One of my daughter’s favourite princesses is Sleeping Beauty. I like her too, but in an envious sort of a way. As a working mother and wife, there are times I’d love the chance for a 100-year nap too… How cool that this princess is a role model for deep, uninterrupted, pleasurable REST.
So, I’m adding “Rest” to the list of “100 most beautiful words for women” group project. To celebrate, I painted a picture of a “Resting Beauty” (inspired by Sleeping Beauty), and, I’m pasting below an excerpt from my book, The Goddess DIET, explaining why rest is so important for our wellbeing.
Rest – a vital ingredient for women’s wellbeing
I can’t reiterate enough how important it is to grab 30 minutes of Goddess Time every day. Without it, you remain a slave to your routine, to others’ demands and in the loop of stress. Stress causes our adrenal glands to release a hormone called cortisol.
Cortisol “…makes us store fat in case of famine,” says David Cameron-Smith, Associate Professor in Nutrition Sciences at Deakin University in Melbourne.
So, stress = cortisol = fat storage. Not only that, it gives us a jelly belly – the fat gain tends to become concentrated around the abdomen. The solution is to increase your exercise, recreation and ‘me time’ to spark the release of beta-endorphins – brain chemicals which improve mood and promote calm. As such, Goddess Time prevents jelly belly. It helps alleviate the stress on your adrenal glands and enables you to come back to a balanced and more peaceful space.
Now, there’s another aspect of Rest that is as important as Goddess Time, and that is: sleep. Sleep deprivation can increase the hormone that stimulates appetite (ghrelin), and decrease the hormone that makes us feel full (leptin). So get lots of zeds to help produce more leptin – not only does it suppress your appetite, but the rest recharges your batteries and rouses you to get active.
Scientific stuff aside, a nap is wonderful for charging your batteries. Winston Churchill is a famous napper who got through the stresses of World War II with a nap each afternoon. He is in the company of Thomas Edison who took nano-naps (naps that last less than two minutes) to daydream new solutions to old problems.
Naps open your consciousness to revelations not visible on the physical plane. It is when you are in the halfway world between lucidity and sleep that the subliminal workings of your mind presents you with fresh ideas and previously unthought-of insights. Harness this energy to gain new perspectives on old ruts.
Get involved in the group project
Got a beautiful word for women you’d like to share? Add it to the “100 most beautiful words for women” group project and who knows – I may paint that one next!
Which goddess role model to help you rest?
- No time
- Feel guilty
- Kids need my attention
- Too much to do
- Head too busy
- Can’t sit still
And so on… If you have ever uttered any of these excuses, call on Kwan Yin.
This beautiful goddess brings peace to worried minds with her compassionate love. She fosters a guilt-free state of self-acceptance, and puts you into a space of “deserving”.
With Kwan Yin in your corner, your worries will “float away like a bubble on the the breeze.”