By: G.BRIAN BENSON
I’ve been a bit hunkered down lately. I haven’t been doing my usual amount of posting, blogging, or even meeting with as many people. I have felt like I needed to give myself a bit of a time out to recalibrate as I move to a new place. I also need a break from relentlessly moving forward through life’s changes and challenges, all the while still creating new projects. It’s all been a lot of work and I need this opportunity to rest, reflect and make room for the new. It’s all good and exciting, yes, but also allowing the recognition that sometimes it’s just as important to not rush forward into the next exciting opportunity, but to enjoy the process, remember to take some time to rest, to revitalize, to recalibrate.
It used to bother me to take time out. Now, I realize that it is a gift I can give myself. There’s nothing wrong with rest. In fact, if we don’t rest, we run the risk of burning out, of compromising our health and our relationships. Resting makes room for the new. It’s a necessary component to growing into the best person we can be. It’s a way to honor our whole being. We were never meant to just keep going.
When I used to race in triathlons, there were hard days of tough training with miles upon miles of running, cycling and swimming, I would have to make sure that I incorporated rest days to allow my muscles to recover and come back even stronger. The same thing applies now. Even though I am not physically training for an Ironman triathlon, my mind, body and soul still needs rest and recovery from the work I have been doing, the creative projects, and the transition of moving my belongings to a new home. The rest and recovery are still vitally important regardless of the reason.
I’m choosing to see it as a great opportunity to take a step back and take stock of what’s going on from a different perspective. Sometimes when we are always in go-go-go mode, we can’t see the whole picture. We don’t pick up on the unnecessary, and possibly unhealthy, habits that we have created for ourselves to keep pushing to just keep going. We feel stressed or anxious without knowing why. We have more caffeine, more sugar, anything to keep going. Without a break or some down time, we might not even realize that we are actually in a rut or not moving forward at all. It’s important to pause, take a breath, take a walk, or even take a nap and then take stock of our lives with a fresh, rested, perspective.
Whenever we create something new or experience change, it’s easy to lose sight of everything else. And it can be exhausting. Suddenly we can’t see the forest for the trees. Of course, that’s when we need the trees the most. I often take a hike to clear my mind. It’s another form of meditation for me. I will put down my phone, close the computer and simply step away. It’s a great time to think about changes I might be going through, to allow new ideas, to daydream, to just be. Allowing the stillness of a rested and quiet mind is a wonderful way to make room for new ideas and new ways of thinking. Give yourself the gift of rest. Your body, mind, and spirit will be grateful.