I don't know about you, but I struggle with RELAXING. I always feel as though I have to be doing something productive. This past week, I realized just how important it is to slow our worlds down, focus on our health and well-being, be conscious and Just BE, realizing that this is enough.
Relaxation can have many meanings to different people and that is a wonderful thing! At this point in my life, I can think of three experiences that bring me peace.
#1 Mornings. I appreciate my mornings. Each day, I wake to enjoy the quiet and I especially love my early rising when I don't have a full agenda to rush off to! It is even better when there is a thunderstorm! I listen to the rain dropping on the roof and watch the soothing water trickle down the windows. My morning practice brings awareness, clarity, insights and creativity. Here is my routine:
Meditation. Each morning I take 20 to 40 minutes to breathe and connect. I personally use the Insight Timer App. I choose a random guided message, listen to music or search for a topic that is on my mind.
Gratitude. I think of what I appreciate in my life. What we think about expands. This time provides me the feelings of love, compassion, and acceptance.
Create. I write my thoughts out. What are my values? Who do I want to connect with for this special day? What are my goals?
Set my intentions. I look at my schedule and prioritize my to-do list.
By following a consistent morning routine, my days fall into place and I feel more vibrant and at ease.
#2 Self Care. I have devoted Tuesdays as my day to do something to nurture my well-being. I think about my physical, mental, spiritual and financial life and do something for self care in one of these areas. I make an appointment and off I go. These appointments are wonderful because it is a time that I check out of the world. They are therapeutic to my body and soul. Ah RELAXATION!
#3 Challenge my growth. I devote at least 20 minutes each day for growth. We have everything at our disposal to learn! Read or listen to content that you are curious about or want to know more about. I always have a course going that I am interested in. Here are a few suggestions: Allison Courses, Om, YouTube, Insight Timer.
Here is a rest story.....
A few years ago, we took a family vacation. Many times on a vacation, we find ourselves on a schedule and we have several adventures and excursions planned throughout the week. It usually takes me a few days to unwind. This trip was different. We didn't have a schedule to stick to and so we discovered true refueling and relaxation. Together we had quality and inquisitive conversations with our children. We enjoyed meals together. We caught up on our sleep, took naps and just found ourselves thinking about "What we would LIKE to do," versus "What we HAVE to do".
Our lives, like most people, are filled with details, rushing from here to there and checking off items on a long to-do list. I found myself, while trying to relax...at times frustrated, that nagging feeling of needing to "DO" and "Accomplish Something".
I realized that everything that I had always wanted in my life (from the time I was a young girl) was right in front of me!!! Why would I want to RUSH through this experience. The loves of my life and the simplest things are TREASURES to me. Our week consisted of working out as a family, riding bikes together, long walks, Sushi, many delicious dinners, early bedtimes and lazy mornings.
So Now What? I choose to be spontaneous: escape to the park, go for a hike in the woods, make dinners together, shut off technology, float on a raft or lay in the grass to watch the clouds move! The trick is to find your peace and then do more of those things. I guess we need to coral our loved ones, keep it simple and just be in a space with them to say, "I am Where I am At."