It’s Wednesday morning and here I am in Reykjavík. It’s raining outside. I like that. Many Icelanders tend to have a distorted view of rainy weather. A lot of them think that fog and rain make for terrible weather. I can give them the benefit of the doubt this time, but I find that rain and fog helps me relax better.
That’s what I’m going to be covering today. Two days ago, I pulled a muscle in my back. I was helping my father get rid of two sofas. I’d been working a lot lately and was starting to show signs of being overworked, but I insisted that I was big and strong and could move the sofas with little thought to how I was using my body. Boom, pulled muscle. I had no energy to talk because I was both overworked and in pain. I got better later in the day, but now I feel I need to share some knowledge with you all.
Don’t forget to rest. You need to sleep. You need to say no when you have too much going on. Your spiritual and physical health depend on rest. Unwinding after a long day at work. Calling in sick when you’re actually sick. Saying no to a project because you’ve already got four more extracurricular activities going on. Your health and well being should always be your first and utmost concern. Who said that our short existence had to be an uncomfortable one anyway?
Now say that you’re at a place in your life where sleep is just sometimes hard to come by. You may work 12 hour shifts with a long commute home. You may have insomnia or for some other reason you just have a hard time sleeping. From personal experience I can guarantee you that the rest you long desire will come easily with mediation. Be it through mantras or simple breathing exercises. Whatever you find most comfortable. It will give you rest.
Here’s one that I enjoy. I sit down and take notice of my enviornment. I breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth for a few minutes. When I’m ready- I close my eyes on the exhalation. I notice all the sounds and sensations I feel. My body pressing into the surface I’m sat atop. Is there a gust of wind brushing across my skin. Then I proceed to look inward. I focus on my breathe for a few minutes before my mind runs wild. I sit back and watch as the thoughts scurry past like unguided sheep without their shepard. I come back to my breath and open my eyes when I’m ready. Give it a go.
I work a lot as I said earlier. A full-time job plus musicianship with lots of extracurricular activities fill my schedule from day to day. Sometimes I’m asked how do I have so much energy? I always give the same answer. I eat healthy, keep active and meditate daily. Once in the mornings and once during the night. 20 minutes each session and I’m ready to take on anything. After I added yoga into the mix I’ve managed to keep myself going strong for a long while, yet as of late I can feel I need to take a break.
An easy going yoga session can relieve so much tension both mentally and physically that you might actually end up sleeping where you placed your mat. We tend to save up stress and negative emotion into various body parts. When the body is relieved of its stress- the mind releases aswell. 10 minutes a day is enough.
Mental and physical exhaustion can creep up on the best of us. We need to take breaks every once and a while. We need to stop and breathe. Some people feel like that if they’re not doing anything then they are being useless. That is so far from the truth. I want to give you a challenge. When you have a day off- go meditate for a while. Do some yoga. Kick back and read a light book. Put minimum effort into whatever your doing and just take notice of your existence. Go through the day and just observe what’s going on around you. Then try to incorporate that into every day. Why should we make things more complicated than they need to be?
Take care of yourself. You’ll be thankful that you did in the long run.