Relaxation Rehabilitation Part Two: The Great Big Fear
Illness can be uncomfortable and messy.
Rest can seem boring. Before I reframed my thinking, when I was resting I felt sick. I had to rest, I could not carry on with whatever activity I was doing. I came face to face with the reality of the sickness.
We get scared, and we are scared of losing dignity, life, hope, purpose, independence, and respect.
And yet we are overcoming that fear every day we live with illness, or that we live as a survivor of illness.
We are so much more, because of overcoming all this; not less. The fact that we are still managing to keep on even with the struggles, the pain, the unwashed hair, the need for naps, the life that looks nothing like a glossy magazine – all that is something to celebrate not to hide.
Maybe our lives are uncomfortable, raw, real, messy and true. (Click to Tweet!)
We need to really slow down and let the reality of our lives in.
Living vs. Doing
I used to get frustrated as I spent so many years not being able to do things at all and I felt trapped in my body. Now I can do some things. I want to do them, all of them, right now preferably.
But life is about living and living is not synonymous with doing.
I had confused the two.
I want to enjoy my life, and to do good work in the world; to be able to do both of these things I need to rest. Don’t get confused, living is not working.
No matter what this government says, needing time to rest is not a sin. Needing to prioritise your survival over your ability to pay taxes does not make you a bad person and there are many more ways in which you contribute to our world than just by showing up at the office at 8:30 am.
Acting to Keep Out the Fear
We rarely talk about rest in health.
We talk about meditation, exercise, nutrition and all those are wonderful, but rest is often neglected in our empowering wellness journeys.
You know what? When I am drinking green juice, exercising and so forth, I am active and empowered and I feel like I am actively working towards my healing. I am doing and that feels good.
When I was resting I felt dis-empowered. I am just lying there, doing nothing.
I had 100 things to do. I needed to heal, to do my stretches, to wear the leg splints, and the new ankle splints, to do the osteopath exercises, to see the counsellor, the O.T, the doctor, the hospital. I needed to meditate, to manifest, to learn and research. I was scared and sick, I wanted to be well. It all floods in.
I know and need to feel and follow through on the fact that rest gives my body energy and space to repair, cleanse and heal.
What Are You Doing, Lying There?
We are all moving and working towards healing but at the same time there is no shame or weakness in illness.
We need rest, and acknowledging and claiming that is a step towards shedding any stigma and nourishing our bodies with peace.
Rest allows all the other things we do to work.
When we rest, our bodies digest the healing foods we eat – digestion takes energy.
When we rest after exercise our bodies and brains take that time to learn and remember the new healing ways of moving and re-write patterns.
Our bodies repair as we rest.
We all want repair, regeneration and wellness so let’s give our bodies one of the most important tools we can, and rest.
This post was originally published on bahtocancer.com. You can read Part 1 in this series here.