Seasons of Rest
Ep. 140
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    This week I want to talk to you about rest. We rarely talk about it. It’s not the type of topic that lends itself to an illustrious career or living your dream life, but it is so important. Today we’re going to talk about seasons of rest: How to know when you’re in one or when you need one (and how to maximize the benefits of being in this season). So stop pushing, stop hustling, look inside yourself to figure out if you need some time off and take a break.

Show Transcript
Just because we intellectually understand something though doesn't mean that it changes kind of the deeply ingrained implicit messages that we have received for decades and decades, because So many of us have just accepted that productivity is good, rest is bad.

Hey, welcome to Lessons From a Quitter where we believe that it is never too late to start over. No matter how much time or energy you spent getting to where you are, if ultimately you are unfulfilled, then it is time to get out. Join me each week for both inspiration and actionable tips so that we can get you on the road to your dreams.

Hello my friends. Welcome to another episode. I am so excited to have you here. I wanted to let you know, a lot of you have reached out about the program or to do one-on-one coaching. And I understand that it is an investment that not everybody can um afford all the time. And so that is why I do a monthly free coaching call and it's completely free. And if you've been to them, you will know that it's not like fluff, right. We jump in and I will help you as much as I possibly can. And if you've been to them, then you also know that it is super helpful just to listen to other people and their problems because our brains have the same problems. You have the same exact fears and doubts. And so every call, I get so many people saying this was so helpful to just listen to because I thought the same things. So I know a lot of you may not sign up because you think like, I don't have anything I want to be coached on but I would encourage you to just show up and listen and see what other people are struggling with in their careers or their job are how to stay motivated or how to not have so much guilt or shame or whatever the problem is. You don't have to show up to be coached. The reason I do group coaching programs is I think there's so much power in watching other people be coached. It helps you start reframing things for yourself. So if you want to get in on this free coaching and why wouldn't you? You can go to and sign up. And I will send out an email about a week before. It's usually around the end of the month. I vary the time so people from different time zones can join and come hang out with us. Okay. I'm so excited to talk to you about this topic today because not only is it very important, I think we often don't think about it and it might seem a little not counter to what I talk about here, but it's typically not the topic of conversation on career or living the biggest, boldest life you want. And I want you to understand how important it is for that very reason to live the best life that you can. And so today we're going to talk about seasons of rest and how to know when you're in one or when you need one and how to give yourself the grace, why you should give yourself the grace of going through a period of time where you're not pushing. You're not hustling. You're not trying to be productive. You're just allowing yourself to be. So if you are a long-time listener, then you may have heard the episode 116 where I talked about how none of this is natural. If you aren't, you should go back and listen to that one cause it's one of my favorite episodes. But in it, I talked all about the fact that the way that we live right now is not natural to the way that we have evolved, right? To the fact that human beings are animals. And just because we have constructed this type of a society doesn't mean that our brains and our bodies are adapted to it, and thrive in that environment, right? It's just something we all created. And sure there are tons of benefits to this type of living, right? We have tons of luxuries that our predecessors didn't, our ancestors did not, but with it also comes a lot of costs. And in that episode, the reason I talked about it is I think what often happens in our brain is we think that there's something wrong with us personally, right? Like our brain loves to trick us into thinking that like, it's just you, you just can't be motivated enough. Like you are just lazy and you don't have enough discipline, right? Not like oh, your brain is not meant to sit for eight hours behind a computer or you physically cannot focus for more than, let's say 25 minutes at a time. Right. I think most of us don't know that. And so when we don't, we start thinking like I need the productivity hacks, or I need to beat myself up because like why are other people so productive? And I'm just not. And part of the reason I did that episode is because I want you to realize that it's not you, it's everything around you. And maybe we can take off some of that suffering and that needless punishment that we put on ourselves and really understand like how does my body work? How does my mind work? And how can I give myself a little more grace? And this is also kind of a piggyback to that episode.

