Saturday, October 16, 2010

Today's Joy Snack: The Resting Cure

(My husband Greg and our 3 year old grandson Georgie, resting in the sun on an Oregan beach this summer)

I have been reading a wonderful book, Seeking Peace, the latest by best-selling author Mary Pipher. In many places I felt as though she must have been reading my life, my mind. Like me, Mary's brain tends toward overwhelm if not given lots of solitude, sunshine, books, quiet time and rest to balance the social, out-pouring part of her life. We, whose chemical make-ups lean toward anxiety, ignore these needs at our own peril. Meltdowns can occur with too much traveling, social interaction, information overload, stress, performance, over-scheduled days.

Mary called the time of her recovery from ten years of too much doing, the "resting cure." I love that. Here's some of what she did to reclaim her life.

"My initial act was to construct a gentler schedule for my life."

"I greatly reduced the amount of information I received from the outside world." This including reading any books about world disasters and substituting light novels and mysteries.

"I limited my encounters with people."

"I erased my calender engagments until I had three months of 'white space' in my future."

"I asked my doctor for antidepressents" (after resting,excercising and reading failed to help her mind calm enough to sleep)

"I finished with self-improvement projects I had launched my whole life.. I wanted to create a mental environment in which I viewed myself as someone who deserved to be understood and cherished, rather than criticized and improved."

"I spent hours with my old Siamese cat, Woody. I bought myself fresh flowers and herbal teas. I made pozole and chicken curry . To cool down my agitated brain, I played solitaire and listened to classical music. Dressed in sweat pants, T-shirts and thick warm socks, I watched the snowfall and the winter birds."

I do not know about you, but this sounds pretty much like paradise to me. I'm a person who loves people, but I probably prefer 60 percent of my time in solititude or with my husband, and 40 percent with people. I try to make sure we have two days of quiet before a day of socializing, as busy as our lives are with loving, caring for and entertaining people. This past summer, in June, I was close to meltdown from over-travel and people, my body felt sick and tired to its core. Greg gave me the gift of an entire unscheduled summer at home and to guilt-free ability say "no" to anything I wasn't up to doing. It was the best gift I've ever received, I think.

The following is an excerpt from a devotional God Calling, a page I have copied and shared with others in need of a good old-fashioned resting cure: to allow God, nature, and a simpler life to re-boot weary brains. Basking in the sunshine, like a happy lizard, is also curative for me, so I loved the references to sun in this piece.

May it be a blessing to you, as it has been to me.

August 17, Nature Laughs

I come, I come. You need Me. Live much out here. My sunshine, My glorious air, My Presence, My teaching.

Would they not make holiday anywhere for you. Sunshine helps to make glad the heart of man. It is the laughter of Nature.

Live much outside. My medicines are sun and air, trust and faith. Trust is the spirit sun, your being enwrapped by the Divine Spirit.

Faith is the soul's breathing in of the Divine Spirit. Mind, soul, and body need helping. Welcome My treatment for you both. Drawing near to Me.

Nature is often My nurse for tired souls and weary bodies. Let her have her way with you both.

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