My beloved child, break your heart no longer.
Each time you judge yourself, you break your own heart;
you stop feeding on the love which is the wellspring of your vitality.
The time has come, your time to live, to celebrate.
and to see the goodness that you are.
You, my child, are divine. You are pure. You are sublimely free.
You are God in disguise and you're always perfectly safe.
Do not fight the dark, just turn on the light.
Let go and Breathe into the Goodness that you are.
~ Swami Kripalu
The above is one of my favourite Swami Kripalu quotes. It reminds me to be kinder and gentler with myself as well as with others. I hope it inspires you to do the same.
As we dwell in the arms of autumn, our attention is more easily drawn inward. Our bodies crave warmth. We are preparing for the hibernation cycle of life. Here is the opportunity to explore conscious rest and relaxation.
Conscious and intentional rest is very different from rest that one dives into by default. When we are exhausted, drained and depleted, our bodies are functioning on survival mode. Our ability to 'do' anything more is absent. We sink into a deep state of 'non-doing'. This is very different from when we choose to rest. In this case, the quality of rest is much more long-lasting and rejuvenating. We are able to move with ease through our day with clearer thinking, with our feelings authentically felt and processed and our creative abilities awakened.
Rest that we enter into from a state of depletion will probably offer us the survival elements that we need to wake up each day, but it will not cultivate a feeling of holistic well-being. There will likely be a sense of always trying to 'catch up' on sleep, on rest, on ticking off another item on our 'to do' list.
So, as the days get shorter, I encourage you to explore deliberate rest and deliberate self-care; unplug from the world of screens and distractions; bundle up and go outside, even if it's just for a few minutes a day; walk and meditate; sit and meditate; listen to your favourite music; spend time actually speaking with family, friends and strangers, rather than texting or emailing them; eat food lovingly prepared by you; read inspiring books and ponder the magic of the Universe.