What is a proper rest? I think rest is highly underrated in our lives and tends not to be quite as high up on the priority list as it ought. I am not talking about just sleep, although we know we don’t get nearly enough of that either, I am talking about “not-doing”, particularly resting in self-hypnosis.

These recent weeks, I have been running packed out courses, dealing with all the necessary follow-up, working through an incredibly busy client schedule, travelling here and there, working on new projects, writing this blog daily, keeping involved in my members area… Then there is spending time with my large family and having a busy social life… I could go on and on.

Finally, at the end of this hectic week I am going to have some time to truly rest. Most of my planning for the New Year has been done, I have a plan and a schedule set up… As I think about the idea of having a couple of days rest, I realise how tired I am.

More importantly and the main reason for writing this today, I have started to realise just how narrow my perspective gets when I am incredibly busy. Some may consider it a gift, others may consider it a hindrance, one thing about being human is our tendency to rationalise what we are doing.

I often catch myself telling myself many, perfectly self-justified statements explaining me and my behaviour to myself. I have found that the busier I am, the more reasonable those statements appear to me when in fact my view is becoming narrower and I am losing perspective.

So it is the sitting, sometimes in silence and solitude, without any running, that I find balances me and restores things for me. And all of those justifications and rationalisations shrink to the size of grains of sand as I sit…. I start to notice the ridiculousness of those rationalisations… I am here with a palm full of sand!

I spend more time that usual in self-hypnosis too, not really with a purpose, just for reflection and rest… Which often leads to me realising that my deepest sense of satisfaction and direction aligns when I am quiet and resting. I just sighed at the thought of that 🙂

It’s not that I will ever give up doing. I love doing, I thoroughly enjoy busy-ness. It’s a question of being skillful in the doing. The doing and the being, when balanced, make the doing effective.

For parts of this weekend, I just want to sit. Next week, I’ll do many things again. For a couple of days, I want some quiet, it is such a lovely sensation to hear myself think and feel what I feel.

My voice gets smaller and less audible when buried under all the noise I live in – the phone, the constant arriving emails, the media interactions, the clients, students and friends who need my attention. My own voice becomes a bit of a whisper amid all of that racket, which if you know me, you’ll know is no mean feat!

Sometimes when I get going so fast I complain to myself that I don’t know how to prioritise or even manage my time…. You know what I am talking about here, right? That there are so many things to do and you can’t figure out which to do first? In our lives there are many choices and needs to be met. We may feel a little frantic not knowing how to take the next step. When I take the time to be quiet and simply sit, the priorities sort themselves out. Then I become efficient and a great deal more effective… When using self-hypnosis, it does not have to be about achieving goals and having complex outcomes… For me sometimes, it is just about letting things unravel.

It’s paradoxical isn’t it? Slowing down so that one can go fast again. That makes sense to me. Of course I can’t understand what decisions I need to make if I am not listening to myself. And if I don’t know which thing to do first, then I waste time doing things over again and I do what I am doing without grace. I find myself getting off track and increasingly wearing myself out.

When I don’t sit and listen, when I don’t rest, when I run and run, the weariness keeps on increasing. There are many kinds of fatigue- physical, emotional, social, and spiritual, to name a few. Fatigue interferes with everything. We all know (there have been many advertising campaigns about it in the UK) that driving when you are tired is equivalent to driving when you are drunk. We all know that driving when we are drunk increases our chances of having an accident.

The same thing applies to our lives. Living when we are fatigued increases our chances of having an accident with our judgment. I don’t know about you, but I find it easy enough to make mistakes when my judgment isn’t impaired. When I am fatigued and rationalising my way through a situation, the accidents I can cause to myself get bigger. I say things I regret. I rush to do something without weighing the consequences. There’s a funny thing about consequences. Whether or not I think about them, they happen. Then I am faced with dealing with them, adding to the weariness.

If I rest and find some perspective – if I am willing to sit in the quiet, take a deep breath, bask in some self-hypnosis, be with myself for a while, hear my inner voice, the choices I make are more liable to be skillful and the consequences more easily managed.