Last week, we reached the one year mark from the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. I took some time to reflect on where I was this time last year and how the pandemic has impacted me.
First things first, I saw how important maintaining immunity and health is —I was met with some obstacles in 2020, including tearing a ligament in my knee, which essentially benched me for 2 months. I’m grateful that I’ve bounced back physically, although I am now hyper-vigilant to my body’s limitations. Luckily, I still did a lot of traveling in the chaos, so I was super grateful that my body and health stayed relatively intact. Most importantly, I became more aware of the need for rest and recuperation. Going hard until you reach burnout isn’t exactly efficient. It’s interesting to explore why don’t we place as much importance on rest as we do on smashing our goals.
Aren’t activity and rest interdependent? Two sides of the same coin, if you will.
The tendency of the mind is to oscillate between extremes—opposites. In fact, the middle path is suicide for the mind. In other words, the mind goes back and forth from craving to aversion. We’re either desiring something or resisting something. We can’t “just be.” This week, I really had nothing to say and I was fine with that but I believe in consistency, so I had to find something to talk about. I thought I would address those times in life where we may just need to sit still and do nothing. Foreign concept, right?
Take farming for example: A farmer works hard all season tilling the land, planting seeds, watering the crops, and then he waits. At some point, there isn’t much to do except be patient and wait for the harvest, which can’t be forced. This down time can be uncomfortable, just like savasana (corpse pose) in yoga challenges students to be still—the final resting posture where all the activity registers in the body and you can finally R-E-L-A-X. Savasana requires the least amount of effort yet it’s difficult for some because there’s nothing to do. Now the mind really has its work cut out.
Why do we struggle with this silent middle territory? Doesn’t it seem at times that our interference in life causes more confusion and chaos? The farmer may try all kinds of antics to speed up the harvest but isn’t he just going against nature? Is it that difficult to sit still and allow the universe to do its job? What if in doing nothing, we are doing everything? So, this week, I found myself completely content with doing nothing. Of course, still tending to my responsibilities but rather, not trying to figure everything out. More or less, trusting in Divine timing. I had tilled my land, planted the seeds, consistently watered the crops (a.k.a. projects), now it was time to be patient—do some yoga, meditate, take a nice long savasana (or nap!).
We’ve all been through a lot —individually and collectively. It’s totally ok to take a break and re-boot. Those work projects will be there when you get back and chances are, you’ll be more productive returning to them well-rested.
Enjoy that savasana (or nap)—you’ve worked hard for it!