I remember laying on the massage table many years ago, trying to relax before getting acupuncture needles poked into the skin around my belly button. The woman tending to me was working the needles as she continued her conversation about Chinese Medicine and my ‘element’ and what that means for me. I can’t remember what element I am, but I do remember one thing she said, very clearly, because it didn’t make sense until it did.
She told me, “Your rest time is the summer. You can’t go and do and be all busy like everyone else. You need to rest so much in the summer. The winter is your go time.”
I remember responding with a furrowed brow, “Really?” It seemed opposite to what I thought was my normal.
She assured me this was my way. This was the same practitioner that told me I’m very, very intuitive based on the fact that I have a deep center line down the entirety of my tongue — turns out she was right about that too.
I don’t know how long it took me to realize she was right about the summer rest gig. It could have been while the needles were still surrounding my belly button. It could have been a year later. What stuck was this deeper knowing that I’m not like the common summer culture around me.
Most people I know seem to kick their activities into high gear in the summer: Camping! Biking! Ice cream! Stay up late! Beach! Bon fires! Hot dogs! Even though the summer is technically time to vacation, it seems the common theme for vacationing is still being busy, just doing different things than being at work or school.
So when I heard that’s not my jam, and I realized that summer time was meant to be restful for me, something clicked. I remembered how I suffer greatly when it’s hot in the summer. I can’t do as much as others. I can’t keep up. I overheat quickly and can’t dissipate heat well at all. I get sleepy in the heat. Lazy, uninspired.
This week, I’m being reminded of this little nugget of truth about summer for me. We’re in Whitehorse, Yukon, which is a pretty northern community in Canada. The sun likes to bless this place in the summer with excessive vim and vigour, and hide away in the winter. On this mid-summer July day, dawn begins at 4am, and dusk begins at midnight.
My body is confused with all the light. It feels like it’s too bright. I need to wear sunglasses in the house. And it’s like my need for summer rest has been cranked WAY UP.
I thought it was the drain of driving so far north and camping for 10 days to get here.
I thought it was an illness I caught, like a whiff of a cold virus.
But really, I think I’m just tired.
Regardless what’s causing this, I’m recognizing that I need to rest more. A lot more.
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This morning, I paid for an app to help me relax, because I feel like I need some help this time. As stated, I’m really, really tired. And being guided to relax is honestly easier than trying to relax.
I thought it synchronous that today’s guidance on the app was to consider the body like a phone battery. Am I at 100% charge? HELL NO… 40?… 15?… Oh dear lord, it’s that bad.
The invitation from the guided meditation was to consider what activities drain your battery, and conversely, what charges you? Because charging your body battery isn’t just about naps. It’s nourishing food, nature time, writing to a dear friend, feeling the warm breeze on your skin, and many more wonderful things that bring about a rejuvenating spark of charge to your battery.
I really dig this analogy for many reasons.
Each time I choose something nourishing/charging, I feel like I’m empowering myself to add some charge to my battery, even if it’s a few small bars.
Expanding on that, when I think about my day, or my week, I can notice how much of my time is going to be draining, and I might be able to be proactive in balancing that drain out with some boosts of restorative charging interspersed within.
Insert: sustainable living! This inspires me to no end. How flipping amazing would it feel to be balanced and nourished every dang day? Impossible? I think not.
I dislike getting to the point of exhaustion. Does anyone actually like that?
I know this time I’m in for the lesson and the healing of this, as well as the recovery.
Spirit’s wisdom on this reflection of rest: EVERY BIT COUNTS. DO THE MATH.
Sounds like I might need to pull out my calculator. Or at least set my alarm so I go to bed at a reasonable time, not when dusk begins, at midnight (Whitehorse, Yukon time).