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!