I started my training as a Certified Professional Coach last fall, through ICA. This has been such a learning and growing journey for me on so many levels, and I have enjoyed every minute of it! One of the things it challenged me to do was to look at my underlying beliefs - things I have believed for as long as I can remember that dictate how I behave. Things that I THINK are true yet are completely emotional and irrational (just being real).
Beliefs so strong yet so powerfully sneaky.
One of my beliefs said something like this:
"Sarah, if I don't do this, then it will not get done.
Many will be affected by your irresponsibility.
It will be your fault".
Such powerful LIES, such a strong lurking belief, causing me to be unable to rest. Until this week.
Something changed in me.
I realized this belief was there and it needed to go. I knew where it came from and that didn't matter. What mattered was what I was now going to do with it.
For years, I would often hear caring people say to me, "Sarah, you should really "relax", you should really "rest". One would never say to someone whose airway is completely blocked by choking, "honey you should really breathe, it would help you". Or to someone who is clearly drowning, "just swim sweetie!". We would never say such things to people, because no good has ever come out of hearing "just calm down!" when you are escalated and irate! Yet I would hear loving and caring folks say to me for years, "Sarah, just rest".
Truth was that I had no clue what that meant. True rest was such a foreign concept. I knew it didn't mean to get more sleep. It meant something much deeper, and I was determined to find out what that was.
In my searching, I discovered that true rest was a synonym for peace, profound peace. Rest also meant to be quiet, to cease, to be refreshed. That last word got me - "refreshed". It stung me, and it hurt (truth hurts). Hang on.... my way of resting was not leaving me refreshed.... That puzzled me. Was I therefore not resting, ever?!
Truthfully, no I wasn't. I was puttering around the house, tidying up, rotating laundry, making grocery lists (or ordering groceries online, my new favourite!). I was planning, thinking, organizing. I thought I was resting. The revelation came to me that I had absolutely no clue what that really meant or looked like because it was so unfamiliar to me. It wasn't something that was modelled, encouraged or valued when I was growing up. For a long season with 2 young boys, that never really crossed my mind either.
Furthermore, I could honestly say that I had trouble with those who understood and practiced this concept. I confused it with laziness, being unproductive, poor time management (such powerful, deceiving lies).
As I began to reflect back, I realized that I did have the ability to rest when I wasn't at home; when I was on holiday, for instance. On the beaches of Mexico, Parkville or Penticton BC, I would rest; I was in a different mindset. That encouraged me to dare to believe I could really rest at home too.
And it gave me the first clue I needed: mindset.
I wondered how I could replicate this "rest" mindset at home. A structure that had worked really well for me since beginning to work from home was to wear appropriate clothing for the task. When I am working at home, I look like I am working; when I am exercising, I change my clothing to work out wear. I noticed that I had lovely sleep wear but no rest wear. You know the clothes you can wear around the house, with the kids around, but clothes that are meant for relaxation.
For years my sister had tried to get me into silk pjs, and they frustrated me to no end. Because I felt constricted in them. I couldn't, for instance, vacuum in them on a Saturday morning... How dreadful does that sound...
I decided this week to make a change and bought some jimmy jammies, real ones. Polka dot ones. I have started training myself to put them on when it's time to rest. And not wear them for anything else. As change doesn't happen overnight, I am being patient with myself. And I bought more beautiful jimmy jammies to have no excuse!
True rest is such a profound thing, because it requires a ceasing in order to create the space for the profound peace to flood my heart.
It requires a believing that all things do work out for good. It requires a humbling to say out loud that the whole world does not rest on my narrow shoulders. I cannot do it all, nor was I ever asked to.... Resting allows me the space to be who I was created to be. Rest is part of the simple life I value, because it adds beauty to my soul.
When I choose rest I choose abundance, wholeness and peace. Do you need some jimmy jammies?