Resting is a natural state, but isn’t it interesting how many of us at some time in our lives have found it to be a state so difficult to experience? For those of us that live in cultures where achieving is revered, it can be difficult to accept that action and achieving are only half of the human equation for mastery as human beings.
Learning how to still in body, mind and spirit is equally important in our personal and collective conscious development. And so, if you are reading this article, perhaps you have given yourself a great challenge in order to know stillness, and more satisfying self-healing.
If you are having difficulty sleeping, your sense of needing to achieve may be in overdrive. Perhaps a million details are churning through your mind or perhaps intense, unresolved feelings are consuming you.
When you decide you are ready to stop the cycle of nightly churning be prepared to make a commitment to learn new ways of being with yourself. Attending to your thoughts and/or feelings is ultimately going to make the difference between getting some temporary relief and experiencing a new life-long ability to rest when you choose.
Living closer to nature and spending time in natural light can help your body connect to the natural rhythms and cycles that tell your hormones it is time for you to rest.
You may find benefit from soothing music, a hot shower or bath before bed, hypnotism or getting a good physical work out late at night. You might find that good fresh air helps to make you tired or that listening to the sound of water lulls you to sleep.
Remember to refrain from stimulants at night and instead, drink a relaxing herbal tea. You might want to become a profound observer of your own body in regard to what stimulates and relaxes it. For some people, a glass of wine, acts like a stimulant rather than a depressant.
Then again, you might be a bit nocturnal and would be better off working at night and sleeping during the day. Your mind and emotions may be active at night simply because these are the hours in which you come alive. You might find it easier to honor your natural tendencies than attempt to teach yourself entirely new patterns of behavior.
If you are certain that night time is a natural time for you to rest, if you could just quiet down your mind, emotions and body, then you may want to consider training yourself to find your inner stillness, so that you can choose when you wish to be busy and when you wish to rest.
For some, meditation practice where you focus on one thought, action or object to teach the mind to be quiet will be necessary to finally know true stillness and rest. For others, being truly present to your feelings will create an environment in which you finally feel fully acknowledged, and as a result tense and overwhelming feelings dissolve, leaving you to enjoy rest.
There are many forms of meditation practice from active to passive. I knew a man whose best form of meditation was fishing. I knew a woman who enjoyed running to help her quiet her mind. A woman I know with a very active mind, prefers Vipassana meditation, where she has learned to focus on her breath to quiet her mind, while another dear friend likes to spend time outside at night gazing at the stars.
Yet another friend uses ecstatic dance as a means for clearing her mind, and unwinding her body. I’ve been teaching a meditation form for several years that helps you become present to tumultuous feelings until they dissipate. http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/forums/index.php?board=29.0
There are many ways you can teach yourself to slow down, quiet your mind and let your emotional body find rest. If you were to pick up your phone right now to tell your closest friend what you would like to try for one week to help you rest your mind, body and emotions, what would you tell them? That’s the place to begin. Then of course, it would be wise to stick with that new practice for a while—long enough to get through your old habits to experience something new—plenty of rest.