Saturday, 21 July 2012

The Value of Resting

Yesterday I was feeling unwell and my body was definitely asking for a rest. I listened, rested and nurtured myself  -  and today my body is getting rid of all the unwanted gunk : )) Yay! It got me thinking this morning about rest and how incredibly intelligent our bodies are. How, given the chance, our bodies ( minds and spirits too) can recuperate . I started wondering why it is so hard for me and so many others in our culture to just simply rest. I usually only rest when it is enforced by becoming unwell. Sound familiar? I was reminded of one of my favourite bits from Leunig's book, The Curly Pyjama Letters  - "What is worth doing and what is worth having?" asks Vasco of his friend Mr. Curly. " It is worth doing nothing and it is worth having a rest" advises the sagacious Mr Curly. " In spite of all the difficulty it may cause, you MUST rest Vasco - otherwise you will become RESTLESS". How true! When I look around at others and when I feel my own self - there is this constant rest-less-ness - I've noticed it seems to increase, initially, when I am TRYING to rest ( me thinks that is resistance to resting). Not surprising when adverts, like the one for cold and flu tablets telling us to "soldier on", are in our faces. When we are faced with friends, family, work colleagues and all the other 'Restless' people we encounter - giving us and themselves pats on the back for ignoring or pushing through anything that looks or even sniffs of rest. It seems to be perceived as weakness, laziness, valueless and definitely detrimental to the smooth running of production and the business of making money. After all, there are deadlines and clients waiting and and and and and................I think I'm gonna go out on a limb here with Mr Curly and suggest that it's possible that taking a little rest every now and then might be very efficacious to our bodies, minds and spirits. There is the possibility that it may prevent us from getting unwell and having an enforced rest but it may also be the the place where creative ideas and solutions bubble up to the surface - because we ARE taking time out. Time away from the cacophony of busy life, where we can actually hear the quiet voice inside ourselves and have the time to listen. This begs the question of what is the definition of rest? Most peoples eyes glaze over when they even hear the word REST mentioned. I would imagine each person may have a different answer. For some, it may be sitting on a garden swing in the sunshine staring off into space and eventually falling asleep, for others it may be knitting while listening to their favourite music, for others still, it may be reading a yummy book and sitting, pondering after every paragraph or sitting on the beach listening to the waves crashing and the gulls overhead. Whatever 'rest' is for you - consider taking some NOW and enjoying the many benefits it has to offer. On that note, I think I will rug up against the crisp wind and find a spot of sunshine to curl up and rest in : ))


  1. I could not agree more! A year ago I decided to work four days a week and Fridays are my day to rest and recharge after a hectic working week. It keeps me healthy, happy and sane! I make no apologies for doing 'nothing' Karen x

  2. Hi Karen, I have only just seen your comment to this post - better late than never : ) what's 6 months in the bigger picture !! Yay! to you, I really hope this trend continues and more people do as you have done. We will be happier, healthier and more creative beings for sure x x


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