I thought I knew how to rest. Turns out, I’m a fake!

Holy Moly!! Did September just knock you out like it did me?

It started off with so much energy! I was PUMPED about launching my new program, getting back into my groove with the kiddos back in school and doing my thing! 😉

But to be totally transparent, by the end of the month I had a sore throat and a cold on the way, the remnants of which are STILL lingering. And I was exhausted! Like deeply, deeply tired.

And this is where things get interesting… P I N this to pinterest

I am working with a business coach (because we all need support, accountability and help to make our dreams come true!) and as part of my work with her I declare my intentions for the week on every Monday. It’s a powerful activity that keeps me focused on my goals and intentions (duh). Anyway, I let her know a few weeks back that I was feeling “like I’m running on fumes and my intention is to rest”. 

I felt courageous and proud that I was giving myself permission to REST. Yay me!

Except, here’s the kicker. I didn’t rest. Because you know what I realized?

I’m a Fake Rester. YES, a FAKE RESTER. 

I think I know how to rest and I like to convince myself that I allow for rest, but I actually rarely ever really rest. As in deeply rest and do nothing.

Can you relate? Are you able to just sit and do nothing? 

Because up until a few weeks ago, resting for me meant: 

  • laying down while doing a guided meditation
  • relaxing in my living room while reading
  • baking while listening to a podcast
  • sipping a glass of wine while browsing Facebook
  • going for a walk (!)

You see, I realized there is a HUGE difference between doing something restful/not feeling “busy” and actually resting. 

In fact, turns out I have a lot of old beliefs and judgments about people who rest (as in lay down, close their eyes and take a little snooze in the middle of the day). Even if it’s just for 2 minutes.

Here are some of my default thoughts that come up when my husband says he’s going to lay down for a few minutes and close his eyes (warning, they are not nice):

“Wow, must be nice to feel like you can just lay down… in the MIDDLE OF THE FUCKING DAY!”

“Huh, look at that, he thinks he can just LAY DOWN? Who does he think he is?!”

“So it looks like I’ll be the one to do ____________ (fill in the blank) and all the other shit that needs to get done around here!”

And it goes on and on and on, if I let it. Does this sound familiar? Do you have similar thoughts?

But thanks to the awareness I have about my own thoughts, I am able to catch myself pretty quickly when these snarky judgments pop up. Because I actually truly believe that resting is essential to our well-being.

So why don’t I do it? HA HA HA! Great question.

Well, the thing is I really thought I was resting when I was slowing my pace down, minimizing my distractions and activities and doing things that felt “restful”.

And, there’s more. (Man, it’s hard to be honest!) 

When I’m really honest, it’s because I carry around, deep inside my brain, the belief that there is always something to do and  that “resting” is for lazy people. Yikes, I said it!

Carrying this limiting belief around let’s me relax just enough so I am still doing something. Because when I am doing, I am being productive, active and engaged. And those are good things to be, right? Who wants to be lazy? Oh, god forbid anyone be perceived as lazy or unproductive!

So where does this leave me? You? Us?

Since this horrifying but enlightening discovery about myself being a Fake Rester (seriously, I was so shocked to learn this about myself, although when I brought my realization to my husband and sister they both gave me the “Well, duh” look! Oops, sometimes our loved ones know us better than we know ourselves!)…I am whole-heartedly embracing the practice of resting.

I am letting myself be a beginner at this too, because we all have to start where we’re at, right?

My morning routine still sees me getting up before everyone else, but instead of jumping into doing my meditation, gratitude practice, and journaling, I now set the timer for at least 5 min and just sit there. Doing nothing. Resting. Nowhere to go, nothing TO DO, except sit and be.

So far, it feels delicious, comforting, and indulgent and very much like I am taking good care of my body, mind and soul. And, HAHAHA, I have more energy. Gee, what a shock! 🙂

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this! How do you rest? Do you allow yourself to rest or are you also a Fake Rester? It’s ok, we can help each other out!

