Rest and Relaxation

Big Ridge reflections

Big Ridge reflections

We all dream about a little R&R; a beautiful beach, turquoise waters, languid, slow days or perhaps a cabin in the woods with a good book and a babbling creek.  What a vacation that would be!  Maybe in May, maybe next year....

Our bodies need some R&R as part of the balance, part of the ritual of everyday life.  Just like they need exercise, healthy food, a good nights sleep.  Ideally this time would be a part of our daily or weekly life and yet so often more pressing things take over - that never ending to do list, the family responsibility, even the laundry - become more important than balance in the body.  And when you have internal conditions like an illness or a demanding external situation creating stress, then this place of rest and relaxation becomes even more important. 

Our bodies are amazing.  They are resilient, forgiving, strong - until they're not.  They are only human and can absorb only so much stress and strain before they protest in not so pleasant ways.   And if you are listening carefully perhaps they are only asking for a restorative nap.  Or perhaps a long hike alone to an amazing vista.  Or luxurious time spent having an excellent massage.  All of these become valuable gifts to ourselves especially when we add the magical ingredient of being wholly and truly present during these times.  Acknowledging "Hey I see you over there tight left glute muscle, I care about you sore wrist, I feel your fatigue, your weariness AND I am going to take care of you with some loving attention.

For me, my body needs daily resting naps. Whether 20 minutes or 2 hours, this is a time that I go deeply inside and energetically connect with the parts of me that are calling for my attention.  I lie on my back, with pillows placed just so, to support my neck and knees.  I align my joints so no area is curled or twisted, including my fingers and toes, and then I plunge inward.  Ahhh attuned to the sensations and wisdom coursing through.  There are times when this quiet time is when I feel most alive!

And there are no distractions like mentally planning the weekend or researching the next purchase.  If you were talking with a close friend in a time of need, Would you be watching TV or reading a book at the same time???  I doubt it; you would be very present and deeply listening.  Your body is that friend who needs you to be actively present.

So what sounds relaxing for your body right now?  Where is the place you feel completely comfortable?  What is comfort in the body(Now that is a good question!)  With all of the benefits of Leaning In, can you at times give yourself permission to lean back?  I encourage you, no I challenge you, to create some time like this for yourself right now, today.  Don't wait for that fantastic vacation you have planned, because I promise if you start this practice now, that vacation you have planned will be even better, even more enjoyable, not only for you but also for the family or friend who may be at your side.

And of course I would love to hear back about what you find for yourself in that place of rest and relaxation! 

What ARE you thinking??

When you begin noticing the signs are everywhere...

When you begin noticing the signs are everywhere...

I know you must have noticed - HeartWisdom has been silent for several months - and I have missed you too!   Life has been just very distracting, or maybe it is my mind, very distracted.  There are reasons, layers of reasons, and this is what I have noticed; that there are those things that are tangibly real and then there's the things that happen in our mind.   And either world can provide you with an atmosphere that is healthy, helpful, a sense that all is well.  Or either world can provide a sense of doom, gloom, or worse.  Sometimes we have little control over what life sends our way yet we can be aware about our mind, and hopefully make choices that have a positive effect and that can ultimately bring some balance.  Choices like physical exercise, fresh healthy meals, meditation, anything that nourishes us while under stress, can bring a balancing shot of clarity.
I have been lost in the medical world recently as I have recently been diagnosed with osteoarthritis in my hips and spine.  This is a recent bump in the road for me and instead of a little speed bump it sent me on a detour and I am just now finding my way back.  There was the reality of doctor appointments, tests, physical therapy and then there was my mind. "WTF!  How can this be happening too?  I will never be the same again.  What am I doing wrong? ". A detour into mental negativity, understandably, but still negative and stagnating. 
I craved distraction and found it in many ways, as you can probably easily imagine.  And the distractions kept me from facing the stories in my mind which I knew were not true, Ok maybe there was some truth there.  And still there is always an alternative story you can craft for yourself to get you back on the road that will actually take you where it is you want to go.  It's a matter of being aware and consciously choosing to be in the drivers seat - again and again.  It's a matter of developing strategies for your most typical detours.
So where do you want to go??  Are you excited by the idea of change but can't bring yourself to turn and take the unknown bumpy, winding road?  Are you desperate to " fix" your pain but can't accept that some of your favorite things may have to take a backseat ?  Are you tired and overwhelmed by the same patterns week after week?  Chances are the story in your mind has ambushed you and you are not going to get to where it is you really want to be without facing these stories and asking " Is this true?"  "What else is true?"  "How often does this story keep me from being the person I want to be?"
What is it going to be - another binge on Netflix or some quality time with yourself to reflect, question, dream?  And once you decide to approach this land of awareness would it be helpful to ask for help?  It could be a heart to heart with a trusted friend, it could be a weekend workshop, or maybe some coaching would do the trick?   Whatever will keep you on track, encourage honesty with yourself, and safe from the debilitating stories.  Distraction can be very seductive...I have been on that detour, and the road to being well in both body and mind brings much more contentment and possibility. 

If you have found a good resource for clarity in mind and body, please share below.  ( It's the little grey bubble after Shunya ! )