What does your soft animal body wish for itself?

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Mine wishes for soft, easy, quiet companionship. Kisses.
A long hot bath to soothe sore muscles.
Swimming outside. Spring's first bike ride. Burning thighs and lungs.
Deepest sleep.

"You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves."
Mary Oliver

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Toddler Wisdom

Ivy1

Rest can happen anytime, anywhere.

Photo of Ivy by Pixie Campbell

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Do prayer, meditation and downtime make you thinner?

Probably not on their own.

But even the smallest, minutest attempt at quieting the mind will reduce your stress and make life seem a whole lot easier. Plus, according to Weight Watchers, stress can actually set off a chain of hormonal events that can result in excess fat deposits. I don't know about you, but…

  1. The last thing my body needs is more hormonal events, and
  2. Hedonist that I am, I'd prefer my fat deposits spring from enjoying chocolate or milkshakes than suffering stress.
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Sleep is not weakness. Sleep is GOOD.

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My optimum sleep, which I usually only get when the Dobies are with their Dad, is 8½-9 hours between 10:30pm-7am. I don't function well on less than 7 hours, or when I stay up past 11. And if several sleep-deprived nights in a row stack up, I'll more than likely get sick. Sleep is very important to me. I'm not a napper, never have been (I envy people who are) – just give me good ol' nighttime SLEEP.

Here's a nice little article from DailyOM:

When life gets busy, sleep is often the first activity that we sacrifice. Considered a luxury by many busy people, sleep is actually as vital to sustaining a balanced life as are breathing, eating, and drinking. Getting sufficient sleep can be a potent energizer, just as not getting enough sleep can leave you feeling drained and sluggish. While eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults should generally aim for, the right amount of sleep varies for each person. Some people may thrive on just four hours, while others don't feel well rested unless they've slept for ten hours. How much we sleep also varies, depending upon where we are in life. Young people often need more sleep, while older people may need less. The benefits of sleep always stay the same. Regular and consistent periods of wakefulness and sleep are key ingredients to fostering a healthy body and a clear mind. It is during sleep that your body renews itself.

The ability to forgo sleep is considered by some to be an asset. But while it may seem that the nighttime hours can be better used for more productive activities, sleep in itself is extremely productive. During sleep, your body and psyche are both regaining their strength for the coming day. You may even have the unique opportunity to explore the hidden recesses of your personality while you dream. Meanwhile, your long-term memories are reinforced.

Many cultures engage in an afternoon siesta. Taking a nap is refreshing and can increase both productivity and creativity. Author Lewis Carroll is said to have conceived his idea for Alice in Wonderland while dreaming. A good night's sleep also has been known to bring with it the gifts of clarity, wisdom, and a fresh perspective. Even the ancient Greeks thought of sleep as a gift from the gods. Give yourself the gift of peaceful slumber and you will likely find yourself feeling alert, refreshed, and ready for life's challenges. You may also find yourself feeling more centered, thoughtful, and aware throughout the day so you can live your full potential.

Photo by Orrin.

Posted in Self-Care, Sleep | 1 Comment

Announcing Women at Rest on Facebook

There is now a Women at Rest page on Facebook. If you're constantly on Facebook like I am, this is an effortless way to receive encouragement about resting, letting go and letting God, simplicity and ease.

And don't worry, you won't have to follow us two places. We are all about simplifying! Every blog post will automatically be re-posted on Facebook.

Personally I'm finding it more important than ever to balance the abundance of achieve/do/more messages I'm bombarded with daily. If you know a woman who pushes herself too hard, send her our way.

Women at Rest on Facebook

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Gimme a break — oh wait, that’s my responsibility — and a few self-soothing affirmations

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It's that time of the month when thunder's sweeping underground and the void rumbles in. This morning I asked God for encouragement, as I have been seriously questioning for quite some time whether S/he is done with me.

Business at a standstill, no relationship, an impossible crush, no real burning desire to DO anything specific . . . other than to live healthier (which I'm doing) and return to Prague. It's been 17 years since I lived there, and over the past 6 months my longing to visit has intensified tenfold.

Also, I must confess, every once in a while I need a serious break from the live your best life mentality. Thank God for people — life coaches, etc. — devoted to encouraging others to follow their dreams and come alive. I truly don't mean to offend anyone. But my obsession with Facebook means I read hundreds of messages a day invoking me to strive for more, do more, open up more, aim for more, achieve more, earn more, BE more More MORE.

And it's fucking exhausting.

Especially with a brain like mine which constantly tells me I'm not [fill in the blank] enough.

But then this morning's blessing also came from Facebook. It read:

Today, God's message for you is to take a break.

Ahhhhh. Thank you. So, I'm trying to let myself take a break. Relaxing mentally. Candle lit. Writing here. Listening to a favorite CD, Drum Medicine by David & Steve Gordon.

I need to stay in easy gentle action today, because that is what best soothes my mind. I'm also getting human touch this afternoon by way of a good haircut.🙂 I'm giving myself permission to be OK as I am in this very moment.

I am enough. I am wanted.

I am valuable regardless of what I do or don't do.

I am loved and taken care of by a Power greater than myself.

Posted in A Momentary Breather, Emotional Rescue, Serenity Now, True Rest | 11 Comments

Today’s Note from the Universe

 
Of all the things that matter, that really and truly matter, working more efficiently and getting more done is not among them.

Chill,
The Universe

Sign up to receive daily Notes from the Universe here.
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