It is spring in Cape Town. I guess we are designed to feel more energetic in spring, and to wind down for a good rest in autumn. It’s been amazing to me to learn more and more how our modern lives are still driven by ancient caveman brain wiring. My friend Colleen, who is world expert in Neuromarketing ( see her website but please come back to my blog afterwards!!) tells such fascinating stories about how we are still driven by these primitive drivers. Why are sales stickers red and round? Apparently, we are still wired to search for ripe fruit. Did you know that? I was flabbergasted!
I do sometimes wonder about the wiring of my brain. The things I forget. The way I’m so terrible at remembering names. And the fact that I find the oddest things funny (including, to the embarrassment of my children, my own jokes)
But I never thought of my brain as primitive. There we are.
What it makes me realise is that we must temper the fantastic fun of the crazy tempo of modern life with some good old-fashioned relaxation. The growing fashion for the Slow life and for mindfulness, is surely some kind of innate wisdom arising that prompts us towards balancing activity with rest.
As I have explored this topic, one the things that has surprised me is that this does not necessarily mean lying resting in a dark room. My friend Scott tells me that there is a thing called ‘level one rest’. Nope, not sleeping. But engaging in an activity that is so engrossing that you forget about everything else. You are not thinking about your life or your problems or your career. You are fully engaged in this activity.
The fun thing about this is how completely different this turns out to be for every person. My husband relaxes after work by playing computer games. Scott, who told me about this concept, does DIY. Honestly, I cannot think of anything worse than either of those activities. I watch my daughter engage with her horse, Mr Grey. It’s not just the riding. It’s the whole package: the grooming, the attention to Mr Grey’s food, the tack, the decision about where to ride, the socialising on the ride. It all seems very hot and dusty to me, and quite hard work. But as I watch her interact with Mr Grey, I am seeing level one rest in action. The rest of the world has ceased to exist.
And what is clear to me is that she achieves a great deal in her life, and that is partly due to that ability to detach from life and just be engrossed in an activity.
What provides level one rest for you?