As I come off of a four and a half month professional hiatus, it seems only fitting that I return to blogging with an homage to REST. We focus quite a bit on how to strengthen, build, exert, tone, engage, etc….but we seem to forget the purpose and value of rest as a part of those pursuits.
I am not talking about sneaking in the occasional pedicure. I am talking about finding rest, scheduling it, protecting it, and learning how to make it a priority. A learning curve I am on myself, as I am about to put all my lessons to the test as I return to online life. I hope to bring some of the quiet I have enjoyed into the crazy of the online world.
I/We need to remember…
Rest promotes healing. The body has an energy pie, healing needs a big piece of that pie. This takes energy from other endeavors, bodily needs, brain work, emotional resources, function, etc. We need to honor this energy-balancing act to move the healing process forward.
Rest builds strength. Muscle training creates minor tissue damage (micro tears), repair occurs through rest. Once healed the tissue is actually stronger and able to take on more load. Quality rest prepares us for the next challenge (physical or otherwise).
Put simply, rest gives us strength.
The metaphors don’t stop there! In the same way that rest complements and ensures strengthening, we need to remember that inhale complements exhale. I preach “blow before you go” and about that beautiful, automatic recoil response of the pelvic floor and TA that occurs on exhale. But the lesson that is often lost is that you can’t have a good exhale or recoil, without a good inhale first.
Inhale creates space. Inhale can balance the pressures and muscular forces in the abdomen, IF we can let our muscles go enough to respond to it. We think of letting go as weakness or vulnerability. But we miss that balancing the interplay of these elements is actually very powerful. Balance is the key to a new kind of strength.
Inhale also offers calm. An optimized inhale taps into the parasympathetic system, which is our calming system (the opposite of the fight or flight system). We were designed for calm, how cool is that? A calm perspective is a great way to face your next challenge (physical or otherwise).
Ultimately, inhale is a momentary rest: a strength giving, calm producing, challenge preparing, space in your day. Don’t miss that opportunity 14x a minute. What does a high quality inhale look like? Try an umbrella breath.
I hope to turn over a new leaf as I return…bringing and protecting the quiet and rest!! Some of the ways I hope to do this include no emails until 9 AM-prayer/bible, family, food and exercise before I open that inbox. Starting each day firmly grounded and moving from my center. Thinking instead of Eat, Pray, Love…my book would be Pray, Breathe, Move (and eat…wait..). No social media or emails on weekends, Julie Wiebe PT is now open only M-F ☺. Other changes are afoot….including more online course content for you guys for your self-guided learning (new peds courses are already up!), finding and identifying talented innovators to nurture them toward sharing their gifts with the world and more. Stay tuned.
Thanks to each of you who follow this blog, connect with me through social media, those who sent sweet notes while I was off the grid (and virtual flowers), friends and colleagues who kept me up to speed behind the scenes…I so appreciate that you respected and protected my time off the grid. I am very grateful.
Here’s hoping you and I can find some rest in our day…even if it is just a few high quality inhales. Peace, people. See you back online…..