When people invite me to take a rest (not looking at anyone in particular, Nic Devlin), I tend to look at them like they have gone a little stir crazy.
‘I HAVE taken a rest!’ I say indignantly to them, whilst picking up my phone and checking if anything exciting has entered my world via the realm of social media.
‘I take a rest EVERY SINGLE DAY’ I say firmly (I find it’s often best to use the firm voice to get people to back off and leave me to my righteousness).
Technically, I do.
Since I left the corporate world, some 14 months ago (how has it been that long?), I have changed my daily rhythm dramatically. I don’t start work before 10am (I know, don’t hate me), I almost always walk my dog by the water in the morning, I usually have a bath with candles before starting my day, I journal and I eat a great breakfast.
Which sounds idyllic right?
Except if I’m honest, also this:
- Whilst I don’t technically start work before 10am, my work mind is on, literally the SECOND I wake up.
- I often cut Scruffy’s walk short because I’ve remembered another thing I want to add to my to do list. Or I take my phone with me, missing the beauty of the water around me and focussed on responding to a few ‘quick’ things before I start the day ‘properly’.
- I often find weekends really difficult – my mind is so busy with possibility and idea that I find it pretty frustrating that people actually want to stop and rest and have fun. Even though a big part of what I teach is to stop, rest and have fun.
- I regularly have to MAKE myself have a bath (and I do love it) in order to rebel against the voice in my head that tells me I’m not moving fast enough, not getting enough DONE.
You see friends, I am a serial DO-ER. I love to get things done and I move at the speed of light when I choose to. Literally. Ask people who’ve worked with me.
This ability to DO and make things happen, has been a great gift in my life. I built my professional reputation on being the woman who could make things happen when others were stalled. I have always been an Achiever (text book Enneagram if anyone’s familiar with that genius of a tool).
I love being an Achiever. Much of the fun in my life comes from making things happen. Seeing a blank piece of paper turn into possibility and then reality is like rocket fuel to me. One of my talents is to give that rocket fuel to others – I often coach women who are stuck in black and white into a whole realm of possibility AND ways to make it easy. It brings great joy to me.
I guess I don’t confess too often that the gift of rocket fuel is also my kryptonite. That I can get so hooked on making things happen that my inbox and diary becomes overwhelmed with opportunity and possibility and creation.
The fact that it is easy for me to make things real and create on a huge scale, also means I have to be careful about what I choose to give my energy to.
I know there are a bunch of you reading this now who are just like me. You’re a HELL YEAH to all kinds of things in your life. You have a CV of making things happen and you smile at it with pride.
So I also know that you get tired sometimes. Bone tired. In fact, I’m pretty confident that there have been times in your life when you have literally smacked into walls. Flat out of Rocket Fuel.
Because lady, you’re the one who overrides those signals of tiredness.
You’re the one who plays at taking a rest but has no real clue how to actually slow down and allow your body to rejuvenate.
You’re the one who ignores your emotions in favour of more action – because more people need to DO MORE THINGS in the world to make it a better place.
You’re the one who thinks you can keep going forever.
Until you can’t.
There are all kinds of things in life that I think are easy.
Getting an Achiever to rest isn’t one of them.
So right now, I’m looking you in the eye, Achiever to Achiever and saying this.
GIVE MORE ATTENTION TO YOUR BODY ASKING FOR REST.
Find a way to lay down and be. Even if your mind resists it on every single level. REBEL in service of re-energising.
Dedicate some of that incredible determination of yours to becoming an expert at responding to the requests of your body. In service of being even more brilliant than you already are.
Because I happen to think we DO need you out in the world making things happen.
And I know FOR SURE that you do a much better job of it when you’re not so damn tired. And that your mind is one hell of a lot smarter when it is relaxed and peaceful (even though you’re hooked on it being wired and buzzy).
Master the art of rest lady.
The whole world is going to thank you for it.