Rest: How ‘doing nothing’ can be playful and fun

posted in: Our Real Life, Rest | 0

“Float,” he said.

I replied with a curious “Huh?”

“You are good at churning and being busy and getting shit done, but you need to practice floating. In your bathtub, the creek, a pool, doesn’t matter just practice floating.”, my therapist pronounced.

What began as an ‘assignment’ for the summer, has turned into so much fun!

I first practiced in my bathtub which I loaded with 5 pounds of Epsom salt so I actually could float. It was easy, relaxing and peaceful and I felt ready to take my floating on the road.  

Next stop: creek.

Some sweet neighbors have shared their creek swimming hole with us and it felt like the perfect private place to practice floating.  At first I had to ask for help, because my body isn’t quite as buoyant in creek water as it is in a salty bathtub. Go figure.

“Just lie on your back, Mom, where it’s shallow and I’ll hold you up.”, my eleven year old said.

He told me it was easy, all I had to do was stretch out and hold my breath and just float. Which is what I was trying to do while sinking…

Once I began, it truly felt felt fun, like the opposite of accomplishing.  We were playing around, laughing and teasing about how I needed him to teach me how to do it; how he was the expert.

The fun and cool thing about floating is that once you get it for even a second you wanna keep doing it. At least I did because it was so enjoyable and relaxing it didn’t feel like work. So I practiced and laughed at myself and at what a good metaphor this homework was.

Every time I was close to water I practiced. Pretty soon I could keep my torso up for a few breaths, but my feet were still sinking.

Maybe because it was playful and fun, it didn’t feel like something I had to conquer more like something I was getting to experience and really enjoy.

When I went to visit Kendra in Boise we hiked to Boulder Lake and as soon as I was in that silky, clear water I wanted to float. It felt heavenly to lie on my back, held by the water and look up at the unending blue dome and relax into that cold water.

Expansive. Spacious. Fun. Adventurous.

Our creek flooded two weeks ago and once it receded, my 11 year old and I went down to swim and Play and float.  And the most amazing thing happened.

I sank into the water, took a deep breath, laid back and felt my entire body float with the current.

Y’all, it was amazing.

I totally let go and allowed the current to usher me downstream and I enjoyed every single minute.  I practiced being carried with my eyes closed and open. I smiled when the water crept in around my eyes and I didn’t flinch.  And I enjoyed the sensation of feeling nothing but the awareness of my own breathing and being held.  

What began as an ‘assignment’ to rest has become a playful form of movement I crave and revel in!

Whether or not its floating for you, try being creative with how you can let go and rest. You never know, i

t could be super playful for you too!

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