This past Monday, while walking to work, I became more and more intrigued.
What did I see? Exhaustion. Weariness. Tiredness.
As people approached me I’d look at them, into their eyes, and think: ”There’s another one. Another tired person.”
I enjoy casually walking to work with an Earl Grey in hand. What normally takes 30 minutes to walk, usually takes me 40 minutes. I stroll. I don’t like to rush. I don’t want to rush. By strolling, I soak in my environment. The ol’ saying “stop and smell the roses.” That would be the best description of how I view each morning.
What awaits me at work is a fast-paced, high energy, highly stimulated environment. For an introvert, although gregarious, this could easily suck the life out of me. But I’ve learned, over the last 13 years, that peace and tranquility are uncompromising resources in my life. I will not negotiate these two life sources. Since 2002, I am committed to finding my rest before my day begins.
I naturally wake up early, without an alarm clock (early, as in 5:30-6:00am). I like it. It allows me to just be. There’s nothing urgent at that hour. On the rare occasion that I need to move quickly in the morning, I instantly experience stress, pressure and anxiety. I do not want to start my day that way! No thanks! However, those rare occasions become gifts to me, reminding me once again that I MUST start my day with peace and tranquility. This is not just a good idea; it is a principle I live by. Good for the soul!
So, here I am, walking to work, soaking in the people – and my compassion begins to kick in. “So many weary people.”
Here are a few reasons I’d like to propose:
- Busy, because they need a holiday and a slower pace of life to give themselves the opportunity to refuel again.
- Striving, because they put pressure on themselves to perform at high levels.
- Sleeplessness, because they can’t turn off their minds.
- Bored, because they are in a rut and don’t know how to create fresh life for themselves.
- Lonely, because they don’t know how to freely express the longing for what they truly desire and want.
- Restless, because they are dissatisfied with part or all of life.
- Worried, because they have financial debt and are not living within their means.
- Hurt, because they carry an un-resolve for wrongdoings they’ve experienced.
- Shame, because they can’t seem to quite forgive themselves for one, or ten, or countless mistakes – in other words, they can’t forgive themselves for being human.
- Disappointment, because they thought their lives would have been so much different than the outcome they are presently in.
Weariness is a result of excessive exertion or lack of sleep. The opposite of weary? Refreshment.
Excessive exertion can take place in your body, your mind and your soul. You may be doing too much and your body is tired; you may be thinking too much and your mind is tired; you may be feeling too much and your soul is tired.
Pause for a moment. If any of the proposed reasons for weariness applies to you, then it’s time for you to find your rest. By finding rest, you will be refreshed.
Refreshment means to gain new strength; to restore; to revitalize…to wake up.
How does one find rest? Sometimes it requires only simple adjustments:
- Slow your pace down. Walk slower. Sit longer. Breathe slower. Talk slower.
- Give yourself that extra 15 minutes so you don’t have to experience feeling rushed; or late; or in a hurry.
- On the weekends, start your day one or two hours later. It’s the weekend – the opportunity to not have a responsible schedule (unlike what is required of you at work).
- Sip your coffee/tea in silence. Learn to enjoy the sound of quietness again.
- Don’t make excuses for your tiredness: avoid “yeah, but…”
- When’s the last time you really had a day off? It’s not sustainable to keep yourself busy every day. (and I’m referring to all three: body, mind and soul).
- Instead of using electricity, light candles. Candlelit rooms create an environment for tranquility.
- Take a break from your computer, mobile and/or television.
- Stroll or sit outdoors and breathe in the fresh air.
- Take a break from using your car.
I’m not asking you to change your life. Keep everything exactly the way it is.
I’m only asking one thing… add rest.