Wow – we’re into the second month of the New Year already! So how are you doing? Have you mastered the Art of Rest over your break? Would you like to have grace and joy as companions?
As some of you may know, I’m currently on extended sabbatical taking care of myself. Last year my physical health took another hit so I decided to carve out some quality time to dedicate myself to my most important priority – me.
You may be asking: ‘what has grace and joy got to do with it?’
The answer to this is “everything!” And this is how I’m doing it:
- I’ve made time to take stock of all my successes – what I’ve overcome and achieved – mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically… and surprisingly, the list is far bigger than I’d imagined. And what’s even more remarkable is that every challenge I’ve overcome has me now better, stronger, wiser and more loving than I was before. I like this! And it feels good too.
- I’ve made a list of everything that is weighing me down – what feels ‘heavy’ or contracts my energy, and that I want to change eg. relationships, habits, environments/spaces, commitments, work etc. Seeing this clearly in black and white makes me feel empowered to shape the year in alignment with my core values and on my own terms. My boundaries are clear.
- I’ve made time to articulate what I would like to create moving forward eg. experiences and goals – physical, emotional, spiritual, financial, relationships, work, time out etc.
My biggest tip: focus your time and energy by getting clear on what you’d like to do, how you wish to feel, and who you wish to become.
Summer is a great time to relax, with good weather and long days. But sometimes, whether you’re swimming at the beach, or enjoying a backyard barbeque, it can be difficult to slow down and mentally take the time off. Maybe you’re mind wandering about an upcoming event, or time traveling to a future meeting, or worrying about that thing your friend said yesterday, or wondering what you’re missing on Instagram.
All these thoughts will keep you from being attentive to the ocean view – or other summertime delights – that you only get to enjoy at this time of year. Harnessing a mindful attitude, can really help us relax and savour the season.
Here are three ways to weave mindfulness into your down time and cultivate the Art of Rest in your daily life:
- Learn to appreciate the joy of mental stillness. Give yourself permission to take a breather and linger here in this moment, for the whole delicious moment. Imagine a dragonfly resting gently on a leaf, moving gracefully in the breeze. In the same way, the mind rests gently on the breath, in this ever-present moment.
- Immerse yourself in nature. You don’t have to sit still to practice mindfulness. Make the most of local bush walks or green spaces so you can explore nature while cultivating awareness. Whatever else captures your attention, gently bring your focus back to the sensation of walking. Tuning in to the sights, sounds and smells along the way can also amplify the mindfulness experience.
- Fuel your body. In the busy days of summer holidays, meals can feel like an afterthought. But when you take the time to slow down, listen to your body, do one thing at a time, and consider all that went into your meal, you can easily bring more nourishment and enjoyment to your daily routine. Be present. Taste what you are eating, and savour every bite. Smile and give thanks for the fuel you are offering your body.
If you’d like more simple, practical tips for being more mindful throughout your days, check out my Calm Your Farm program, packed with 30 days and 30 ways of cultivating mindfulness in varied and creative ways.
May this month’s offering be helpful in cultivating some new practices that support you in embracing the Art of Rest in your daily life.
With grace, joy and love,