True Rest

In search of the lost art of true rest. By Leo Babuata

Reading time: 3 minutes

The lack of true rest creates a ‘drainedness’…a state where we’re never really fully energised, fully present, or fully alive. Any of that sound familiar to you?

That might affect your performance at work, or maybe at the wheel when you’re driving, but it gets even worse than that. It means that our relationships start to lack energy and connection. It means we sap the joy out of our lives.

That might not be true for you, but you might relate to it somewhat. That’s why the pursuit of rest — true rest — is indeed a noble aim. For me, there are a handful of ways to rest that feel utterly nourishing and replenishing. In fact, four kinds of ‘true rest’ spring to mind:

  1. CLOSING MY EYES, LYING DOWN AND DOING NOTHING - In yoga, we might call this savasana or possibly yoga nidra. This might (or might not) result in a nap. It might be more meditation. But I’m not reading, doing, watching. More on this below…
  2. GOING OUTSIDE WITHOUT USING A DEVICE - Connecting to nature, walking, most likely in solitude. Letting my mind have some mental and physical space, some freedom from the pull of electronic devices.
  3. RELAXING WITH SOMEONE ELSE - Feeling connection with them. This can’t be a very active conversation — if we’re talking, it has to be something that makes us feel connected, relaxed. We might just be cuddling without conversation; a connection in silence
  4. BEING FULLY PRESENT WITH A SIMPLE NON-WORK ACTIVITY, LIKE HAVING TEA - This isn’t a time to think about work, though those thoughts might arise. It’s about nothing other than having the tea. Relaxing with the experience. Savouring it. Soaking in a bath or having a spa day is another example.

There are probably other ways to truly rest — playing music, creating art, dancing, perhaps. You’ll notice that you don’t need much for these kinds of true TRUE REST In search of the lost art of true rest. By Leo Babuata rest — no equipment or devices (maybe tea if you have it), no special spaces (other than nature, if it’s available). It’s really simple stuff. We just forget to do it.

I suspect our grandparents may have been far better at finding true rest — I think it’s time we rediscovered it.

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