Sunday, September 22, 2013

A Time to Rest


"Rest when you are weary. Refresh and renew yourself, your body, your mind, your spirit. Then get back to work”
-Ralph Marston

Have you ever had the experience that you needed some spaciousness and some time in between the moments, events, or people in your life? Have you longed for time to recover, recuperate, or to process a challenging situation or relationship?

I am sure we have all experienced these situations, but the real question is have we allowed ourselves time to rest, recuperate, process, and integrate? This needed time is a time of rest and of fallowness which actually serves to inspire and to motivate and to re-vitalize ourselves.

There is a client I work with who is aware of this need intimately.
At present, she is dealing with her aging parents.  She wants to care for them and yet she also realizes that she needs to take time off in order to rest and integrate her experiences with them in this new phase of life.

Recently her father was diagnosed with a severe cancer, and he is the main caretaker for her mother who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.
Neither of her parents wanted to give up their roles. My client would vacillate between wanting and being able to help and and feeling guilty for not doing certain things or being available all the time.

One day she came to see me feeling out of sorts and upset. I worked with her to slow down her thought processes so we could see together what especially triggered her. She would get upset with her father for being angry, for needing her help for little things, and with herself for not being able to be there a lot. Yet she knows she has limits she can’t violate.

The key here is rest.  My client needs time out to rest, take care of herself, and process her feelings and to integrate the impending loss of her parents. She has finally found a good rhythm for herself which works for her, and also helps her parents.

When she is with them now, for the most part, she is really with them. There is no other agenda than being present.  Yet it wouldn’t have been possible for her to accomplish this if she didn’t find her rhythm of work, service, caretaking, and rest.

It often is our own personal guilt which keeps us from doing what we know is right for us and to find our rhythms and our natural flow in life.
It is important for us to pay attention to the words and sentences that come into our minds that keep us from following our natural sense of give and take, rest and work, internal processing and external movement, sleep and activity.

When we notice our thoughts, we can develop a strategy for working with them and for releasing them when they are no longer serving us. As we do this we then allow space for growth which restores and regenerates the body and the soul.


Shift Your Story: Guided Visualization/Meditation
Take about 15 minutes a day for a week to do this visualization.

Find a comfortable place where you can have both feet on the ground and you can be undisturbed. Take a couple of deep breaths to ground yourself. Close your eyes and envision a world that is beautiful to you. See your path in this world; is it a gravel path, a paved highway, a windy country road, a busy city road, or any path you envision.

Look around you to see what you see: trees, flowers, buildings, clouds, lawns, fields, type of trees and flowers, people, etc. Just notice what is around you including animals, types of flora and fauna, rocks, landscape and such. Notice what season this is. Is it cold, warm, humid, or cool? What type of clothes are you and others wearing?

Then imagine yourself in relationship to other beings. This could be animal beings, human beings, tree beings, etc. Are you alone, are you with others, or are you close to others? Notice how you are feeling. Remember, this world is a world that is beautiful to you. Flesh this world out for yourself.

Are you living this world? How much of this world have you manifested?

Next, ask yourself what if anything is keeping you from living this world? Are there thoughts, beliefs, memories, loyalties, shoulds, guilt, or shame that is keeping you from living in this world?

Do you allow yourself the time and rest to do this imagining? Can you give yourself a few minutes each day to do this imagining? This is rest and meditative time for you. Allow any changes in this world to occur as you learn more about yourself. Let yourself also take in the steps you might need to do to free yourself from limiting beliefs so you can live in this world. Lastly, see and actually take the steps, one at a time, to attain these goals.

Take another couple of deep breaths and open your eyes.
Take a sheet of paper or notebook and write down the actual steps you would take to live and be in this world.

If you feel so called, please feel free to let me know how this experience is for you. It is my pleasure to help you be present for yourself and in your life in a way that allows you to become the vital, whole and healthy person you long to be.