Why Do You Want to Rest?

The Book of Rest by James Reeves and Gabrielle Brown is the go-to-guide telling you how to find a moment of peace even in the busiest of days, and a path to a calmer, happier and more relaxed you. To celebrate its paperback release, we have an extract to share discussing WHY we want to rest.

 

Why do you want to rest?

We so often fixate on what we want, and yet we so rarely ask ourselves why.

You might see how your answers are in conflict with the very nature of rest (and you might not).

Who’s going to benefit from this rest? How? Does it matter if no one benefits? What is the point?

Is it OK to do something that is completely pointless?

Can anything be truly pointless?

There are endless paradoxes around the subject of rest. We can’t do it, but we have to do it. We can’t make ourselves do it, but it must be done. We cannot have the intention of it doing anything for us, but it will do everything for us. We cannot think our way into it, but by thinking about it when we are not doing it, we will become better at not-thinking our way into it.

But is this really that different from anything else? We learn to write not by reading but by writing; we learn to walk by walking, we learn to drive by driving, we learn to swim by swimming, we learn to love by loving. It is in the doing that we do, and the being that we are.

Regardless of what you think you want, if you allow it, the rest will come, and the rest is easy.

  • Prepare yourself for rest. You might want to sit, lie down, or you might want to stand and stare into space. Do whatever appeals. (You might also want to revisit Enquiry 1 on page 15)
  • As you settle, you might notice your mind is racing. That’s OK. Don’t try to change anything. Stay with this for a few moments
  • Now ask yourself what you hope to get out of all this – this resting, this stopping. What’s driving you?
  • Whatever your answer, now reflect on the possibility that restfulness is a quality within; not something to create but something to be recovered (or uncovered)
  • What does this mean in terms of your motives for seeking out rest? Can you see any contradictions? It doesn’t matter if you did (you cannot be ‘wrong’). See if you can observe without criticism
  • Continue to be still for a few moments, or minutes if time allows
  • When you’re ready to end the enquiry, have a stretch or take a deep breath
  • As you consciously come out of rest, notice how you feel, and note any insights or important new understandings
  • Take a moment to write down your reasons for rest. Reflect on them, read them back to yourself (put them on the fridge or on a sticky note)
  • Remind yourself that whatever you thought, felt or experienced during this enquiry, was exactly as it should be

 

The paperback of The Book of Rest is out now. You can buy it from your local bookshop, bookshop.org, Hive, Waterstones, and Amazon.

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