Rest and renewal

Crocuses bursting forth after winter rest
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about renewal. I live on the west coast of Canada and spring comes early for us here. Suddenly, trees that appeared bare and lifeless have sprung to life with beautiful blossoms or young buds that herald the return of lush, green leaves. Where once there was just a patch of dirt, there are now clusters of brightly coloured daffodils or tulips. The world has transformed.

What does it take for this sort of renewal, though? How does nature find the energy to rush forth in the spring and create a new world? I think the answer is rest.

If we look to the natural world, we can see a clear rhythm of rest and renewal. Many plants and animals have a cycle that sees them spending the winter months in hibernation. They retreat inside themselves, saving up their energy for when the moment is right. Then, when conditions improve — when the temperatures rise and the sun shines warmly on them — they burst forth back into the world. The rest they’ve taken over the winter gives them the strength to take advantage of the season and to show the world the best version of themselves.

I think that as people, we have a lot of the same needs. It can be tempting to try to always ‘bloom’. We can find ourselves always reaching for the next goal, always trying to prove ourselves to the world. The systems around us encourage this attitude. We’re told to ‘rise and grind’ or to ‘hustle’ every day. It can sometimes feel as if any day not spent moving us towards our goals is a day wasted.

But what if, instead, we think more like the natural world around us.

Not every day is a good day to bloom. Sometimes, it’s winter for us — the conditions are not ideal for hard work and growth. Maybe we’ve pushed ourselves hard and depleted our energy reserves. Maybe there aren’t any opportunities at the moment. These are times when stopping to rest and renew is actually better for us than continuing trying to work hard past our limits. A tulip that tries to bloom in the middle of January is a dead plant with bad instincts, not a hard worker.

So how do you find rest?

Do you need help finding more rest in your life? Wondering how you can incorporate your own cycle of rest and renewal? Read more about the services I offer or contact me to find out how coaching can help you.

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