So in that episode, I talked a little bit about the fact that it was really the Industrial Revolution that started changing the way that we live and work. And it was the kind of the start of our obsession with production, right? And that coupled with like the Puritan work ethic that this country is built on and so many other countries as well, like this idea that your level of production is somehow a reflection of your goodness or your worthiness of a human, right? Like you become better quote unquote or you're more worthy if you get more done, that is why so many of us have such shame and a bad connotation with the word being lazy. For whatever reason we've just decided that that makes you somehow, I don't know, a bad human versus somebody that's go, go go is all of a sudden more useful. And so that makes them more worthwhile. And so it's not a shock of, I tell you, obviously, our culture is obsessed with hustle and productivity. Like we all know that. And luckily there is a counterculture now like we're starting to wake up to the fact that this is insane. Like I remember 10 years ago nobody was talking about this and there really was this like badge of honor of like I only sleep four hours a night and it's like, okay, great, you're doing permanent damage to your brain. Congratulations. Right. We didn't know that stuff then. And I think that now we're starting to realize like, rest is a very important part of our, the way our body functions. And you should have seven to nine hours of sleep depending on the way that your body functions, like we're all different and we're starting to see these things. And just because we intellectually understand something though doesn't mean that it changes kind of the deeply ingrained implicit messages that we have received for decades and decades. Right. So we can understand it intellectually and still not really get it. Because so many of us have just accepted that productivity is good and laziness is bad, right? Rest is bad. And so even if we tell ourselves that rest is great, you know, I deserve rest. I want you to try something, try and experiment, do nothing for 30 minutes in the middle of your day. Okay. Figure out when you're going to do that and go lay down. You don't have to sleep, but don't like, get on your phone. Don't do anything. Just lay and watch your monkey mind lose it. Right. Watch the millions of thoughts that you have about like, you should just get up, we have so much to do, what are you doing? This is a waste of time, right? Like the fact that so many of us have such a hard time slowing down is because we've been trained not to. Right. There's so much glory in pushing and pushing harder. And technology has only made it worse for us. It hasn't made it better, right, as most of you know now. But you know, in the 1950s, there were tons of futurists and economists who were predicting that we'd have so much more leisure time. We'd have so much more time for rest. And the opposite has happened. Right. We felt like, because we had more automation because we had more, you know, robots because we had computers that did things faster because we could be connected with not being in the office that would give us so much more flexibility. And what has happened is that it has now just connected us all the time and most of us can never break away. And so instead of having a nine to five and you leave at five, most people, it's not even close to a nine to five anymore, right. It's like, even if you leave at five, you're checking your email or you’re, you know, logging back in or whatever it is you're doing, or you're working on weekends. And so we really have like reduced the amount of time that we have for leisure or for rest. And so we're on all the time.

And it's, you just said, like, we're not evolved for that. It's just not the way that our brains work. And again, I went into this more in episode 116. So I would recommend listening to that. But I just say it again to say that like, as animals, or just anything in nature, we have to have even seasons of rest and rejuvenation. Not like 30 minutes during the day, we have to have times where we allow ourselves to take the foot off the gas pedal. Right. What thing in nature do you know that is just always at full bloom, always just going, right. Just looking at seasons as an analogy is such a perfect way of looking at it. They're like it's not going to be summer all the time. It's not going to be spring all the time. Right. There's winter because that is what's needed to kind of continue the cycle of plants and animals and everything else. And so I want you to think about yourself like that. And when I say this about seasons of life, I don't necessarily just mean winter which actually is a season that like you should kind of look at, you know, like people get so hard on themselves for like maybe not working out as much or feeling more tired. That is natural. That's what happens to animals in the winter. It is cold out. It is darker out. It affects your mood. It affects your energy levels. Nothing has gone wrong. There's nothing wrong with you. And I think it's so often, like we think there's just like, why, why did I work out so much in the summer and I can't now? Because it's like 50 degrees colder and your body wants to hibernate. And so maybe just accepting that can help alleviate some of the pressure. But I'm not even talking about it in that kind of seasons, what I've seen through coaching a lot of people and talking to so many of you guys and looking back on myself, it's like, you have to understand how long your life is. Okay. We have a really hard time. Our brain has a really hard time actually envisioning ourselves in the future. Like we can think about the future and we can plan for