mind. And now I feel like I’ve graduated to even more up leveled version of wellness by sitting in this very spot about two or three times a week. I sit here after working out which is often followed by a session of water immersion therapy (warm water springs, hot water springs, cold plunge, etc). And then I just sit.
A freaking miracle.
For those of you who are where I was three years ago, I want you to know that you can slowly build small moves of rest and restoration into your daily lives. It will not be easy at first. But like any good practice, it will get easier. Your family will thank you. Your kids will thank you (and learn how to take care of themselves from you). Your body will not get sick as often (I was always sick before this practice). And your heart will love you up in all the ways you deserve to be loved up. I am rooting for you. And I know you can do it.
Allow – print available here
My mantra then and now remains the same: Allow, allow, allow. Allow yourself to receive the gift of yourself. Allow yourself to struggle. Allow yourself the time to get to the other side. Allow self compassion along the way. Allow small simple micro steps. Allow, allow, allow.
Big love. Xo