In today’s modern, capitalistic, world so many of us struggle to find the balance in our lives. Rest and relaxation are usually the last things we allow ourselves to be fed with. We hear the call to succeed in life and we storm full speed ahead, thinking that if we push to the brink, to the breaking point, than we will become stronger, wiser, and more effective human beings. We stuff ourselves filled with pills, liquid and food and expect to become like the energizer bunny that never stops moving. However, there is a reason why machines have warning signs. There is a reason why, when you drive your car past the red line, it sputters to a halt on the highway. There is a reason why when we push ourselves beyond what our body is capable of, to feed the hunger of our minds and spirits, our bodies break down and we become sick, depressed and express a variety of other physical and emotional imbalances.
Since as far back as I can remember, I have always been prone to extremes. When I was happy and joyful I was ECSTATIC! When I was sad, lonely or angry I would fall into deep manic depressions. In both situations, I was always catapulted to act out in a variety of quite insane scenarios. What I have come to realize is that life truly is about the balance; understanding that there are times to put your foot on the accelerator and go full speed ahead and times to come to a complete halt. However, if you operate in either of these functions twenty four-seven, your body is surely to break as all of your physical and emotional regulation systems become completely disrupted.
Having worked the last several months in a nutritional health store, I have seen so many people, including myself, purchasing mass amounts of supplements. We are seeking a quick fix to help us regulate our systems that we have decided, ever so kindly, to streamline into overdrive. We spend large sums of money on anything that helps us make mind over body a reality. This disparity and inequality between the spirit and vessel leads to serious disturbances. Where does our want for overstimulation leave our bodies? Why is it that sleep and time are ignored as credible forms of alternative medicine? Our bodies want to heal themselves. They know exactly what they need to create homeostasis and they are constantly striving to maintain this equilibrium.
Thus, when we feel exhausted and depleted, why can’t we just take some time to sleep first? Perhaps take a few days, a few weeks to go somewhere peaceful and just rest? Well, many of us argue that we have jobs that won’t allow for this kind of nonsense or children or families and we just don’t have the time. Yet, if we went to our jobs and our families and told them: “I need this one day to rest. I need this week to retreat and be alone. This is not a selfish need but a serious physical necessity so that I can continue to be a loving mother, an efficient and helpful employee and a caring friend,” what might the results be? How many of us have actually tried asking first before we so boldly assume we cannot give ourselves what we truly need? I’ve come to the conclusion that it is simply our own fear and for many of us, what is endearingly called FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. We are afraid that taking ourselves out of the “game” and on to the sidelines will somehow hinder us from achieving all that we want in this world. Yet, quite the opposite occurs. By taking the time to be in stillness and peace, not only does our mind and spirit have time to heal but our autonomic nervous system has time to balance as well. Constant stress, lack of sleep and stimulation imbalances our adrenal glands, our sympathetic nervous system and negatively impacts both our physical and emotional well-being.
If you have been feeling cloudy, foggy, heavy, sad, weighed down or depressed lately, one suggestion would be to try simply resting and being still for a moment. Turn off the television, the cell phone, the laptop and computer. Ask your partner, a friend or sitter to watch the children for a few hours. Take a personal day from work and just simply REST and RELAX. Let go of the guilt or fear about what might happen if you treat yourself to this peace and know that this is preventive medicine that will save you so much time, money and energy in the future. As I enter into my own personal period of stillness, rest and reflection (perfectly timed with the upcoming holiday season and seasonal cycle) I look forward to the healing and rejuvenation that will come with it. I wish you all a merry rest and much cheer and may your hearts, minds and bodies be restored to wholeness for the beauty of this New Year.