it which is what makes humans different from all other animals. But we still only think about ourselves in like the next year, like you think about yourself as you are now with like your thoughts and the way your body works and all that stuff. You can't really conceptualize how you will feel and think in 20 years. Okay. But I just want you to think about how long you're going to live. I want you to think about like, do you think, you know, obviously we don't know and things may not work out for you as well, but let's just say you, 40 years, 50 years, 60 years, I don't know, 30 years, whatever it is. I want you to think about the amount of time that is. And one way of really putting that into perspective is take that amount of time and think about, you know, that in the past, like 30 years ago, what were you doing? How old were you? Right. Think about how much you've experienced in that 30 years. And I want you to think about like how much time you have to live. It cannot be that every single year you are go, go, go, go, go, go. That every year you are a robot that is working out all the time, eating healthy, building a business or working ridiculous hours, juggling a million things like that is a recipe for disaster for anybody. And I think when you look back at our lives again, intellectually we all understand that there are going to be like seasons of tragedy and hardship in every one of our lives. None of us are immune to it, right? There's deaths. There are births. There are hormonal differences. Sometimes you go through little dips in the way that you feel into like depression. There are other tragedies, there's tons of things, tons of things that happen to us humans all the time. And yet we can't get off the idea that like I shouldn't change. I should always just be as productive, as good, as on it, as happy. That's just the way I should be. And if I'm not, I'm going to beat myself up, like there's something wrong. And I just want you to just reframe it for yourself a little bit. What if you're just going through a season of rest? Maybe you've lost someone and you're grieving. Maybe you had a child and you're exhausted and your body is recovering and you're focused on bonding with that child. Maybe you're just burned out from the relentless productivity that our culture has forced down your throat. Part of your own mental health and your own journey is knowing when to take that foot off the gas and give yourself some grace. I have had people who want to join my programs. I had a woman who was seven months pregnant and had a toddler at home but wanted to talk about like the fact that she felt like she should build a business. Now, I'm not saying you can't do that. You, of course you can. I just want you to think about the pressure. And I don't know the unhappiness that you're going to put yourself through trying to cram it all in in that year. I want you to ask yourself, like, what is the rush? The urgency? I have another episode, I can't remember the number, but it was the fact that life is always good and bad. Always, always. It doesn't matter if you have your dream career, it doesn't matter what happens. It will always be both good and bad emotions.

And I think oftentimes when we're in a rush it's because we think if we get somewhere else then I'll just be happy. And I want to challenge you to just slow it down and think about how can I be happy exactly where I'm at? How can I incorporate things that will give me more peace? And maybe that just means taking my foot off the gas for a little bit. We see this so much in this year with the pandemic and COVID and so many of us are going through so, such a hard time. Our kids are going through hard times. So many of us have lost family members who've had really bad health scares. And yet we still see the same stories about like, you know, working out during COVID and how to like, make the best of it. And sure, if you want to, if you have the head space to build a career or to, you know, build a business or to lose weight or do whatever you want to do, do it. I'm I'm trust me. My business has flourished in the last year but that's because like I constantly check in with myself and realize where I'm at. And I'll talk to you a little bit about my story but I just want you to know that part of it is society. Okay. Part of it is that we live in a culture that values that and is going to constantly reward that. And we're constantly going to see that on like Forbes articles and news articles about the 20 something or the people that work insane hours. And there is not a lot of escaping that. I understand that like we live within these confines of the society but what I want you to be really aware of is the suffering that we put on top of that. Okay. Because what happens is that when you're often forced to take your foot off that gas pedal, right? Let's say you have an injury or you get sick or you had a child or there's a death in the family, whatever it is. And life just kind of pauses it for you like tells you to just stop. And everybody else is going on about their life. Right? It's a very surreal experience. And it makes us really angry sometimes because it's like everybody else is just, you know, building away, working away, what's wrong with me? Why do I have to do this? And when we are forced to take that foot off the pedal, we could just accept it. We could give ourselves a lot of compassion and grace, but we don't. And this is what I mean by adding our own suffering. We start with sentences like I should just get up and do this work. I should be able to do it. Other moms are building businesses during the kids' nap times, I should be able to do that. Right? Why am I still sad about my father dying? It was six months ago. Like we have