“Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths.”
- Etty Hillesum
Life is what happens as we are busy living it. Everything has a time and we never know what life has in store for us for us to learn. Sometimes after a difficult event in our lives, it takes a lot of rest and apparent fallow time before we can go back and look at the trauma. There are certain events in our lives that require tremendous rest in order to heal. When we push ourselves to fast and too much we can actually back slide. Rest and fallow times are very important for our health and healing as well as for the restoration of our vitality.
I have a client who had a major life event about two years ago. She was in the shower and was stepping out while she “slipped” and hit her head and eye on a bathroom fixture and subsequently lost her eye. While she was at the hospital, and through tests, they discovered she had a little stroke event which caused her to slip and fall and was the real cause of the accident. She went through a series of tests and physical therapy and occupational therapy. She rested. (She also received a glass eye, which if you didn’t know she lost an eye, you would never know that one was glass. It matches perfectly.)
We have worked together throughout this time and she has recovered very well. She has changed her lifestyle; no longer works full time, spends time in her garden and cooking, and has lost some extra weight.
One day she came to see me and was talking and used the word, “wistful” to describe what she was feeling. She almost looked other worldly as she was talking. She wasn’t really grounded. I became curious (and took some “felt footsteps” which I often do to get an image of something that is unconscious).
I followed her train of thought when she said that she was afraid that some action would destroy her. This was interesting. I had her put out one set of foot steps for action, one for fear, one for destroy, and one for outcome. Through this process we discovered that she felt she embodied the outcome and she was looking directly at the footsteps of fear, action, and destruction.
It suddenly occurred to me that she was able to look at the trauma of her stroke. She was ready to look at this uncontrollable event that had created so much fear and at what she perceived she lost or was destroyed in this incident.
We were looking at her stroke directly for the first time. It took over a year before she was able to look back and mourn the loss of her eye and to feel the fear associated with this event. She needed this restful time to heal so that she could then, when the time was right, go back and look at it and look at her fear. It would have been too soon before now.
It takes time not only to heal physically, but to be able to look clearly at, accept, and then move forward after a traumatic event or injury. This rest and fallow time are an integral part of the whole healing process. It is this time that allows us to grow, become fuller, and more healthy and whole.
Healthy Eating and Lifestyle Tips
Along with taking care of ourselves and allowing ourselves time to heal, we also need to care for ourselves with healthy eating. Our old eating habits can be hard to change, so I also recommend adding a new habit one at a time each week.
Because so many of our grains are now genetically modified, and our soil doesn’t provide the necessary nutrients for our plants, I find that limiting, and for some, eliminating wheat and gluten is extremely helpful in reclaiming our health.
In addition, so many processed and fast foods are not good for us and don’t give us the time to rest and digest our foods in an environment that is healthy for us.
I recommend going through your pantry and giving away the processed foods. Taking the time to cook and to sit down and eat creates a natural break and rest in the day and also aids in our digestion of our foods. Try it; I think if you aren’t already cooking from scratch and sitting down to eat, that you will not only feel better, but you will enjoy it and feel more rested and vitalized.