P I N this to pinterest
More and more, I feel drawn to living a life built upon PLEASURE. And while doing and being in action is so important to and for our lives (I am a go-getter!), so is stillness, rest, quiet and nourishing ourselves deeply.

It’s the in-between that calls to me…that sweet spot between productivity and pleasure. 

My new mantra (discovered with my coach) is My pleasure IS productive.

How freaking juicy is that? It’s worth repeating.

My pleasure IS productive. I invite you to find your pleasure. And rest if you need to. 

PS. isn’ it cool to learn more about ourselves? I love this process and discovery. It is endlessly fascinating.

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  • At least you were trying to rest. I just don’t. Like you I think deep down that resting is for the lazy. There just isn’t enough time to rest during the day- resting can happen when I sleep. So, I only rest when I sleep or when I’m too exhausted to take another step or move another inch. My poor body 🙁ReplyCancel

  • Linda Gross

    What a delightful post Marieke!

    I love what you are sharing. I relate to your story so strongly, however, from the “other side” of the Lazy Fence. lol

    I’ve struggled most of my life with the shame and guilt of being a Morning Sleepyhead. I absolutely love to sleep in, because I dearly love staying up late, doing whatever I want in those quiet, dark hours of the evening and night. No wonder I have a horrible time getting up early. I’ve worked hard most of my life to hide this “defect”. Many years of workshops, coaching, life experiences, and beliefs told me to accept myself but deep down I was always ashamed of my slothful, sleepyhead nature.

    My funny ah-ha moment came a few years ago when my wonderful, loving, early-bird husband came rushing up to our bedroom, ashen-faced and loudly calling out my name in fear. You see it was almost 1:00 in the afternoon and when he realized that I was still upstairs in bed, he was certain that I must have suffered a heart attack, or stroke, or some other calamity. In his mind, why else would a normal, healthy 56 year old woman still be in bed AT 1:00 IN THE AFTERNOON???!!!!

    I can laugh about it now but it was a deep and long talk we had that day about ‘this is WHO I am, I am not you, nor your mother or grandmother (hard working farm folks) and I want to be accepted and still loved for who I am’. I’m not sure who needed to hear this more – him or me, but I certainly voiced a truth that I needed to declare that day.

    These days I practice being more authentic about my slow to start, late mornings. I can’t say that I am 100% comfortable showing everyone this aspect – it doesn’t always feel safe. There are many “judgers” out there. However, with friends and family, I’m much more honest. I’ve even adopted a saying. I tell them that I’m a “crack of noon” person and after we have a good laugh, I let them know that phone calls before 10 or 11 am are not likely to be answered, that I’m not always reliable with early morning meetings and if they need a late night visit or task to be done, I’m their girl!

    So I love the bald honesty of your post, the rueful realization that we hold some of these social norms (early bird gets the worm, idle hands are the devil’s tools, etc) despite many years of self-work, awareness, and acceptance.

    I truly join you in the walk and look forward to more ‘relatable’ and shared experiences.
    Your friend, Linda in Vancouver

    PS: I found you and your site via Cristi Cooke (Pillars of Genius)ReplyCancel

    • Hi Linda! Thank you so much for sharing your honest experience with the opposite side of resting. I LOVE and admire that you own your morning sleepyhead self, giving yourself the permission to be you. onwards to being our truest selves, without shame or guilt. Just lots of love. xoxReplyCancel

      • Thanks for your comment Jennifer! Those pesky default thoughts we have about rest are so interesting. Let’s support each other and give ourselves permission to rest, before out bodies give out on us. 😉ReplyCancel

  • Oh my goodness yes! And how I love that mantra! I’ve definitely been a fake rester in the past and feel like I’m learning to embrace rest more and more, but it definitely takes effort. (Wait, can rest take effort?) 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing this reflection Marieke and reminding us that we need to support our intentions with our whole body so that our intentions can support us.ReplyCancel

    • I know we’re in this together Elena! 😉 I’m happy to know it resonated with you too. Supporting you from afar to stop the fake resting. Maybe it does take some effort to rest afterall?Hmmm. next post. stay tuned!ReplyCancel

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