This image is from a place on the Sonoma coast, where I went with my partner for a weekend away a few months ago. I remember feeling very rested and well on our trip, up for hiking most of one day, but also perfectly content to sit in a camp chair around a fire as he read aloud to me from one of his favorite childhood books.
I return to moments like this when life feels too frantic, too overwhelming. In our modern age, there are about a million goals and plans and thoughts and ideas we can follow, and I sometimes have a hard time listening to my own heart about which one is right for me, and then staying true to what I've chosen for the duration. I tend to get overwhelmed by all the information out there, and flit in between programs, trying to find immediate results. All of this thought about what's right for me, what's best, in a literal sea of information can make me feel very tired and overwhelmed.
To overwhelm something is to "bury or drown beneath a huge mass." And that's sometimes what all that information and opinion and data feels like.
When I encounter this feeling, I often find a lot of resistance within myself. Resistance for me often looks like burnout. I get a little cranky, lethargic, and sad. I don't want to do things I normally enjoy doing--cooking, CrossFit, rollerskating, hanging out with friends and loves, making art, etc.
I've found that the answer is rest.
It's the most obvious solution, I know. And I kinda hate it. I hate it because I like doing things. I like being in the thick of life, engaged in my workouts, professional work, and creative projects, having a lot going on. But yesterday, I read this article about women and rest, and I realized something.
Rest is where I recharge. Rest is the only reason I can continue going at full bore. My love for balance in my creative projects, work, and workouts needs to extend to rest. Including rest brings balance to everything else. Rest makes my life sustainable.
And the reason I haven't been resting? It's because I feel that if I'm not doing something, I'm not of value. I feel unworthy, worth less. Not worthless, which implies no worth at all, but worth less. If I'm productive, if I'm contributing to my job, working out all the time, and being productive in my spare time, I'm of value. If I'm resting, the logic goes, I'm doing nothing, and thus, I am worth less.
Plus, there's the whole mythos of the "Good Fatty", i.e. I'm perceived as "good" if I'm doing all the right things, like exercise and eating well. If something goes wrong, then it must be my fault or something I am not doing because I am fat. So that's another reason why I feel like bad things will happen if I rest.
But yo, I gotta rest. My body is doing some wacky stuff right now. My shoulder is all jacked up (more on that later), and I feel tired and resistant more than I'd like to.
There are times where we're ready to build muscle. There's also a time for a recovery cycle, and that time is now. I'll probably be ready to resume normal activity soon, if I go slowly. But I think I'm in for some days off heavy lifting and full-bore metcons.
In rest, I find reflection. The answers come more clearly and readily, because I give myself time to ponder, to evaluate without burden. I will find my way, because I have given myself the room to do so.
If you are burdened, overwhelmed, heavy-laden, I invite you to take the time to rest today. Give yourself that gift, and see what happens.