The 4Rs: A Heartfulness Practice

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Sometimes we just need to a moment to gather our attention, to take a break from the pressure to keep moving, doing, producing, performing. Do you ever just want to Rest?

Even when we hear the voice There’s no time to rest, it’s essential to our wellbeing to ignore this voice and take a moment to release ourselves from the demands of our busy and complicated lives.

When we simply stop, literally, and allow our body to rest just for a couple of minutes (literally 2-3 minutes), we can experience relief from the incessant stress that flows through our body, occupies our mind, and leads us to ignoring ourselves or engaging in unskillful behaviors.

When we experience this relief, albeit momentary, we get a glimpse of renewal, of the possibility that life does not have to be one urgent moment after another, constant striving to be somewhere other than right here or someone other than who are right now.

Just the other morning I woke up anxious. It felt awful. I went outside for my early morning meditation and said this to myself – There is nothing I need to do right now, nothing that needs to be fixed or solved right now. Listen to the birds. Rest and release. 

For a few moments, I felt relief from the anxiety that felt like a flowing vibration through my body. My mind focused on the chirping birds and the thoughts of solving a perceived problem or challenge dissolved. I took some deep breaths and further rested in this sense of relief. Afterwards, my heart was open and I felt renewed. The day felt like a possibility rather than a challenging climb to make things better or different.

Here is a brief description of this practice: Set a timer for 2-3 minutes (or longer if you have the time.)

  • REST: Stop what you are doing and be still.
  • RELEASE: See the thoughts to keep moving and doing float away like clouds. Or, set them aside for this moment. “There is nothing that needs to be done, fixed, planned right now.”
  • RELIEF: Feel into this intention to take a rest from productivity – physically, mentally, emotionally. Allow the body to experience the release of your fixation on doing, as if you are letting air out of a balloon.
  • RENEW: When your time of rest is up, take a slow, deep conscious inhale and exhale. Notice how the body, mind and heart feel. See if you can nurture yourself in this moment by asking how do I want to carry this experience throughout my day? 

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