Making Time to Rest
August is often a time to sit back and relax a little, to take time out from our usual routine, to slow down and reconnect with our self, others, and life in general.
For many people, myself included, being self-employed brings peaks and troughs in work and summer in particular is quite often a time when space opens up. We have choice, of course, with what we choose to ‘do’ in that space. Whether we allow our self to ‘be’ is largely dependent on our state of mind and that is true for all of us, however we ’employ’ our time!
Giving our self time to rest is fundamental to our physical, mental and emotional health. Allocating time for ‘formal’ mindfulness practice on a regular basis is every bit as beneficial to our overall health as eating, sleeping and exercising. As we learn to connect with a state of deep, or total relaxation through meditation, every cell in our body relaxes and expands and begins to function more efficiently. As we let go of the tightness and tension that we hold in our bodies as a result of unhelpful thinking, our inner and outer life begins to change for the better.
We often seem to undervalue the benefits of deep relaxation, and see it as an optional extra, a luxury, rather than being fundamental to a healthy life. If that is so, we can re-educate ourself through our practice, gently taking time to allow body and ‘mind’ to unfurl, centre, and clarify. Letting go of filling every waking moment with some ‘distraction’ or another, we are able to yield to the space and simply be.
Kindness is the very basis of mindfulness and as it is with all other aspects of the technique, it is essential to practice it. So, be kind to your self this month, allow your self to rest when you need to. Take time out of your schedule for deep connection with your self, others and nature.
Personal Development & Bees!
I decided towards the end of 2014 that I would apply to receive The Fourteen Mindfulness Trainings from Thich Nhat Hanh, to become a lay member of the Order of Interbeing. I am extremely grateful that I was accepted and that I am able to undertake the journey, which involves a process of mentoring, practising, reading, retreating and community building, in order to strengthen my mindfulness.
I had felt for some time that I was ready to embark on the next stage in my personal development, to develop a deeper understanding and commitment to living mindfully. To date, the ongoing process has been challenging, rewarding, enlightening and joyful, in equal measure – and ultimately a commitment that I am delighted to have made. Indeed, my life changed in many ways as soon as I expressed my intention to commit to living in accordance with the trainings. This reminded me of the power of intent, the power of our thoughts, and the importance of being mindful of where we direct our focus.
As part of the journey I have made a conscious decision to live more ethically and one of my mentors opened that door for me through an introduction to Ethical Consumer Magazine . That in turn has given me a greater understanding of the choices I have and the influence that I have as a ‘consumer’. I realise that anything I choose to purchase from ‘fuel to food’ has an impact on countless other ‘beings’ and so now I am happily equipped with the knowledge to make informed choices, that support ethical businesses, practices and services.
I share much of this information on Facebook and Twitter – especially campaigns and petitions for example: to boycott Shell fuel stations – as a stand against their intention to begin drilling in the Arctic for oil this summer – you can sign the Greenpeace petition here if you wish to voice your concern; and also to help save the bees from dangerous pesticides that are threatening their survival and being sprayed on our food crops (if we don’t choose organic) – you can sign the Greenpeace petition here.