Are you exhausted? Yeah, me too. This year has been a doozy.
As I get ready to take some time off from work for my end of year rest, reflection, and rejuvenation time, I’m reminded of how much my relationship with rest has changed over the years. In the same way my relationship with food and my body has.
I used to resist rest. I feared the quiet. As an emotional eater, “being still” felt impossible.
As I looked deeper at my resistance to rest, I realized that at the root of it was fear.
I was afraid that if I really rested, that I would find this lurking emptiness, a terrible aching void. Even worse, I’d have to feel the sheer enormity of my exhaustion.
I feared that if I really rested, I’d never get up off the couch again.
So I’d fill my calendar with tasks, projects, errands, things to get done…to fill the time and empty space. (This is what I now call “binge scheduling”)
The more I did and the faster I did it, the better.
And just like I’d fill my calendar, I’d fill my body. With food. So I didn’t have to feel.
But here’s what I now know:
Busy-ness and emotional eating are defense mechanisms. They both create a false sense of safety, a sense of “control”. But in truth keep us emotionally starved.
Now, I no longer fear rest, the quiet, or space in my calendar.
I know that if I don’t rest, and I just keep on going, going, going, I become clogged. Energetically and emotionally constipated, which creates a deep disconnect with myself, where I’m so numb that I can’t tell if I’m tired or I’m hungry.
And then I get angry. And resentful. And can torch a small village if anyone crosses my path.
I know that in the quiet stillness of rest, creation happens. New ideas get birthed, love and kindness deepen, and my intuition sharpens.
So I’ve learned to stop fighting rest and instead, treasure it, and create space for it. I’ve learned when to say “enough is enough”.
And when I feel fear start to creep back in, I simply say to myself “I trust that the important tasks of my life will resurface when I plug back into the world. Nothing will be lost. I give myself permission to take this time for myself.”
Feel free to use this mantra yourself, if you find yourself addicted to busy-ness, resisting rest or fearful of the quiet.
And know that true safety and peace is available to you (no matter what is going on in your world) if you’re simply willing to pause and rest. Even if it’s just for a minute.
In service to your freedom,
P.S. I’ll be taking some time off to rest and rejuvenate over the Holidays but I’ll be back in the New Year! In the meantime, you can find resources here, and interviews here to continue to break free from emotional eating!