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Resting Without Guilt

We have all heard the phrase, “Live life to the fullest!”  But what does that really mean?   I wonder if somewhere we have misinterpreted “fullest” to mean “busy”.  Traveling, hobbies, errands, household duties, parties with friends and families, plus a full-tim976588_48214952e work schedule can take its toll on a person.  Groupon has made its success through offering endless activities to fill our schedules.  I would like to present a new activity….a side of life that we often forget about: Rest.  Let’s take a look at what it means to really live our lives “at rest”.

Close your eyes and picture yourself relaxing on a hammock under a shady tree.  How do you feel?  Do you associate this thought with laziness?  Media has helped our society push this connection of rest = lazy for decades.  Someone relaxing on a couch watching TV is usually presented in a negative light.  Many children now have a difficult time functioning without a packed activity schedule.  The way we view rest is the first step in this process.  Rest does not equal laziness… rest equals mentality.

Removing the Guilt
As I just mentioned, society has not made it easy for us to accept this mentality of rest.  Rest is a critical part to our mental and physical health.  Science can now directly connect stress to a wide range of diseases.  Understanding what stress does to our body can help us remove and even reverse the feeling of guilt.  We are stewarding our bodies correctly when we welcome rest.  The key here is to have balance between our activities/responsibilities and resting/recovering.  This will vary from person to person and where we are in our lives.

Defining “Rest”
Rest is defined as to cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.  In this day we live in, our bodies require more than just an occasional Sunday nap or yearly vacation.  In order to truly live, it is wise to appreciate being active and recognize rest is very important in the healing of our bodies.  This begins within.  I recently published a series on our blog called: Living in the Present.  In it, I explain how rewarding it is to let go of the things we cannot control and trust that life will unfold perfectly.  Living in a mental state of rest gives our physical bodies permission to relax.  Remember, it all begins within.

Adopting a Culture of Rest
Adopting a “culture of rest” will be different for everyone.  For some, this could mean focusing on mental stress levels or learning the techniques of deep breathing.  For others, it may be organizing and appreciating time to rest, just as we do with work and recreational activities.  Regardless of which route we take, it’s important to view this as a lifestyle.

My hope is that rest becomes a way of life.  A state where we can gauge our activities and decisions based on whether or not it supports rest.  Allowing this to infiltrate every area of our life will create more joy, peace and ultimately… truly living life to the fullest!

Living at rest,

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