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How do actually rest when you experience chronic illness?

When you experience chronic illness, you might be familiar with associating rest with danger, meaning that rather than truly resting, you're resisting.


This is something I've been reflecting on myself. ⁠I'm realising that my nervous system still sometimes associates doing, achieving, being recognised, improving and progressing with a sense safety.


In turn, it can associate rest with danger - danger of not being enough, not doing enough, not achieving, not meeting expectations. Add on a layer of memories where rest has not been a choice - instead necessary because of things happening in my body, I recognise that often when I'm resting, maybe I'm not truly resting - rather resisting. ⁠

What this results in for me is that when I take time off to relax, to rest, to step away from work, to just be - I can feel worse, with lower energy and a greater sense of dis-ease and dis-regulation. ⁠

Where as when I am in a more activated or stressed state, whilst it is not sustainable or healthy to be in that for long period, I can in some sense feel that I am calmer, more regulated - because those parts of me that have been so conditioned over my life towards achieving, perfectionism and progressing are soothed and settled. ⁠


Building awareness is the springboard to making changes.

I feel it's a really important piece of awareness, one I've been mindful of for a while but have only just started really mapping out. ⁠

To work through this, I'm really diving into my Human Design, taking distance from societal messaging and conditionings that aren't helpful, surrounding myself with people who value who I am, not how much I do and practicing mind-body work to generate a sense of safety and ease as much as I can. ⁠

I know it's not a quick fix - I'm undoing a lifetime of conditioning and patterns, but I know awareness is always the most powerful step. ⁠

Who resonates with this? Hopefully this has encouraged you in some small way to reflect on your own associations - and question when you rest - are you really resting? Or are there parts of you resisting too? ⁠

If you haven’t seen it yet, my free brain retraining masterclass introduces how to begin to let go of these old patterns and associations, and how to generate a sense of safety to live life in the way you truly want to.

Sending lots of healing love.

James ⁠