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Take Time to Rest and Reflect

© 2019 Brenda Dineen | Reprinting permission with credit to author

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The world around us moves at a dizzying pace. At times, it presses in on us with all its demands and its fast pace. The world inside us can get very busy too.  Have you ever noticed how your mind quickly darts from one thing to another?

Many people these days feel overloaded, and need time to sit back and rest.  Sometimes it is important to make a conscious choice to just relax.

Back in the old days (the 50s and 60s) we used to watch many popular shows on our black and white TVs.  No remote controls in those days.  We sat and watched whole programs without changing the channel. Some of these shows were comedies like “I Love Lucy”.  Lucy and her friend Ethel were always getting into mix-ups, and the scenes were so funny. In one episode, Lucy and Ethel are working at a chocolate factory and taking instructions from their supervisor.  The chocolates arrive individually on a conveyor belt in front of them and their job is to wrap each candy in a paper wrapper.  At first this seems simple: one chocolate arrives at a time. But very soon the conveyor belt speeds up. So many chocolates at once. Chocolate overload!  Whoa!  What are Lucy and Ethel going to do with all these excess chocolates?  They start to stuff them in their mouths, in their clothes and in their hats! We all laughed our heads off at this scene. It was so hilarious. Of course, we never thought real life could be anything like this.

But now, years later, our lives don’t look much different from the conveyor belt at the chocolate factory. And we aren’t laughing so much about it.  Everything is speeding up and we feel the need to fit it all in.  We have become a multi-tasker, stuffing our minds with endless data, and filling our daily schedules with too many things to do.

As a result, we may need to take time this summer to deeply rest.  Rest is an important ingredient for your wellbeing.  If you don’t take time to rest, you may pay a price with your health and your relationships.  You can end up exhausted, burned out, or feel that something is lacking. Indeed, something may be missing when you don’t spend any time at all reflecting on how your life is progressing, and tending to your own needs.

Step back. Take a break.  Be kind to yourself.

Years ago I took a personal growth course, and each of us in the group was given assignments designed to challenge us in ways that would force us to learn and grow.  One of my assignments was to stare at a blank wall for 15 minutes a day. Ridiculous!  I thought to myself.  What a waste.  I could be doing something better with my time.  I did however, stare at the wall. But it took me years to experience the value of meditating and focusing on something simple.  I have had to deal with a busy mind and busy schedule all my life. Maybe you have too.

This summer is a great opportunity to rest and reflect.

Give yourself permission to do less. Set boundaries and limits in order to put your self-care first. Let go of ‘must’ and ‘should’.

Times of rest are deeply nourishing for your body and your soul.  Begin to plan time this summer for your rest.  What will that look like?  Where are your favourite places to rest? Take a trip out of town.  Sit by a lake.  Paddle a canoe.  Read a book.  Lie in a hammock.  Water your flowers. Turn off your computer and iPhone.  Walk among trees. Do less.  Say “no” to what you cannot do.

Even better, try meditating regularly, or embrace a practice that enhances stillness and silence. Carve out some time for this, even if it’s just a few minutes a day. Give yourself a break throughout the day this July and August.  You may find these occasions to be precious, as they are an investment in your health and wellbeing. In stillness and silence we begin to experience the calm and peace that we desire.  This inner peace is strengthening and rejuvenating.

Some questions you could contemplate this summer:

 • What do I appreciate most at this stage in my life?

• To what extent do I feel balance in my life?

• Is there something I need to pay more attention to?

• What is my heart calling me to do? Am I living my purpose?

Take notice of the benefits after you pause to rest and reflect on life with no distractions.

Spending time resting and reflecting this summer will pay off. You will be fulfilling a need your soul has: to rest your body and mind.

Take time to be quiet and still.

I wish you a contented and relaxing summer.

Warm wishes,
Brenda

p.s. To watch the Lucy show, please click: Lucy’s Famous Chocolate Scene. You may find yourself laughing out loud.