Why It’s Impossible to Rest Too Much

rest too much

What if you knew, without a doubt, that any time you rested you’re actually moving closer towards your goals?

I’m not talking about your company’s SMART goals or what you think you want. I’m referring to what you truly want.

If that was the case (as I believe it is), it would be impossible to rest too much.

To be clear, there’s a big difference between conscious and unconscious rest.

Unconscious “rest” is compulsive. It distracts us from the full-body experience. It’s watching Netflix out of habit instead of fascination/joy, or exercising after work while being absorbed in thoughts about what we still need to do that evening.

Conscious rest (or mindfulness in many regards) is all about staying aware of where our attention goes.

We could be doing anything, however, the fewer stimulations we have the easier it is to be able to observe our thoughts and feelings.

So why is it impossible to “over-rest” when you’re staying conscious?

We are naturally accumulating energy within us. Whenever we practice resting with mindfulness, we avoid “leaking” energy out through endless ruminations or engaging with people, devices, or places that drain our mental and emotional energy.

As long as we stay conscious, we will naturally release this energy at the appropriate time. 

In other words, do nothing long enough and you will know exactly what you need to do AND have the motivation to do it. 

Have you ever felt ready to get back to work after an extended break?

Or, have you ever given yourself permission to take it easy for the day, and then after a little while you feel a rush of motivation to get a number of things done?

This is the kind of effortless productivity that’s a natural byproduct of conscious rest.

Despite how reliable this method is, our mind will naturally resist for several reasons: 

  1. We have expectations around how quickly things should be done.
  2. We worry about what others think.
  3. We compare ourselves to others without context.
  4. We think we have something to prove to others. 

We can only understand the magic of what the Tao Te Ching refers to as “non-ado” by having the courage to experiment and experience it.

So, should you accept, this is my challenge for you the rest of the week: 

Choose conscious rest. At ANY time of day.

Meditate for as long as you want.

Go on a walk in the middle of the day.

Lay in bed or on the couch.

Sip on your coffee as slowly as you want, without doing a damn thing.

And don’t forget to watch your thoughts and feelings as much as possible. Witness your experience; the frustration, the fear, the anxiety or the bliss!

Remind yourself this IS the work, and you’re achieving your goals in this very moment. 

Then let me know what happens. 

Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Unsplash

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