Creating a More Restful Life

Inspired by the wealth of wisdom that arises when women gather together, I thought I would share some of the ideas that have been co-authored during the annual 'Invitation To Rest' yoga sessions I've held in recent winters. Over-activity has reached such epidemic proportions in the industrialized world that it is time we take time out to consider how best to make our lives more restful. Here are a few simple suggestions:

  • Be in a good routine, eating, sleeping and rising at similar times daily.

  • Adopt a regular meditation practice – even just 10 mins of quiet time morning and evening can begin to make a difference.

  • Take undistracted time out in nature as regularly as possible.

  • Honour the outer seasons – do less in winter and more in summer; begin things in spring, take stock in autumn.

  • Women*, honour your inner, menstrual seasons – do less during the bleed and more during ovulation; begin things in the pre-ovulatory phase and take stock in the pre menstrual phase. If your menstruating years are over, use the moon as a guide to inner change, with full moon marking summer/ovulation and dark moon marking winter/bleeding.

  • Move your body enjoyably each day, with dance, walking, exercise, swimming etc.

  • Be honest about your feelings – forcing a smile when really there is sadness or overload can be exhausting.

  • Allow yourself to ask for help when you need it, practical or emotional.

  • Prioritize positive, supportive relationships.

  • Favour simplicity in all things.

  • Experiment with going slowly, trusting that everything will get done on time.

  • Understand that life is a series of choices and be open to the possibility of living by conscious design.

  • Remember to breathe out! In fact, the more you remember your breath throughout your various activities, the better.

  • Make caffeine and stimulants (sugar/alcohol) a treat, not a staple.

  • Be disciplined about internet use, avoiding social media an hour or so before bed.

  • Keep your domestic space (particularly the bedroom) clutter free – get into the habit of throwing out things that aren't needed.

  • Limit intake of news and current affairs.

  • Stop resisting and make space for more allowing.

  • Be playful, learn not to take life so seriously!

  • Promote balance in all things: work/leisure, activity/rest, daytime/nighttime, giving to others/giving to self etc.

* Any guys reading this, I'd love to know about your inner seasons and how they work, so please get in touch if you have any insights!

Penny Jane Fuller 2016

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