I hate to say this. Because I hate when people say this, and now I’m going to say it. But I wouldn’t say it if it weren’t true.
I have been SO busy lately.
See, doesn’t that sound obnoxious and self-important? I don’t know, I have always had a resistance to “busy” energy and people who are perpetually busy. As comedian Greg Behrendt has said, “’Busy’” is another word for ‘asshole.’”
[This quote is totally taken out of context, and he was actually talking about dating specifically, when a guy blows you off because he’s “busy.” When I was living in New York City and dating, my roommate observed that I was really struggling and obsessing over a man who was displaying signs of disinterest and complacency. As a loving and supportive fellow female, she recommended the book, “He’s Just Not That Into You,” by Greg Behrendt. This title horrified me at first. Having to admit that a guy just might not really like me all that much, and accepting that this was the actual reason why he was ghosting on me? Terrible. It took me a few weeks to work up the nerve to buy this book, but once I did, it was very eye opening. This post is not at all about dating, but if you are single and have never read this book, you definitely should. Behrendt’s tone throughout the entire book is very pro-woman, pro-goddess, even though the title is obviously a bit harsh.]
But really, I have been very busy lately, and I don’t much like it. And as I have been running around, living life, doing life things (all good things, but still), I have been finding myself feeling stretched very thin. Now more than ever, I know that rest is most important for me. As I have talked about before in some of my other posts, my body is very sensitive and I also listen to it and honor it all of the time. I know that if I am running around for weeks on end and I don’t really take the time to rest and reset, I will most definitely get sick. I know this. And I don’t much like being sick.
[For those of you who are so used to running around and ignoring your bodies, let me break this down for you even further. “Sick” doesn’t necessarily mean that you are stuck in bed with a fever for four days, although it could. Your body is not well if you experience so-called “minor” symptoms like migraines, chronic pain in any area of your body, fatigue, insomnia, etc. These are all signs that your body is not happy and is very much in need of a major break.]
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For all of you perpetually “busy” people who run around constantly without coming up for air, not taking the time to just do nothing, not taking the time to recharge, this post is for you especially. And for people who are addicted to being busy and active, the idea of rest might not be very intuitive. Busy people might not even actually know how to rest. So here, let me help:
I know this is difficult for many people, especially if you have kids and/or pets and other obligations that prevent you from enjoying a peaceful morning. And if that’s the case, then believe me when I tell you that it is not too extreme to consider finding a babysitter or a dog sitter once a month or once every few months, to book a hotel room and sleep in. This is your body, your life, your sanity. It’s completely worth it for a goddess to do this. It’s called self-care, which is also a form of self-love. And what is more goddess-like than a woman who loves herself?
Sleep is so important—for the soul, for the skin, for the mind. I have a belief that our souls leave us as we sleep. Maybe our souls don’t leave us entirely, but partially, kind of like a kite. Our bodies hold onto the string of our souls, but the main bulk of the soul flies above in the peaceful skies, seeking nurturance and restoration every night, until it is ready to return fully to our bodies. And I believe that if our body is woken before our soul is done restoring itself, and our soul is kind of yanked back into our bodies, the shock of that can be a bit jarring. I know that I feel so tremendously terrible when I am woken up before my soul is done restoring itself, before my body gently wakes itself naturally. It feels so traumatic to me, and it has been happening more and more since I have been trying this whole “busy” thing on for size. So, a day of rest, first and foremost, includes and begins with sleeping in and letting your body awake naturally.
Artwork borrowed from here
DO A WHOLE LOT OF NOTHING, SLOWLY
When I say nothing, I don’t exactly mean sitting and staring at a wall for eight hours, although there is NOTHING wrong with that. But honestly, doing nothing could mean that you stay in bed for the better half of a day, snoozing and only getting up for essentials.
Doing nothing SLOWLY is even better. So, say you have to get up from your morning snooze to make yourself some breakfast. Walk to the kitchen slowly, taking it all in. Locomote gently, deliberately, thoughtfully. If you are used to running around, your body might actually forget how to slowly and casually walk from one room to the next. This is a good practice to just slow it down. There is no hurry on this day of rest. Just calm and peaceful motions.
