Understanding Your Daily Focus
I know a very energetic kid who turned ten right at the start of summer; the start of double digits, a beautiful day in the lake, and—they snapped their tibia. What was set to be a summer of hiking, adventuring, and exploring is now going to be one of rest, recovery, and, hopefully, relaxation.
It is, perhaps, from an adult
perspective, easier to think about putting life on hold when you’re just a kid,
and there aren’t bills to fall behind on or mouths to feed. But think back to
being ten years old, finally finishing fourth grade, facing a summer full of
adventure—and having it ripped out from under you. Injuries, illness, pain in
general—it’s the body’s way of asking for rest, for a break, even when the
mind, the heart, or the calendar is telling us that it’s just not possible.
In this week’s Daily Focus, I
want to look at rest. As summer transitions into fall, let’s look at how we can
shift our energy along with it, focusing on the internal, the inside, and
nesting as opposed to the external, adventurous push we feel through
Saturday, September 11
“At any given point of life, you can take a pause. Nobody in this world can stop you.” –Sarvesh Jain
It’s easy to think, next week, next month, next year, that’s when I’ll slow down. But the truth is that it’s never a good time to stop or slow down. If we didn’t feel like we were essential most of the time, we’d probably have a crisis. So how can we just turn off being essential? By sharing the burden and sharing the rest. Pass the torch to someone else for a bit. This is as good a time as any to slow down.
Sunday, September 12
“When sleep puts an end to delirium, it is a good symptom.” –Hippocrates
Our brains and bodies need sleep to reset and properly function. But beyond our nightly rest, we need to take a break from things in order to be able to see clearly. Staying too hyper-focused on anything will lead to not being able to see the whole picture. If you want to make sure that you’re not missing anything, take a step back for a day or two, and then come in with fresh eyes.
Monday, September 13
“As important as it is to have a plan for doing work, it is perhaps more important to have a plan for rest, relaxation, self-care, and sleep.” –Akiroq Brost
You shouldn’t have to wait for a
broken leg, or a global pandemic, to be able to slow down. If you plan for
breaks, for rest and recovery, you can plan to share the workload, delegate
tasks, and fully relax knowing that the things that need to get done will still
Tuesday, September 14
“If you desire healing,
let yourself fall ill
let yourself fall ill.”
Sometimes, in order to heal, we have to hurt. This can come about naturally, through the course of life, which is always throwing us curveballs, or deliberately, by letting ourselves feel our existing pain. We all have things we can work to heal, and it’s best to do so with deliberation if possible.
Wednesday, September 15
“Rest and be thankful.” –William Wordsworth
To hurt, to heal is all part of being alive. Take the time now to listen to your body, and to be thankful for the signs and signals that it sends you. It’s easy to be angry with a bad back or cramped wrist, but the truth is that your body is working all the time, a billion moving parts keeping you afloat. Take time today to be thankful for what your body can do and be sure to feed it well and give it rest.
Thursday, September 16
“Rest is necessary for reflection.” –Lailah Gifty Akita
Beyond just physical rest,
something else happens within us when we stop moving and sit still. We are able
to think, to reflect, and as such, grow. Every chance for rest is a chance for
reflection, to look back at how we have handled things, and what we wish we did
differently. It doesn’t help to dwell, but we can look back on the things we’ve
done to see where we might do better in the future.
Friday, September 17
“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” –Alan Cohen
There must be balance, which in
this world can seem impossible. Our lives require us to work much more than we
rest, or so it seems. Finding a good balance between the two requires a level
of stability that most people don’t have the luxury of but being aware is still
a big part of the whole picture. Knowing what balance looks like and working
toward it is always a worthy goal.
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