The restorative power of deep rest

A primitive type of jellyfish called Cassiopea, which goes to sleep nightly, is seen on the floor of their tank at Caltech in Pasadena, California, U.S. in this image released on September 20, 2017. Courtesy Caltech/Handout via REUTERS

“It’s in the morning, for most of us. It’s that time, those few seconds when we’re coming out of sleep but we’re not really awake yet. For those few seconds we’re something more primitive than what we are about to become. We have just slept the sleep of our most distant ancestors, and something of them and their world still clings to us. For those few moments we are unformed, uncivilized. We are not the people we know as ourselves, but creatures more in tune with a tree than a keyboard. We are untitled, unnamed, natural, suspended between was and will be, the tadpole before the frog, the worm before the butterfly. We are for a few brief moments, anything and everything we could be. And then…and then — ah — we open our eyes and the day is before us and … we become ourselves.” 
Jerry Spinelli

 

Don’t you just love the image of the sleeping jellyfish? It’s the sort of whimsical possibility my mind constantly entertained when I was a child, although I never imagined that they might sleep upside down!

I was lying on my acupuncturist’s treatment table yesterday as he felt my pulse and tut-tutted in his mad professor way at the energies within my body, the colour and texture of my tongue and his many other diagnostic tools. He knew it. I know it. The past couple of weeks of family illnesses and drama have exhausted me.

Hmmm, he said. Deep rest. That’s what you need. Deep rest, and rice and beans and sprouts. Warm foods. Warm liquids. No stimulants. No spices. Deep rest. Sleep.

I know he’s right. A good deep rest now and I’ll be back to normal. For me, deep rest is not just sleeping. It’s also quiet time. Time pulled back from the needs and demands of others. Time stepped back from work and busy-ness.

The alternative? I’ve been down that path, and I know you have too. In fact, I know some of you are walking it right now. That’s the path of pushing. We’re tired but we keep getting up. We’re exhausted but we fill ourselves with caffeine or sugar or both, and we force ourselves to keep on going. We bribe ourselves, pep-talk ourselves, bully ourselves and trash-talk ourselves to get our bodies upright and responsive. We push, push, push. And then we break.

All the while we think that we are okay to keep going. We’re not. We’re barely in our bodies. We’re drunk on lack of sleep. Our innovation and enthusiasm, our ability to bounce back, to laugh it off, to create with joy – all of that is missing.

It can be found again through deep rest.

That’s what I’m doing right now, and will be for the next few days. I’m doing a disservice to myself and to you if I don’t.

Today I’m asking you if you’re okay. Do you need to rest? Do you need to step back for a moment? We can’t help others sustainably nor keep on creating if we are not looking after ourselves first. The energies of 2018 do not support push in any form. If you’re pushing, it won’t be working. Look for another way. Your best solution is most likely to be taking a break, refreshing yourself, and then starting again.

Gentle hugs and much love, Nicole  xx

 

5 thoughts on “The restorative power of deep rest

  1. Pingback: The restorative power of deep rest | dreamweaver333

  2. It’s our 15th wedding anniversary but life,time & crohns disease don’t care. We are moving from one apartment to another not through personal desire but necessity. I’ve eaten rubbish and drunk Pepsi!! To keep me packing ,energetic & what im needed to be right now. But it’s 2:40am im tired but i cant sleep. My fridge & half my other things are in the old place. I can’t switch off for another 2 days until I’ve moved every last thing and know where it is. And yet there is the clean to do of the old place to get our bond back. Next week I will be resting having healing bowls of rice , stock & deep rest. Withdrawn from the pressures of mummy world. School pickup time, adjustment to the heat & humidity.
    Enjoy your deep rest Nicole I feel mine coming on fast. X

  3. Hi Nicole…thanks for the posts regarding dreams, intuition and sleep as of late….i have really been focusing on my dreams. And last night was an interesting one.

    . ..the dream is always the same…but it is always different. I have become quite adept at recalling my dreams upon waking, especially if i stay still ( bodily movement triggers a whole cascade of neural networks in the brain that disrupts the recall process for me, for some reason) and trace my steps back through the dream.

    However this dream, this category of dream, is highly resistant to recall….it is as if a chalk board is being erased right before my eyes the more deeply i focus upon it. It is always the same, in the sense of expectation of ‘contact’, someone….something is trying to approach me, to contact me, i am not merely hesitant, but quite resistant.

    “…they are not to be feared, kid.”

    The voice spoke to me, reassuringly. I sense the voice is a trustworthy guide, benevolent, grounded….almost like a wizard, i am reminded of ‘Gandalf’….the long haired, grey beard, with the pointy hat from those movies.

    ” They are not terrorists,” He insists.

    “But then why do they terrify me?” I respond.

    I…we…i sense others with me…are standing before a doorway, someplace underground, like a long abandoned temple…a portal perhaps…similar to the opening of an elevator…but not quite exactly that…the rectangular shape of a door way, but it is obscured, covered by a film, white and opaque, like a very thin paper, a velum perhaps…upon which there are inscribed a number of symbols and shapes, perhaps equations, perhaps hieroglyphs of some type. Someone, something, ‘they’…whomever, ‘they’ are just on the other side and unseen…but they are scratching….scratching is an apt description i believe….but as if trying to come out of someplace else…to the place in my dreams.

    “They have always been here. They are in the Earth. They are of the Earth.”

    The wizard like fellow reassures me, or at least attempts to….but i do not buy it. I am terrified by it…by the attempted ‘contact’…they have ‘tricked’ me before, that is their way…isn’t it?

    At that point i wake myself purposely from the dream, as i always seem to right at that point. I just ‘speak’ myself awake…i think it is an attempt to shout, but my vocal chords are frozen and do not work as they do in the waking world..i reach for the bed side lamp and turn on the light, sensing i am not alone….how silly….but it is a learned response. I turn off the light immediately and focus on the dream as it vanishes before me in the darkness. Which is an anomaly unto itself as i can recall all my dreams….save for this one.

    I vaguely recall, being shown texts, symbols, equations….in dusty old tomes….nothing adds up, it all loses focus as if being erased as i attempt to recall it. But one thing remains, something very real….as i recall the conversation…i feel it….something that i have never fully rationally understood without reaching for a different way of understanding the world that is non-linear, non-Newtonian…

    The more i recall the conversation, the more profound the physical sensation is. It feels like electrical energy…not like an electric ‘shock’….but much more pleasing, much more engaging than that. Like light flooding the body from within, much like a display of Aurora Borealis, or the Northen Lights…but from within. Internal vibrations, pulses, prana coursing through my body. The tingling, the soft internal caress-like sensations and movement mainly in my lower spine, coursing up to the base of my neck, but building and flowing through my entire body as i focus my attention upon it, seemingly controlling it by focusing on it. This energy is not new to me, nor is it only a night time visitor, but something i can engage in consciously, through focus and intention. Often through breathing and meditation…but even through memory.

    I consider, and understand it, the felt energy, to be Kundalini Awakening…but it often seems triggered by ‘contact’ with that which is ‘unseen’ in my dream, that which holds some form of ‘fear’ for me…fear of the unknown, fear of the unseen. The ‘visitors’ in my dreams, scratching to ‘break through’…. connect back, far back into my childhood…with the ‘little shadow man’ who would appear out of thin air, or from the ‘space between spaces’ and bounce and bound through solid walls. No more than about 2 perhaps 3 feet tall, and decidedly flat, like a two-dimensional being in a 3-dimensional world…my little shadow man had no discernible features…other than appearing to look like the way an old time analog television screen would appear when ‘off the air’….that grainy, static like dance.

    Life is at best a mystery.

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