We all experience stress... the stressors from work, finances, health, relationships, and more all add up. It may not be possible to fully alleviate all the sources of stress in our life. What matters is how we react when faced with these stressors. Last year, I became aware that I had been pretty much living in a constant state of stress. Even in moments where there were no active stressors - I was still feeling the effects of constant underlying stress. This ongoing stress impacted my mental, physical, emotional, relational and spiritual wellbeing.
Fear-based and negative thoughts ran rampant through my mind. My body held tension in multiple areas - mostly in my jaw, neck, shoulders, back, and hips. My emotions fluctuated wildly as I reacted to various situations. I experienced disconnection and strain in several relationships. And I felt disconnected from my Source and my highest self, too.
I was trapped in my stress-based patterns - finding myself overly impatient, often agitated, and rarely able to relax. Living in this state was not only unhealthy, but was also a huge energy drain. Once I became aware how much I was letting stress impact my life, I knew I had to make some changes.
Wherever possible, I addressed the stressors/sources of stress first. Sometimes this meant closures, endings, and letting go. Other times, it meant having difficult conversations or taking other actions to lessen the impact of the stressor.
I worked with various professionals to help me address the physical tension in my body. I did a lot of writing in my journal to process my thoughts and my emotions. I re-invested in my spiritual practices. And I started to explore new modalities to help me unwind, relax, and restore.
I integrated a new restorative practice, which eventually helped me learn to relax my entire body. I'm not gonna lie - restorative was incredibly challenging for me at first. For busy bodies like me, it can be really hard to feel like you're lying there 'doing nothing.' My body still wanted to hold on to the tension out of habit. My mind wouldn't rest and I felt like I was wasting time.
But I kept returning to the mat. And with continued practice, I allowed myself to be completely supported by the floor and the various props (blankets, bolsters, and blocks) so I could come into complete relaxation. Eventually I came to cherish my restorative time. I fell so in love with it that I took an immersive class to learn how to teach it to others, too.
I have found restorative to be an important part of my personal and spiritual wellbeing practices. Not only am I learning to be more gentle and compassionate with myself, but I am also becoming more aware of what's happening in my mind and body and paying attention to the areas that need support and release.
Have you tried restorative? What's your experience been? What did you find challenging? How has it helped you?
I will be starting to schedule regular restorative classes in March and can't wait to share this practice with you.
In the meantime, if you need support in addressing the stressors in your life, reach out and let's schedule a discovery call to see how I can help you.