Deep Rest

August 23rd, 2009


It's funny, but all the themes get me thinking about their opposites. I'm just contrary like that. :-)

So with this being the month of movement for the Creative Every Day Challenge, I've been doing a lot of thinking about rest. And I'm not talking about any old rest here...I mean deep rest. The soul-nourishing, replenishing, much needed kind. 

Do you give yourself time for this kind of rest? For more than 5 minutes? What does deep rest mean to you?

Giving yourself the time and space to rest is so important for creativity. When you're better rested, you'll have more energy to create, to make connections, to do the things you love, and to be there for the people you love. And yet, it can be hard to give ourselves permission to slow down.

When I slow down, I often feel this sense of, "Oh, there's something I should be doing!" It's even harder to do when I really do have a lot to do. But when I give myself permission to stop and relax, it's amazing how much better I feel. And all that stuff gets done much more easily.

Deep rest for me, might include a nap, or turning off the computer and reading a book purely for pleasure, or spending the day in my pajamas, or taking a bubble bath, or getting a massage, or rubbing lotion on my feet. Maybe you can just squeeze in five minutes of lying still or maybe you can schedule in an hour, a day, or a weekend. Try playing with adding some deep rest to your life and see how it impacts your creativity.

Looking for some more ideas? Check out Jennifer Louden's The Woman's Retreat Book or check out her blog, Comfort Queen.

17 Responses

With many health issues plaguing me, I have no choice but to think of my health and rest is a HUGE part of it. I know that my creative spirit is so much greater when I am rested and not running on empty. If I try to nudge my creativity when I’m exhausted, there’s nothing there…and if I force it, what comes out is so empty and flat. Yet, when I’m rested and relaxed, it just seems to flow.
Awesome post. Thank you!
Peace & Love,

oh sweetie… i SO adore this painting… it is utterly dreamy… replenishing… restful :)

giant bear hugs to you!

what a sweet drawing! and i love this theme. i think rest is absolutely a part of movement. i am definitely well rested. i get a good solid 8 hours of restful sleep each night. i meditate every day. i don’t stress or push myself. nothing feels quite right if i am not rested, so that is a big priority for me.

It’s a good point that these themes do tend to get us thinking on the topic in odd ways. Unexpected ways.

I think I’ve been in that rest period, like a hibernation, for about a year and a half, and I am so itching to get moving, but I don’t think the winter is quite done with me. Well it’s the middle of summer, but the metaphorical winter.

I love this painting as she brings to mind ‘floating’ and what could be more restful than that (at least to me). I always allow myself to rest and often schedule blocks of time into my very busy schedule to do just that. It is the only way for me to re-group and re-energize. I also aim for 7 or 8 hours of sleep each night which makes a big difference in my days. Meditation is also one of my favorite forms of resting as it is one of the most relaxing things that I do, besides reading a book or sitting and painting, stitching, beading or wire-wrapping.

your shell is sibernation!! Its so peaceful and beautiful.. Its the allusive restorative rest that we run after so much
thanks for sharing

oh i love your painting. i felt the movement and let out a big, deep rest-filled sigh when i saw her! i am a HUGE fan of deep rest. aahhhhhh.

I feel guilty when I rest. Like you I often think I should be doing something, I must keep going. But I agree that deep rest is really important. I love having a 20 minute nap in the afternoon to recharge.

i must confess i feel guilty about resting :( i really do. i am working on it, but for now, that’s how i feel.

(i am not sure i ever said this before, but your art is absolutely mind-blowing. gives me goosebumps just looking at them on the web. as soon as my debts are paid, i am having a little fund to get one of your paintings. thanks for sharing your art with us.)

Oh Leah, this is so good to read. I rarely give myself time for deep rest. (Although I did on my recent honeymoon!) I sometimes even feel guilty for stopping and not being productive, even if it’s just for a few mintes. That’s something I need to let go of, eh? I love this painting, too– it feels like she’s let go and is just floating to wherever the wind takes her.

What a beautiful painting – very peaceful! And what a great post concerning deep rest. Sometimes we just keep going and forget to give ourselves time to rest and replenish. One of my favorite things is to arrange to have a pajama day on the weekend – something I learned from my college age daughter. Even doing something restful for a half hour renews the spirit. Thank you for your insight and sharing.

I love this post, and I lovelovelove the painting! I actually felt my shoulders relax the second I saw it, so I smiled when I went read the rest of your post.

I’ve been realizing lately – amidst a flood of busyness – that I’ve not been resting enough. I’ve started to feel a little rough around the edges, a little depleted.

And, alongside that, has been the resistance to allowing myself to rest. As my to-do list spills out the door, and wraps around the house, the idea of giving myself permission to rest causes me to freak a little.

But at the same time I realize that it’s impossible for me to do what I do – to sustain it, anyway – without rest. It’s like trying to drive a car forever without stopping for gas. No matter how much I want to get somewhere, no matter how much I love the destination, I have to stop and refuel.

Since I read this, I’ve been thinking more about how I can rest. So thanks for bringing this up. It’s been really helpful for me.

A couple days ago my Yoga teacher had us do a great little experiment on the mat. In between each pose, where you take a mini or sometimes more then a mini little rest–she invited us to make those moments our real focus in our practice that day. To really examine what happens in the body and mind during those moments of rest. She gave this great analogy that doing the Yoga poses is like cooking a roast (I, being a veggie, perfer to think of an acorn squash instead). We dress it us with herbs and spices (our spiritual study) then we get in the oven and cook (the actual yoga poses). What do you do to the roast/acorn squash when it comes out of the over? You need to let it rest…so all those juices can soak back in and do their magic.

Isn’t that a great little diddy?

Rest…it’s a good thing…it just seems to slip my mind a lot!

Peace & Love.

PS I really love your drawing…the image of the chica reminds me on top of that background reminds me of those shrinky dinks!! In a total good way, of course!

I loved your painting, Leah. It has vibes!

We are all guilty of feeling guilty if we rest. That was the first hurdle I had to overcome when I started meditation. Now, my meditation time is something I really anticipate, I love it along with learning to control the mind.

I thought it was ironic that I had to learn to stay completely still. My mind was screaming “Hey, isn’t this the month of move?”

I reward myself by using Cynthia’s creative movements afterwards, arms waving madly and drinking in the feeling.

All of us here seem to be on the same wavelength, as I read each post, it’s like a “me too” moment.

Great post, yet again!

this image is amazing! I always enjoy your work, but this one really calls to me! Thanks for the restful moment and inspiration.

Oh the movement in this one is fantastic. Love!

Post a Comment