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Recovering our ability to relax

Recovering our ability to relax

In our hectic world, we are at risk of losing the ability to relax, to experience a tension and worry-free time to let ourselves be refreshed and restored. All kinds of evidence shows how beneficial rest is for our bodies, our psychological wellbeing, and for our spiritual nourishment and growth. It is easy to see the debilitating effects of our unhealthy pace and the compression which many technologies have allowed. The Latin root for the word "pace" is pax, that is "peace." Giving ourselves a slower pace can contribute to a greater peace in our whole being.

So, how am I at taking a break? For some of us, it is difficult to find or take the time to consciously unplug and decompress. And, when we do, we too often say, "I didn't know what to do with my time off. I felt restless. I can't just do nothing" Slowing down takes effort and practice.

Sometimes, when we slow down, lots of things rush in to fill the space. We have to slow down at many levels. It involves letting go - even for a while - of a number of concerns, worries, anxieties, tension, conflicts, and problems that need solving.

For some of us, it is a great exercise to walk, without a destination, at a deliberately slower pace. It is wonderful to experience the opening of our senses to see, hear, smell and experience the life around us. Sometimes, it is helpful to change our routine, by returning to a place we haven't been to for a long time or visiting a place we've never been to. A different location can help change our perspective.

For some of us, we need to literally unplug our tether to the internet, to e-mail, to texts, and social media, to the stream of connections which are part of our day. Disconnecting - even for a while - can be like fasting, in that it can allow us to become aware of and sensitive to so much more. Peaceful recovery from hard work and many commitments should not be a luxury. We need a break now and then, for the sake of who we are called to be. We are all different and have different needs, but, all of us deserve and need some time to rest and be restored and renewed.

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