Here I am in August, and I’m dreaming of a vacation! There is no small irony in that statement. I am just finishing my seventh week of being home bound as I heal a fracture in my left foot. I can see the end goal right around the corner. And, I know it will feel so wonderful to be able to move more normally again. These past weeks have been a true lesson on learning to let go of “doing.” Healing became the priority, and no amount of frustration over the things I could not (temporarily) do was going to speed the healing process. Simple things like showering, getting dressed, making something to eat, all have taken longer to do. It quite often feels a bit like a moving meditation as I pay attention to the nuances of maneuvering my body and foot through space with care. This entire experience has been like a (large) nudge (bonk over the head) by the Universe telling me to s l o w d o w n.
Which circles me back around to my opening question–when was the last time you really just chilled? Pulled up the lounge chair, sprayed on sun screen, and read a good book? Taken a stroll down to the end of the pier, sat on the edge, and just dangled your feet? There is immense value to be found in slowing down, giving the body and mind space and time to rest. Physiologically, rest gives the body time to repair and grow, and come back stronger. Mentally, silence–which is rest for the brain–has been shown to lead to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, the key region in the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotion (for some of the research, see: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259110014_Is_silence_golden_Effects_of_auditory_stimuli_and_their_absence_on_adult_hippocampal_neurogenesis).
So, as we enter the final weeks of summer, consider how you might add more rest into your day (naps!), or week (an afternoon at the beach). Next month, I will be off on a two week road trip with family from Europe, to introduce them to the wonders of our National Parks (Tetons, Yellowstone, and Glacier). I will be giving my foot some hiking physical therapy, and my spirit some much needed communion with nature.
See you on the mat!
P.S., I am very happy to be returning to my regular teaching schedule, beginning this Sunday (8/11)! We will be exploring conservation of energy, consistency, and stability.