What If You Trust Yourself To Rest?

Is anyone else in the midst of wrestling with their shit lately?

I mean, it’s an ongoing process, but there are definitely times of higher resistance. All kinds of crap is coming up for me lately. It’s not as bad now that I know discomfort means opportunity for expansion – but it still feels gross sometimes. It’s also interesting to notice how the same issues come up in different situations.

I lived in California for years. I didn’t worry about missing out on sunny, warm weather – as we all know, it never even rains there anymore. I found other ways to procrastinate, but the need to enjoy the weather while it lasted wasn’t on the list. After that, I spent the last two winters in Costa Rica. I literally avoided any sort of inclement weather for two years straight.

And then, this summer, I moved to the PNW. Ever since, I’ve felt this nagging need to spend every free moment outdoors basking in the sun, enjoying the coast, and hiking before it gets gloomy and rainy. I’m also not allowing myself any time to rest. Right now, resting feels like a dangerous waste of precious exploration time. If I do rest at all, I’m only doing it at the beach. Add in the fact that I’m in a completely new place with so much to see… and it’s a recipe for burnout. And yes, you can still burn out even if you’re having fun.

The point is that I procrastinate on myself no matter the circumstances. When I procrastinate, I feel like I have no time to rest. I’m always falling behind. Then I become exhausted and fritter my time away with numbing coping mechanisms. It’s a vicious and self-sabotaging cycle.

When I recently had COVID, it forced me to actually pause. I slept more in that first week than I have in years. It brought my troubled relationship with rest into sharp focus. I’ve always had difficulty believing that I’m worthy of time spent in stillness. It’s not that I don’t understand the value. It’s that I’m afraid I will always be stuck exactly where I am if I’m not using every free moment to work towards some other goal. I’m scared that I’ll look back with heaps of regret.

Of course, I waste time in plenty of small ways. The irony of it all is that when I do allow myself to rest, I’m more effective overall. Even though I know this, even though I’ve experienced it firsthand, I’m still hard-pressed to overcome old beliefs.

I want to trust myself to rest. I want to listen to my body. It’s still tough to squelch the negative self-talk if I skip a workout because I know intuitively that I actually need a nap. I was incredibly judgmental of myself for most of my life – healing that deep wound takes continuous effort. I constantly feel that I don’t have enough time to do everything I need to do. I am working on building more supportive habits so that I can spend time in rest and in productivity, without feeling like I’m constantly chasing behind my life.

I hope that you trust yourself to rest. It really is necessary. Time spent doing absolutely nothing – no phone, no social media, no entertainment. Just you, yourself, and the world around you. Not only is it beneficial, it’s actually essential for your creative flow. Trust that if you rest when you need it, you will feel the positive effects later. You don’t have to be “doing” all the time in order to live a fulfilled life. In fact, if you are, your life might actually pass you by. Sending you love.

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