Weekly Step 3: Rest

June 21, 2012

It is my belief that many western women are getting menstrual cramps and bad moods because they are not resting when they really need to. In fact, I feel it is essential for us all to tune in to ourselves and take rest. When you’re in the whirlpool you can’t see the chaos spinning around you because you’re spinning too. But when the water gets calm the dust can finally settle and clarity is unveiled. So too, when we take rest, solitude, silence and check out, we allow ourselves to let the chaotic, the mundane, the annoying, and all the ways we are caught up in our lives to finally settle down. When this happens, there will emerge little by little more clarity about ourselves, our lives, our relationships, whatever you choose to look into.

Remember however that after we stop shaking the jar, the liquid still moves for a while before it settles, so give yourself some time if you can to see the results.

I know some people don’t stop because they are afraid of what they might find if they did: the monsters in their minds or the fears they hold tucked down becoming clearer and in that clarity uglier. But the truth is, that is only a fear too.  Clarity within oneself is nothing to fear, it is an unimaginable strength and power. To know oneself and to be clear about what is within yourself and what is not is a skill you deserve.

The subtle strength and power born from clarity of the self needs not show it’s power over others nor does it cower away from the projected power of others. I believe Mahatma Gandhi exemplifies this skill quite well.

I suggest for the next week you commit to taking rest, silence & solitude.  Let the dust settle while you retreat. How? Just sit on your porch and gaze at the fields for a while. Shell some beans for half a day. Do something and nothing. Just allow yourself to take a break from anything mentally, emotionally and/or physically engaging. Take a break from social calls, internet, phones, family. Whatever are considered your duties, try to get a break. If you do meditation, this is a perfect opportunity to re0commit to your practice.  Make a schedule. Take a long weekend and make your ideal schedule for three whole days of solitude. What would you do with yourself? Not to check anything off your list of to-do’s but do the things you never put on that list of to-do’s. Like taking a walk.

If immediately you can not get so much time alone then make a plan. Until that plan you can devote 30 minutes each day or whatever is available in your schedule until you can take that longer break. In reality, rest is in the mind these days. If you can rest your mind and let everything flow around you while remaining undisturbed, that is ideal. But, for most of us it helps if we can settle the things around us to help settle us inside. Do what you can. Everything counts.

And now, for my three long days and nights of total rest…… My cocoon time.

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