SomaNews September-October 2020
How Do You Rest?
“To live in the body is to truly rest.”
Rest is not something most see as an abundant commodity. Rather, it is pinched out like a nearly-empty tube of toothpaste, little by little.
And here is a blend that is often hard to understand: The more relaxed you are, the more alive you are.
Our culture has created a world of hurry up, get it done. The more you push, the more you get done. But I am here to say, I do not agree. I am offering a different perspective so that you may rest even on the most chaotic days.
Life has a resting point and pause — resting creates effectiveness in the world for self and others. Just letting our muscular system (where we armor ourselves) rest, restores suppleness to our body and creates a different mood. Remember, how we shape ourselves creates moods.
What is rest?
I am speaking of letting your muscles rest on your skeleton, letting the skeleton hold you up. When we surrender our muscles and let the skeleton do its job, then we are truly resting.
When you are rested, you are able to step into more width, and in that see more possibilities, more choice and not be held in a tight little box with only one focus.
When your body is at rest, it enables you to quiet the mind. The stories don't stop, but at rest you can quiet those stories so they don’t run you.
When we rest, we rest our hearts, allowing more compassion and care for our self and others to develop. We become more of an invitation to our family, friends and community.
The art of rest…
In the art of rest, there is a surrendering to what you have been doing or how you have been being. This is a physical journey into the self — remembering that the body and self are indistinguishable.
Your body can be at rest when you can be alive inside and outside of yourself. When you live in your body, you are able to have a felt sense of rest. You are then living in your body in a natural state — breathing as you are built to breathe; standing in which your skeleton is holding you erect not your muscles; feeling your energetic body — rested and alive.
So how do you rest?
To rest means to relax into something and let it support you. It is living in your body where there is less contraction, more ability for the skeleton to do its job. You can be busy and have multiple things to do, and still be rested.
Living in your body is the first step to rest. Rest is about being able to have the felt sense of a body, where there is aliveness with relaxation. Listen to your body, for it speaks volumes!
– Thich Nhat Hanh
Create a New Story
Do you find it hard to rest? Many of us do. Would you like to open to a new story about rest? Let's work together to rediscover the art of rest.