As we approach to the end of the first Quarter – Rest, Restore and Recharge – today I am asking a provocatory question:
Do you feel guilty when and if you rest?
And to dig deeper: do you feel guilty to rest before you feeling tired? (uhh .. that’s a big one)
In the last 3 months we experience together a lot of yoga practices to recover, rest and rebalance our system to live more in a sustainable way and in harmony with ourselves.
However, today I would love to dive deep in our train of thoughts: do you feel guilty when you rest?
An overachiever mind/approach
If you are reading this it’s likely probable that you are a strong, ambitious woman, who has a lot of goals in her professional and personal life. A woman who strives to excellence, hard worker with a big heart. But let’s see together if you can relate to the following:
- Your to-do list is very long and full with unrealistic goals
- You love to schedule your day/week including your Yoga time
- You struggle to finish one program, as you are always ready to jump on a new project or juggle a lot of things at the same time
- You feel anxious because you don’t know how you will going to handle all the things you have in your plate
- The idea of resting makes you feel guilty (I can’t, I have too many things to do) especially if someone tells you that you should rest BEFORE you feel tired/exhausted.
Sounds familiar? To me, this would be my life if I don’t truly pay attention.
I had to learn it the hard way, with burn outS and a lot of therapy and inner work.
–> Said that, I am not a therapist and I am not trying to replace one: I am sharing my experience with you and what Yoga taught me along the way. If you feel intense emotions coming up while you read this, please reach out to a counsellor or therapist in your area <—
The shift happened when I realise that I was approaching to my Yoga practice in the same way I was approaching my work or goals. Same approach, different container.
I was scheduling an unrealistic amount of time on my mat, because I had the false belief that If wasn’t pushing or practicing intense positions, I was not really practicing. That my practice wasn’t enough.
While I realised that I was behaving in the same way in my practice than in my professional life, I felt really sad and angry with myself.
Didn’t I choose to practice and teach Yoga because to support myself and others in finding balance in their life? Yes, but I wasn’t really practicing what I preached.
I was an overachiever Yoga practitioner.
Guilt and Rest
If I look back, my schedule was always very full, with not a lot of white space, or a more a soothing and relaxing practice.
The truth? I felt incredible guilty of not producing and not doing enough, because I said many other times, I connected my value with my productivity and having results.
I felt tensions in my shoulders building up and a sense of anxiety in my heart in the minute I decided to stop, stay, be still, be in silence.
I was also nervous because in the minute I decided to rest and restore, difficult emotions would come up and crash me. My response? Putting even more work, social life and goals in my to do list. To be sure that they would never come up to the surface again.
Deep inside my heart I knew that I couldn’t go on like that: my approach to Life was not sustainable in long term and that I need a shift, a change in the direction of my wind.
Shifting from guilt to gratitude
What I am about to share is extremely simple, yet powerful.
I decided that slowly I would add moments and hours in my calendar to fully rest, white spaces where I allowed myself to do less and practice more Yin, Restorative, Breath Work and Meditation.
During these practices or right before doing them, I would shift from:
“I can’t rest now, I have work to do”
“I am grateful to have 10 minutes where I can rest”
“I am grateful to this Yin/Restorative Practice to support me, restore me and cuddle me”
“I am grateful to my body that is doing the work: restore my system”
Since I started shifting from guilt to gratitude regarding rest, the quality of my life improved a lot.
Without doubts I am living a more balanced personal and professional life, and this is what I am passionate about to share here in Corpo Giardino – Yoga Practices: listen to our needs, find a way to meet them.
With time, therapy and a huge pile of journals, I also learned how to deal with difficult emotions in an healthier way. Feeling them before they explode.
This is not about being perfect, but it’s about being real and start somewhere.
It’s about being aware that if we don’t act now – allowing ourselves to rest – we will somehow pay the price in the future, as the cost of having our system (body/mind/heart) always working is too high.
Our Planet needs Winter, we need a pause after a break up and our creativity needs a fertil void before finding a new idea.
If you feel ready to implement more rest in your life, I created a free series of 4 evening Yoga Practices for you, click here and have a look: https://mailchi.mp/6f3df0d0366a/4eveningyogapractices.
To be heard, listen to and seen
Because at the end, we all want to be heard, listen to and seen.
But it starts from us: we need more often to put the phone away, close our eyes and ask ourselves:
Andrea, what can I do for you today? What do you need?
I truly hope this post spoke to you and made you reflect on the way you approach rest and guilt.
Infact I am curious about your experience: do you feel guilty when you rest? Does Yoga help or it’s becoming part of the problem?
Share with us your experience in the comment section below or in Facebook tagging us at @corpogiardino.ch
With love and gratitude