I'll be honest with you. In recent months, I've been dealing with the frustration--I mean, serious frustration--of “not knowing what to do” about sticky family problems and leadership decisions. And it hasn't always been pretty.
So I've been trying this new thing. I'm not sure why it works, but it's making a big difference for me, so I'm running with it!
I call it "Active Resting."
Teacher Dan Howard calls it “Intentional Resting,” and teaches it as a method of reducing stress and bringing healing to the body.
I learned it from my coaching mentor and teacher, Martha Beck. This quote from her arrived from in my mailbox a couple of months ago and not a moment too soon. I was at my wit's end with how to resolve a challenging (and increasingly frustrating) situation.
Choose one thing you are trying to manifest into your material experience — good health, a relationship, more money, friends, whatever. Spend 30 seconds resting for these things: “I am resting for the friends I am about to meet now; I am resting for my bank account now; I am resting for my good luck now.” As simple as this exercise obviously is, I have been flabbergasted by how powerful its effects can be. Whatever it is you hope to attract, add a little extra twist by resting rather than forcing the result. ~Martha Beck
First, let's look at what Active Resting isn't.
What "Active Resting" is Not
- Active resting is not avoiding or ignoring
- Active resting is not pushing away worry or thoughts about the problem
- Active resting is not being passive
Active Resting is a proactive choice.
Active Resting is consciously saying to yourself, “For this moment (or 30 minutes, or this day) I am choosing to actively rest from this question or problem.”
In doing this, I open myself up to trust. I am trusting that I will know what I need to do when the time comes. I am trusting that this problem has its own wisdom or magic that needs to do its work apart from my attention.
What is magic about this?
- Active resting helps me wrap my head around the concept of “surrender” and allows the Universe and other forces beyond me to do their work.
- Active resting loosens the grip on my unhelpful and unrealistic need to try to control the situation or other people (as if!).
- Active resting shifts my mind into a place of peace, which is where my best ideas always originate.
- Active resting creates space in my mind, heart, and body for wisdom and intuition to come through.
Hint: Wisdom and intuition almost never arise because of forceful interrogation or pushing.
Wisdom and intuition arise when we create open and receptive space within ourselves for them to arise.
Active resting also has this added benefit: It enables me to be present with what I’m doing right now, rather than having distracting thoughts and worry about this dilemma drag on my mind.
It takes a lot of energy to keep worry at bay—it’s like trying to keep multiple beach balls under water at once.
You don't need to waste your precious energy doing that, Dearheart!
- Pause and acknowledge the problem/dilemma/question.
- Now, take 3 deep breaths and ask yourself, “Is any action required right now, in this minute?” (I find that usually the answer is no. If the answer is yes, then ask yourself, “What is the next right action to take?” Then do that.)
- If the answer is no, then try this. Tell yourself, “For the next 30 seconds (minutes, days) I choose to actively rest from this problem. I trust that wisdom will come.”
- Notice the feeling of spaciousness that opens up in your mind and body. (Ever notice how tight trying to control things feels?)
- Now, watch for a shift to occur in the situation and/or people involved, including you. Watch for your own wisdom to arise.
Letting go of the unrealistic need to control things opens up more room for everyone involved to take right action. You only need to take YOUR right action, love.