The horses in the field were having their usual mid-morning snooze, seeking shade from the unusually hot temperatures we are experiencing this week. Cars sped by on their usual morning school run. Some suddenly slowed to a crawl, their occupants’ necks craned out towards this lovely spectacle, children gesticulating excitedly in the back seats. I could almost hear them shrieking, “Mummy, slow down. Horses! Look, horses, mummy. Slow down.”
I love how horses can a) sleep standing up; and b) sleep when the buzz of the world is carrying on around them as normal. They simply ‘tune out’ and take the rest they need. They’re so good at it. So how can we tune out and take the rest we need in this chaotic world?
- establish a quiet corner, or a room in your home, which you can use only for the purpose of rest (in this case we’re talking about rest, not sleep). This sets up a vibration of restfulness and stillness as well as a positive habit being formed and reinforced in your mind. This will make it easier for you to rest each time you go there. You are conditioning your body and mind with a new habit of rest.
- have a few of your favourite guided relaxation/mindfulness meditations on your phone. Short ones, say 5 minutes, are good to take a quick break from work stresses (again establish a quiet place where you can do this – the bathroom?, your car?). Colleagues will get used to you disappearing for a daily 5 minute ‘time-out’. Do not allow ridicule from those who misunderstand to deter you from this. It really will benefit you enormously (see my previous post Sit in Inner Stillness) and the change in you will percolate through the office, improving the atmosphere to one of calmness and resilience in the face of pressures.
- when you take a cup of tea or coffee, or eat your dinner at night, switch off the television and your media devices. Give your senses the rest they need from external media stimuli. Concentrate on the food in front of you, eating slowly, savouring the variety of flavours and textures and giving gratitude for the blessing of such an abundance of food. Talk with the people who are with you. Ask them what good things happened that day, or what they’re grateful for today and so on. Veer the conversation towards positive topics rather than concentrating on alarming news headlines! Remember, the body-mind needs rest!
- if you have a garden or balcony, make a new habit of sitting out in it for a time each day. Put up a bird feeder and watch the interactions of the birds at feed. It’s wonderful and makes you forget all your worries. It gives your emotional mind rest; this helps to relax the physical body. The more you do this, you start to feel a greater connection to the natural world, something which many of us have lost through leading such busy lives.
Have a wonderful week. Don’t go standing under trees tonight trying to sleep, but take regular periods of rest, untroubled by the hubbub of life happening all around. Just don’t get involved in it all!
Much love, Anita.🙋♀️