It's been an amazing, life-changing, energy zapping couple of weeks! I just got back from a quick trip to Iowa to assist with some Reiki training and healing with Psychic Medium Mindie Adamos. It was a wonderful trip, but I arrived home exhausted physically, emotionally and energetically. Traveling, much like any event, is much more than the physical act of traveling. There is a lot of emotion and energy that goes into the act of flying or traveling (will I die in the airplane, will the seatbelt fit around my ample ass, will my flight be delayed and I miss my connection, will I even make it through TSA!).
I know that as a Yoga Instructor... a herbalist.... a Reiki Master... that I gotta keep my body and energy in check... that I shouldn't try to buy into the stress of the flight.... that I've flown a LOT in my lifetime and flying to Iowa is a short trip compared to the ones I've made overseas... but holy shit flying still ratchets my anxiety up a notch or two.
Not only does the act of flying consume energy, but the Reiki training does as well... except this is a bit different. It takes energy for me to really ground myself, slow down the chatter in my head and help create a safe space for others to be vulnerable and heal. Some pretty intense emotions can come up during Reiki training, many people realize they aren't crazy... that the visions, dreams, and emotions they've felt their entire life doesn't mean there is something wrong them, rather its part of their gift!
The trip to Iowa was amazing but draining, and when I came home I didn't understand why I just wanted to eat, sleep and be alone. In the past I have struggled with depression... and depression feels the same and different than the need for rest. Depression feels dark, heavy, lethargic, being consumed by feelings of helplessness, lack of hope, wanting to sleep all the time, and a feeling that there is no relief in sight. Rest, on the other hand, can have some similar characteristics of depression. I felt lethargic and wanted to just sleep. I had no desire to connect with others, and wanted to turn inward to process all the amazingness that happened in Iowa. I began to wonder if I was slipping into a depressive state... because some of my rest symptoms resembled my depression symptoms... and this is when I realized why I fear "resting". Truth be told, I'm not a huge fan of rest..... When a friend would pull Oracle cards for me, the "Rest" card would inevitably always pop up... irritating me with its scenic ocean/forest/meadow/dessert views and a serene animal/human/magical creature on it.
What the hell do you do when you rest? Sit on the couch? Netflix the shit out of your day? Do enlightened Resters meditate all day while drinking green organic juice?? Resting, to me, sounded like my past bouts of depression... where I'd want to be left alone in my sorrow, shame and other negative emotions. So rest, to me, hasn't really been this positive serene thing one does. After coming home from an exhausting, but wonderful trip, I saw these depressive/rest symptoms pop up.... and I began to wonder... what if I'm just tired... and what if this has nothing to do with depression and everything to do with more of a need for an "active rest".
The term "active rest" felt ok. It implied that I could carry out all my regular duties to keep our house running, but that I could also do things that "filled my well". I tended my garden, baked chocolate chip cookies from scratch, created a powerhouse nutritive tea that I'm super excited to try, read nerdy herb books and slept a lot.
I'm not sure if this is what is meant by rest, but it felt good to participate in activities that weren't planned, productive, or were part of a goal. And I really believe that rest looks different to everyone... that we are sold this idea of "rest" when in fact this packaged idea of rest really brings more stress (why am I not enjoying this day at the spa, beach, mountain hike, etc? There is something wrong with me!). At the end of the day, it all comes down to you figuring out what fills your rest well. My version of rest looks very different than yours, and thats ok.