Busy, busy, busy! Do you ever feel your life is careening downhill with you chasing behind? There is so much chaos, uncertainty and distraction in today’s modern world that finding time to rest and restore can be difficult. Rest is a critical aspect of success, happiness, and fulfillment. Regardless of your schedule or to-do list, taking time to rest is vital for your long-term health.
Rest is more than just not working because work and rest aren’t competitors. They are allies; the better you are at resting, the more you will be able to restore and the more energy and creativity you will bring to your work. The more you can be creative and energetic at work, the more energy and aliveness you will get for the rest of your life.
We tend to attack resting with the same ferocity that we use make the rest of our interminable to-do list. However, this doesn’t leave us feeling restored; at the end of a hectic day, we want to just “tune out” with Netflix or video games.
Instead, proper rest asks that we incorporate it into our lifestyle so that our days are more restorative. Then at the end of the day, we feel nourished, restored, and fulfilled. So, take “rest” off your to-do list and instead incorporate rest throughout the many moments of your day. Integrating “being” and “doing” fluidly will bring you wholeness and restoration.
There is nothing to “do” to generate this sense of balance, integration, and wholeness. It’s available to us in every moment of our day.
However, while this integration of being and doing is always available, it’s easy to be pulled away from it.
Here are a few simple practices that will help you recover to the wholeness of your natural state.
Breathing is always a good idea; yet, particularly in the Western, developed world, we often do not breathe deeply enough. If you feel less than calm and centered, let your eyes drift shut for a moment and take a few long, slow breaths. Breathe all the way down into your belly and let your shoulders drop. It’s better than a coffee break!
The Power of the Pause
In his lovely book, The Pause Principle, author Kevin Cashman talks about the power of pausing in leadership and life. Everything in life has its own sense of perfect timing, and we create all kinds of stress and depletion for ourselves when we try to push the river. If you don’t know which way to go, maybe it’s not time to go yet. Pause and let your energy settle. Notice what’s around you.
Clarity and right action will open up in front of you when you pause.
Notice this practice is not titled “creating” fulfillment, “achieving” fulfillment, or any “go for it” kind of verb. Instead, finding fulfillment is about perspective and attitude. We generally find what we are looking for. Have you ever noticed that when you start thinking about buying a new Tesla, you suddenly see all kinds of Teslas on the road? The same thing is true of fulfillment. Cultivating a perspective of abundance and wholeness while honoring your personal values will bring a steady flow of fulfillment to your life. Beauty and fulfillment wash through so many of the moments of our lives. If we are looking for it, we will find it.
Rest Your Eyes
They say our eyes are the window to our soul, so it’s even more troubling that eye strain is a common symptom of our screen-filled days. Too much screen time can lead to headaches, tense shoulders, and an overall sense of efforting and struggle.
One simple exercise that helps with eye strain is called the 20-20-20 technique. I did not create this technique, and for the life of me, I can’t remember where I learned it. When you need to be on a screen for an extended period, lift your eyes every 20 minutes or so and gaze at something at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. I find this works wonders for tired eyes and sagging afternoon energy.
Open Your Heart
It’s easy for our hearts to close. Life can be challenging, and sometimes people are unintentionally (and sometimes even intentionally) hurtful. We can wind up walking around with our hearts tightly shut, numb to the world around us. Moving through life with an open heart is actually more restful and restorative. While it takes a lot of courage to love in this world, it also takes a lot of effort to hold love back. Imagine that your heart had a big wide door on it. Grease the hinges and let it swing wide as you open to all life offers!
Karen Kimsey-House is one of the earliest recognized luminaries in the coaching profession and the co-founder of The Co-Active Training Institute (CTI), the only coach training program in the world.
For over 28 years, Karen has been working with coaches and leaders to create resonating, fulfilling lives that are the highest expression of their unique gifts and true life purpose.
Karen is the co-author of the industry best-seller Co-Active Coaching, now in its fourth edition. Co-Active Coaching has been translated into fifteen languages and is considered a seminal text for the coaching profession.
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