Permission to rest.

A particular lecture in college always stands out for me. I don’t remember what class it was or who was the teacher but we were talking about the bible. The presenter said: We all know that in the bible it says that every seventh day is a day of rest but what most people don’t know is that the passage continues after that. According to my teacher the bible went on to say: Every seventh week should be a week of rest. Every seventh month a month of rest and every seventh year a year of rest. Thus the “sabbatical”.

This always stayed with me. In a culture that values productivity and wears busyness like a badge of honor many of us were not taught to value rest and time to recharge.

Recently in my practice I saw a new client. A women with two young kids who works full time. She was attractive but had dark circles under her eyes. I could see she was chronically tired and depleted. As I was beginning her healing session she asked me what do most people come in for?

I paused and thought about this. Was it pain? Sleep issues? Hormonal balance? Stress? Immune boosting? General balancing and wellness? Of course, people come in for all these reasons but as I reflected deeper the answer that came out of my mouth at that moment anyway was: Most people that come in to see me need permission to rest. I went on to say: I often pretend I have a magic wand and then say to my clients: I grant you permission to rest. Usually there is a palpable feeling of relief in the room.

So many of us in our culture have been taught to be productive, be busy, be on the go. Which is valuable. But most of us missed the class on rest, the importance of rest, the need for rest.

In Chinese medicine it is all about the yin and the yang. We need to balance our activity with rest and rejuvenation. We need to balance our productivity with time to putter and just be. We need to balance our striving with allowing life to unfold in its own time.

And so, I don’t know who needs to hear this today but if I had a magic wand (and maybe I do!), I would hold it over you and say: I give you permission to rest. I give you permission to rest for as long as you need. I give you permission to rejuvenate. I give you permission to breath. I give you permission to be creative. I give your permission to take space and putter. I give you permission to simply be with no agenda.

Take time in your life to rest and to rejuvenate. Value rest. Value space. Value beingness. Value quiet. Value meditation. You may be surprised how much healing happens naturally when you listen to your body and give it the space it needs to heal.

For whatever power is vested in me: I give you permission to rest.