This month, we must tackle the issue of REST. REST is the one action that is barely done. REST tends to be alien to our culture, as we believe we must always be on the move, either to somewhere or nowhere at all; it depends. I have come to realize that when you tell people you are taking time off work or taking a gap year, first impressions are always that something is wrong.
However, taking time to REST empowers you for the next move, assignment, role, project, milestone etc. I am not just speaking about the occasional vacations we take, I am also referring to a time when you may need to take time off to energise, to continue to be innovative. This could be for short or long periods. The whole idea is giving yourself time to go somewhere quiet, to refresh.
REST; (verb) to refresh oneself, as by sleeping, lying down, or relaxing. To relieve weariness by cessation of exertion or labor.
How do I REST? The process of Rest that I have discovered and use is;
R etreat, Refresh, Renew
E mbrace, Empower, Energise
S urrender, Seek, Sustain
The most important thing is recognizing you need to take time to rest; you need to know that the world won’t stop just because you are taking a rest. It is key that you build a support system and/or network that can allow you take times of refreshing. You are bound to burn out, if you continue in the way of “If not me, no one else can”. This is delusional and shows very poor leadership and coaching skills. Build trust within your team/network and recognize those who can take up more responsibilities and make them leaders. I always believe that a true measure of my leadership is when my team can manage brilliantly without me being there and go on to be masters of the work.
Retreat, Refresh, Renew
When you decide to take a REST, you must shut down all activity and find a getaway to Retreat, Refresh and Renew your Spirit, Soul and Body. Remember, we as humans are three dimensional and you must cater to each of these elements. To retreat simply means to find a secluded place, all by yourself, for privacy and aloneness. When you find a place of retreat, your key objective should be to refresh your body through sleep, your soul through rest and your spirit through prayer and meditation. As you sleep, the body renews itself by building strength, through rest and repairing anything that needs to be repaired, through sleep. Your soul is renewed through a process of unloading emotions, dismantling notions and most importantly, forgiving yourself of mistakes and forgiving others who have hurt you. You find rest for your soul when you deliberately go through a process of letting go. Your Spirit gets renewed through prayer and meditating on words; such as the Word of God (for me) and reminding yourself of just how special you are (words of affirmation).
Embrace, Empower, Energise
As you pass through the 3Rs, you come to a place where it becomes imperative to embrace where you are. This I call, my moment of liberation. You are in a place of rest, so there is no need being hard on yourself; because this period allows you to get away from all of life’s pressures, as well as societal expectations and therefore it’s time to embrace where you are and be joyful for the Journey. As you do this, you empower your thoughts to be open to more creativity and empower your Spirit and Soul to receive information, as you open up to new things and new thoughts. Find things that empower this process, it could be Music, Books or even Podcasts. Once you recognise where you are, it becomes easy to find things that can help the process of empowering. For me, prayer helps my empowerment process, whereby I navigate through conversations with God, what needs to be done. It is also important that you get energized from the REST period. Do things that make you happy; taking walks, being a foodie, reading, running etc. Nothing hard; soft and easy activities that restore, yet does not stress. Allow yourself to be pampered by you!!! Be kind to yourself. You matter!!
Surrender, Seek, Sustain
You must surrender to the process of rest. How? Surrender is a form of submission. You must submit your Body, Soul and Spirit to the process of REST. If REST is alien to you, you may think it’s all about the first R- Retreat; so you go somewhere private, but you go with your laptop, phones and work!! NO!!! You are to SHUT down everything, if you are going for short periods, and manage your space minimally, for periods longer than 1 week. If you are taking a longer period, from 6 months to 12 months, then you have to manage your space in this period. You must take times of Rest as part of your medication for good health. Whilst you surrender to the process and you are going through your 3Es (Embrace, Empower, Energise), if you find out that you may need help in any form; medically, spiritually, psychologically etc., please seek help. In these times where our stress levels are really high and our mental wellbeing can be badly affected by our experiences, it is imperative to seek help at any time you know you need it. Don’t be shy, it’s always helpful to your process when you can get some help. Once this help is paving the way to a happier and healthier you, please sustain this process, till you are fully recovered. If you have also found the period of rest to be helpful, sustain it by deliberately closing out periods on your calendar for REST.
Remember that to REST adequately, you need time; if all you need are short periods quarterly, then by all means take it, and if you need longer periods, go for it, you would be much better for it.
A time of REST:
a time to be refreshed and a time to be renewed,
a time to unload, unwind, unlearn and a time to learn
a time to embrace your Journey thankfully and a time to prepare for another,
a time to seek help and a time to be helped
a time to release power and a time to be powered up
a time to be alone and a time to be all one; complete lacking nothing