ONLY DO THINGS RELATED TO SELF-CARE—THIS INCLUDES INDULGENCE
If you do decide to take action on this day of rest, try and only do things related to self-care. If you go food shopping, make sure you are only buying food that is good for your body. Take a leisurely stroll in the fresh air. Have coffee or a casual meal with a close friend who is positive and loving.
It is also perfectly acceptable to do things indulgent. This can fall under the umbrella of “self-care” if it is consciously loving and uplifting. If you choose to go out and get yourself some junk food, or spend money, if it’s all in the name of comforting, joy-producing, self-care, it is acceptable to do on this day of rest—in moderation of course. On my day of rest, I will often drive 15 minutes out of my way for an exorbitantly priced, bright green smoothie, consisting of raw organic fruits and ice only. This is indulgent and also self-nurturing. Getting pedicures and massages, taking warm baths or showers, burning candles or incense, and other sensuous pleasures, are all indulgently self-loving activities to partake in on your day of rest.
Neon La Bamba Smoothie from Raw Can Roll Café in Wayne, PA. © Libby Saylor
TAKE BEAUTY DETOURS
Whenever possible, on this day of rest, try to take a few beauty detours. If you have to run an errand (an errand that is lovingly indulgent and/or self-caring only), be sure to go out of your way to just experience some beauty for yourself. Take a long way home, for you are in no hurry today. Deviate from your typical path so you can pass by that patch of blossoming wildflowers—I always take note when I see a butterfly bush, because the blooms smell heavenly, and whenever I have time, I make a point to travel to it, just to inhale. Walk a couple of extra blocks in the wrong direction so you can gawk at the church with the beautiful stained glass windows, and make sure you go in the evening so you can see them lit from the inside. Whatever inspires your soul, go out of your way to drink it in today.
© Libby Saylor
TEA AND WATER
A day of rest is also a kind of “day of detox,” and it is a perfect time to cleanse your body and restore it to its former glory. Drink lots and lots of water, and drink at least three cups of tea (amazing for detoxing and resetting the bod). If you are a coffee drinker, I would say try to go without coffee on this day and drink tea instead. Coffee is a bit harsher than tea and your body will always welcome a break from it.
LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND OBEY ITS COMMANDS
Finally, and this goes for any day, but especially on your day of rest, listen to your body and obey its commands. This day is a day to get your body and mind back on track. You have been pushing and pushing and your poor body has had to take a back seat in terms of its needs. Today is the day to make your body the star. If your body is resisting getting out of bed, then stay in bed. If your body needs to stretch and move, bring it outside and move it around. If your body is craving some salt, who knows, maybe you need some salt today. If your body wants quiet, then turn off all media and just sit with yourself, even if it is mentally a bit uncomfortable.
Your work and your obligations might distract you on this day of rest. If you are used to pushing, it might feel very uncomfortable to be “unproductive” during this day. But unproductive is a relative term indeed. So you are not making any money today. So you are not producing at the level you normally produce every other day. So your responsibilities are put on hold for 24 hours. In the grand scheme of things, what difference does this make? In the end, when you are on your death bed, and you are thinking about everything you have accomplished in your life, how problematic is it really to put these obligations on hold for a day? You will not be good to anyone or yourself if you are miserable and exhausted and irritable and needing a break. If the world fights you back on this day and you get a lot of grief from your loved ones or those closest to you, that is just too bad for them. That is just tough. You come first. And honestly, if you are surrounded by loved ones who do not allow you any time to take a break (this includes people who make you feel guilty for taking a break) and care for yourself, then maybe you should consider surrounding yourself with healthier people. And if your loved ones support you on your day of rest, be sure to express your gratitude for their loving presence in your life. You deserve this day of rest. We all do.
If you can do this at least once a month, you are on a fantastically positive path towards rich and fulfilling health and self-love. If you can manage this once every three months, that is okay, you are doing your best. If you only allow yourself a day of rest once every six months, once a year, or maybe never, you need to start shifting some things around in your life.
Best wishes from your loving Mother Goddess Attainable (I’m in a maternal mood today) and take extra special care of yourself!
© Libby Saylor