Remember to Rest

I’ve resumed my yoga practice recently…partly because if your job is to get up and down off the floor all day, you need to be able to do it gracefully…and partly to help me up my mindfulness game. Something that stood out for me almost immediately is that there are periods of rest or stillness built into each class. Each session begins and ends in stillness, sure, but there are also periods of simply standing after a sequence that’s a little involved or that requires standing on one leg or twisting. I don’t know how I never noticed that before, and at first, I wanted to rush through those periods and keep going, but then I remembered…mindfulness, Melani! I began to allow myself to simply hold still for those moments, and I realized I could feel the impact of what I’d just been doing reverberating in my body.

When I started writing this, I was reflecting on how RIE asks us adults to slow ourselves down, to pause, and to feel how situations reverberate in our bodies.

But as I’ve started writing this evening, I started thinking about how children very naturally give themselves rests when they are playing and moving…I’ve seen so many babies just lie down and take a rest when they need a break. There’s one active baby that I’m thinking of who regularly, routinely, and seemingly randomly will stretch out on my floor on his tummy, cross his legs, and pop his thumb in his mouth. When’s the last time you’ve given yourself that kind of a break?!

Well, tonight, I’m going to give myself that kind of rest. I thought I’d reach back into my archive of articles…can you believe I’ve been writing now for almost 3 years!? I thought hey…why don’t I check to see what I wrote about a year ago, two years ago, and three years ago, and you know what…they each speak to me and where I am today…maybe they’ll have similar reverberations for you.

A year ago, I was writing about sitting with, not solving, not solving problems for children…and boy do I need that reminder for my own life now. When we sit with a problem with another person, we allow the space for the problem to be worked out naturally…we allow the other person to fully express themselves and sometimes find their own solutions…and we give the message that the problem is maybe not so big and scary as it feels in the moment. As my favorite parenting book, the Parents’ Tao te Ching reminds us… “a problem is not an interruption to a serene and happy life. A problem is an ordinary part of such a life. Effort is not required. If you pay calm attention, solutions appear naturally.”

Speaking of that fabulous book, a phrase from the first reflection was the inspiration for my writing three years ago and I waxed on about the beauty of going on a slow and mindful walk with toddlers. Funnily enough, one of the toddlers I went on that walk with three years ago was in my home just today…building and furnishing castles with new friends (maybe!). What a joy to reconnect and get to see RIE babies grow into RIE children.

And two years ago, do you know what I was writing about? How much I love what I do.  And you know what? I still do. Thank you.