2020 has definitely been a year of reflection, uncertainty, and pausing. As a society, we are so use to always being on the go 24/7, we forget our soul purpose or why we are put on this earth for a reason.
How many times have we prayed, longed and asked for rest in our day to day life? How many times have we exhausted ourselves with physical or emotional overload? Ever felt drained, depressed, or even anxious about what our future holds instead of living in the present? Sound familiar? Every 365 days in the year, humans are consistently living in this cycle of eat, sleep, work overload and not fully allowing ourselves to rest when we need it.
I know most of you who are reading this are probably thinking: "A person who has time to rest are those who may have the time and money to do so." But in actual reality it is our birth right to rest and rest in empowerment.
It is true, anyone can have the opportunity to rest, but when your brain has sensory overload or stress due to personal issues, finance, or the political climate, its hard to allow yourself to get into full restoration or empower yourself. Often we don't think about our mental or spiritual health when influenced by what goes on in the outside world as well as inside (self). We don't realize the precious gifts we have or spend time exploring them, but instead tire ourselves out in an endless cycle society has put us in, in this 3 dimensional world we live in. This is when anxiety, anger, trauma, stress, or any form of depression begins to kick in.
Know that if you are feeling this now, you are not alone. It is a great thing that you recognize these signs and want to find a better way to cope with these feelings or become an enlightened being of life.
So the Question Remains: How can we be empowered by rest?
Rest or restoration can be such a powerful tool to not only explore deep relaxation and better sleep, but to also discover who you are as a person and what your mental and spiritual health needs for clarity. There are so many ways to find rest and feel powerful in your rest. One of them, is through the practice of grounding & meditation. NOW, meditation doesn't mean you have to sit for an hour, eyes closed and simply breathing, but meditation can be used as a daily tool to develop less stress or absorption of the outside world. This is especially good for empaths such as myself or others who feel empathy for the world.
Starting a meditation won't be easy. I recommend searching for meditation apps that can guide you into a higher state of consciousness. Allow yourself at home or work to find time to meditate, even if its only 5 minutes. Grounding yourself is also super important to protect yourself from emotional overload and any stress you may feel being around others. One of my favorite ways to ground is setting an affirmation or mantra for myself along with my daily prayers before I leave the house. Sometimes even praying or saying my affirmation in my head throughout the day helps to sooth my thoughts, and protect me from absorbing energy around me.
You could set an affirmation like, "I am centered, I am grounded, I am protected." or " I nurture myself and take care of my well-being." One of my absolute favorites to use to really feel the powers I possess is, "I am powerful, I am rooted, and I am enough." This affirmation helps me to stay in my power and realize that all I do and all I have is enough.
Another one of my favorite things to do is walking meditation. Going out in nature or exploring sites really allows me to connect to the earth and my inner most thoughts without any judgement or influences around me. A walking meditation was designed by Buddhist to walk this earth with purpose. According to Thich Nhat Hanh, "Walking meditation is a pleasurable way to deepen our connection with our body and the earth. We breathe, take a mindful step, and come back to our true home." So if you don't like to sit and close your eyes, try walking meditation. Take every step as precious and bring the mind and body peacefully insync with one another. You can practice walking meditation in nature or in your working environment.
Of course yoga is always the best option for rest, but during this time of the year, some of us aren't fortunate enough to make it to a yoga studio. The best way to keep up with your practice is practicing Restorative yoga on Youtube or any online platform. How do you make time to do these things you may ask? SIMPLE! Set an alarm clock every morning (or evening) as a daily reminder for your yoga practice. Usually when I want to work out or find a peaceful, devotional yoga practice, I set my alarm at 10 am before I go to my job at Noon. For most people working 9 to 5, I'd recommend setting an alarm for 6:00 am or 7 to start your morning off right. For those who aren't morning people, start your alarm at 7 or 8pm before bed.
The Power of Restorative + Yin Yoga
Restorative + yin yoga is not only a restful practice, but also a meditative practice. During restorative and yin yoga, we are not only allowing our body to explore shapes with or without props, but also giving ourselves a chance to awaken consciousness, set the town for our practice, and become enlightened in the practice of stillness. Believe it or not, you can awaken Shakti (the state of awakeness & the divine feminine energy) through Yin & Restorative Yoga. Think of this form of yoga as if you are riding a wave. All thoughts come and go and anything that no longer matters is being washed away or given to the earth. Offer yourself an intention (or sankalpa) that is going to carry you to the present and connect to The Self for the rest of your life. This is where the discovery of power comes to play.
When you practice Aparigraha (sanskrit means non attachment) you learn to surrender to the powers that be. You surrender to all things that you can't change and accept the power within yourself that you CAN change. When you set an affirmation for your practice it is simply not just for the mat, it is for the rest of your life. So when you rest in your power, you listen to the power that God, The Source or The Self has planted in you. You are not meant to be on this earth to simply eat sleep and work. You are on this earth with a soul purpose and a destiny to understand that you are an infinite being of life. Resting in your power isn't simply an overnight practice, but a practice of a lifetime that can be healing, evolving, and sacred for everyone.