30-Day Radical Rest Challenge: Day 5

Today’s Task: Float! (Or Meditate)

One of the coolest things that I’ve discovered since moving to West Central Minnesota is Salt 2 O. I swear, floating in these tanks on a regular basis has changed a lot for me. 

I’ve found that my monthly membership that allows me to float in super salty water for 1 hour is the best gift to myself because I have to sit with my thoughts. Sometimes I spend 45 minutes of my time just processing what’s happening in my life. Other times I get in and I conk out and fall asleep. It’s almost never the same experience. The first time I floated I think I cried for more than half of the hour. I didn’t realize how much I was holding in, and that I wasn’t allowing myself time to feel. 

I think as farmers we often experience this imbalance of the masculine and feminine energies. The nature of the work is often such that as women, we have to exert a lot of masculine energy – to get things done, to plan, to execute, to organize, and to put in effort and energy. Feminine energy, on the other hand, requires a lot more patience. It’s about receiving, nurturing. It’s soft. And it asks us to slow down. To listen to our bodies, to breathe. 

To be honest, I think the imbalance of masculine and feminine energy in my life is one of the biggest reasons for wanting to do this challenge, and share it with others. Because summer is the time of activity, and a lot of pushing, moving product, communicating with customers, etc. As we move into fall, we start to find more of a rhythm and as people start to go back to school, the temperatures drop, and people get cozy in their sweaters, I think it’s easier to tap into this soft, tender energy. 

Nourishment – or rest – is inherently feminine in my opinion. And until we learn to honor that within ourselves, we’ll constantly be out of balance.

I wish I could share all of my stories about floating with you in this post, but I think it would be best to instead focus on sharing a bit more about the alternative option that I’ve offered you today, which is much more likely to be within your capacity of time, attention, and finance. (Floating isn’t cheap, by the way. It’s an investment in my mental health and happiness)

Meditation. It’s the best. There can be a lot of mystique around what it is. Like it’s that ‘place’ you go to in your mind that’s full of empty space, and a lack of thoughts. Or some people associate meditation with fancy temples. Like you can only do it some special place. 

I’ve meditated at the office, while walking, in bed, at the park…while driving (which may or may not have been the best idea for my safety). 

And it’s not what you think. It’s not about clearing your mind of thoughts. It’s about presence. Noticing. Paying attention to your breath, where you might have tightness in your body, and developing a practice of observation…of your thoughts, how your body feels, etc. 

Meditation, to me, is about learning to radically accept and love all of yourself and invite curiosity to become your friend, not judgment.

This is so much easier said than done. If I’m being honest with myself, I still look in the mirror most of the days and see disappointment. Shame. Unhappiness. It’s been a long journey in maintaining my physical health at a level I feel comfortable with. Of putting on clothes and actually feeling good and confident and beautiful in it. And I go back and forth often over the course of the seasons with my weight. It’s been one of my biggest struggles ever. 

But the thing is, meditation has taught me to be more kind to myself, first and foremost. And I’ve found that slowly, over time, it’s helped me extend that kindness and compassion towards the people that I used to hold very heavy feelings towards. Anger, resentment, frustration…I held so much of that (and trust me, I still deal with it often) within me, and it created a lot of tightness in my body and my life. Things were so rigid. I was very inflexible. 

Meditation is a practice. It’s not an end goal, but a habit that you can develop over time and integrate into your daily or weekly schedule to help pull you out of the chaos of the day and reset. I love to meditate in the late afternoon, around 3 or 4 p.m. because usually by that time I’m going full-throttle with work and often feel overwhelmed by all that I still have to do. 

It’s allowed me to remember that I am in control. I am in control of how I respond to what happens. That I am the one creating my reality. And that I have the power to shift that at any time I want with the power of my attention.

If you’re not sure where to start, I can recommend a couple of resources, depending on if your preferred language is English or Spanish:

There’s also tons of free applications and TONS of free YouTube videos for guided meditations to start. After a while, you can try meditating without any guide, just sitting in silence. 

Try it out, see how it goes, and if you’d like, continue to meditate periodically throughout the month!

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