I’m writing these words
After a rest day,
And it’s rather late I fear.
So please excuse the tardiness
‘Twas not the plan, to be clear
But to my bed, after a long day at work,
I’m afraid I got too near.
And I’m writing this blog
After a rest day,
And it’s rather late I fear.
Reporting live on the aftermath of an official and total rest day! I held true to the plan this week, only coaching the 5am yesterday and walking myself home from the gym rather than into the action of the 6am class. Considering last week as a “scaled” rest day, allowing for an endurance workout whilst coaching, I took this one up a notch and “Rx+’d” the challenge by returning to pajamas, my bed and even a later alarm. While more sleep did not transpire, there was rest and relaxation as I bought myself a bit of time with a proposed recipe for middlest to prepare for the morning – grateful for the synergy of his new-found prowess in reading and love for all goods baked!
Fueled by a 14-hour marathon of coaching, training and book-clubbing Tuesday, taking the pause was easier this Wednesday. While it felt a bit of a letdown not to write during that designated hour, the anticipation of an extended no-breaks clinic day provided a quick reality check that confirmed rest for the mind in that 60-minute window was wiser than a compressed moment of creativity. Walking home from work, the original finale for the day was teaching mobility class, but as fate, the 90-degree day and a solitary soul in attendance would have it, I could even relinquish that physical responsibility to my trusty coach and instead join my family for dinner.
All week I have thought about the pie charts from my last installment of writing. I appreciate their utility in visualizing the concept and have even kept a running pie-chart-progression at the bottom of each entry in my Book of Joy journal (the accurate completion of which I often question as my entries do not always seem overtly joyful, but I digress). There has indeed been a shift in the distribution among the three components. Seemingly following conservation of mass as applied to the circle as a whole, if space is made in the body and mind aspects, the spirit has no choice but to expand.
There has been an increase in time spent with family and reduced need for extreme weekend workouts, embracing a five-soccer-game-Saturday in the blissfully warm sunny weather. Spontaneous progressive dinners with my husband as well as the sharing of laughter and stories with friends. Walks home with littlest, life lessons with biggest, creative moments with middlest and a glorious solo lunch with relaxed reading and writing. Space made for reflecting, planning, connecting with family and journeying on the next step on the path.
Through this all, however, I could not sit comfortably with the idea of mind, body and spirit co-existing so rigidly – aloof neighbors never crossing the fence line. Ever drawn to the fluid – in treatment and in the flow of the river of life, the image that kept coming to mind this week is better reflected here:
Still occupying mostly their own domain, but with inseparable pairings and that most precious central space – the intertwine of all three – this is the image I wish to hold and the feeling I hope to create through the rest day challenge. Which activities fill those darker shaded areas, which successfully blend exhilaration of mind, body and spirit simultaneously? That is where the joy is found…perhaps an exploration of journal entries will reveal those most magical moments and light the path toward this elusive central region.
Fully intending to finish this last night, I was surprised to find at the end of my rest day that I was more tired than usual. A paradoxical outcome, but perhaps rest begets rest and when I finally made the space for respite, suppressed fatigue surfaced. Ever seeking efficiency, I set my alarm for the time I would usually wake to coach the 5am class and schemed that I could finish the writing and make it to the 6am class to train…but as the tones rang out at 0425, that sentiment was replaced with a continued weariness and I opted to return to slumber. I’ll consider it another level up on the commitment to rest. And as I sit, awaiting my first patient of the day, I feel refreshed, though without the usual buzz from an early morning workout…and for the first time in recent memory, walking up the stairs to my office was free of the exquisitely excruciating awareness of all the muscles in my lower extremities…who knew that soreness could dissipate with 36 hours of recovery!?!
Grateful to have made shifts, opened space and reframed relationships with a new focus on that sweet spot in the center – nourishing mind, body and spirit in part, pair and, total. May we allow for fluidity in view and find fulfillment in the whole – all at once or as the harmonious sum of its parts.