Thursday, 7 June 2018
The Importance of Rest
There's a Spanish saying: "How lovely to do nothing and then to rest afterwards" which I often find as challenging as the Reiki Principles! In the modern world it is too easy to be busy all the time and for rest to be a problem. My Reiki practice has taught me the value of time to do 'nothing' and helped me understand the importance of rest.
Practicing self Reiki treatment is a good way to take time out and have a rest - I recommend a 'Reiki nap' to my students! However, it's also possible to have an un-restful time while self treating if my mind is busy on some problem. What I find, in common with many other people who practice Reiki, is that something about the energy of Reiki fosters the slowing down of the mind. It has often been commented on that people experience a meditative state while giving Reiki treatments. This can be further enhanced by focusing my attention on my hands, which encourages my mind into the present moment.
In today's world of mobile phones and computers it can be difficult to give the mind time to rest. I now follow the 'rule' of being off all screens by 8pm and having a day without turning on my computer. This can be very healing! I was recently struggling with trying to get an email about GDPR out to my two mailing lists (Reiki and Singing), but the website wasn’t working properly. It was very frustrating! So I gave up and went to dig weeds in the garden. It was much more satisfying to dig and pull out weeds - instant result: very satisfying! I found this quite restful compared to the stress of trying to do something on the computer that I was unable to finish. So even though it was hard physical work it was good rest for my mind.
I have also learned that it's only in the resting state that our bodies really heal. A stressful state is particularly counter active to healing because our energy is diverted from repair functions to the essential organs and tissues to deal with 'fight or flight'. There are more and more discoveries about how modern life which puts many of us in an almost constant state of stress is causing long term harm to our bodies and also mental health.
Of course, one of the best ways to rest is to get good sleep and many people find that difficult these days. With a few 'golden rules' and Reiki self treatment I have been able to improve my sleep and really notice the difference now when I don't sleep so well. Now that I sleep better I realise what a chronic state of un-restedness I lived with! I also found that this lack of rest led to more stressfulness - reacting angrily to difficulty, not making good food choices and so on.
So nowadays I pay more attention to taking rest - in the form of receiving Reiki through self treatment and treatment from others, getting the best sleep I can and trying to manage my work time better to allow myself time off to relax.