these crazy notions of like how long these things should take us or why there's something wrong with us if we need more time. And I just want you to start paying attention to those thoughts when you're trying to rest. You deserve rest every single day. Full stop. And you deserve seasons of rest, for whatever reason you need. It doesn't even have to be like a child or a death or an illness or anything. It could just be like I said like you've been going for so long. And so maybe this year is just a year to just be. So let yourself lay on the couch and just watch TV. And I want you to reframe and pay attention to the thoughts that you have when you're trying to do that. Because that's where you'll start seeing where so much of this implicit bias towards productivity comes in. Where you've been programmed to believe that somehow you're not as worthy if you're not producing everything. And listen I'm all about you living as big of a life as you want. And I'm all about you building a business as big as you want. I know a lot of times a lot of people want to hustle because they want to get out of a situation they're in. I want you to think about it in short-term versus long-term goals. I did another episode on this. It was episode 128, where we talked all about the fact that long-term you can absolutely want something different. And you know, I've said this quote a lot on the podcast but like we overestimate what we can do in a year and we underestimate what we can do in 10 years. And so yes, in 10 years you're gonna have a completely different life but maybe that's not this year. And like can you get to a place where you're okay with that? Maybe this is a year where you are just in a season of rest. Can you love yourself through that? Can you give yourself compassion for that? Can you understand that as an animal, as a human being, you're going to need those seasons? And you still have 40 more years to grow and push and build and do whatever else you need. And maybe this is just not the year that you're going to do it. Maybe it is the year. I'm just saying like start paying attention. Maybe the short term is like I'm just going to survive. I just, I'm just going to do whatever I need to do to survive the season. And I'm going to be okay with it. I'm going to pat myself on the back. I'm gonna be like look at you getting up and taking a shower today, good for you. Instead of constantly being like what's wrong with you? Why can't you just be more like other people? Why can't you just build a side hustle while you're already working 10 hours a day? I look back on my experience over the last six years. And you know, obviously hindsight is 20-20 and I look back uh, I did some of this. I have to give myself credit. I knew that I just didn't have it in me when I had my son to really go full force with building a business. And so I took it slow. A lot of days I didn't do anything. And some days when I could, I did and I let myself nap a lot and I let myself sleep when he was sleeping because I was tired. But I did have a lot of the shame because I wanted to prove that I was still successful, especially because I was leaving law. And I wanted to like prove that it wasn't the wrong decision. And I look back and honestly six years is not that much time. My whole life is different. I now make more than I did as a lawyer. I love what I'm doing. And in that time I didn't really go full time until 2019 I would say. So like two years now. So from 2014 to 2019 it was very much part-time. And I had to get really good at being okay with taking it slow. I had times where I was frustrated. I had times where I really wanted to go faster and then I had to reframe it. And I had to look at my two babies and realize like the reason I left was because I wanted to spend more time with them. And because I wanted to be in the season. So like could I just be more present and not beat myself up? Could it be okay that I don't have to like create this business within these years? And I even look back now and I wish I had more of these tools then. Cause I wish I gave myself more grace. I wish I gave myself more compassion to know that those five years where my kids were, you know, under five and I was having children, maybe that was just a season of me taking it really slow and enjoying it and giving myself what I needed. And I'm not saying like, you have to sit and like love being with your kids all the time. That's a podcast for another day because that's impossible. But I'm just saying like maybe it was a place where I didn't need to prove myself and I'm learning. And right now I'm in a season of pushing because I have rested and I have gotten to a place where I’m more clear on what I want. And I just want you to think about it because I see it so often. I see so many people that come to me and I want to help all of you. And again, I'm not telling you, when is the right time for you to take a season of rest, right? Maybe when you have a kid, you have all the energy and you're ready to go. And maybe that inspires you to build that business because you want to be with that kid, more power to you. I'm just saying get honest with yourself and understand that those seasons are going to come and either you're going to take them willingly or nature's going to force it on you. And when it's forced upon you or when you choose to take it, like can you take off the suffering? Can you just accept that you're a human being and maybe right now, all you're doing is surviving? And that is a pretty amazing thing to do. So if you're in that season of rest, I hope you enjoy it. I hope you take the time to really give yourself that grace and let yourself just be. And if you're not, I hope that you have compassion for when you're going to enter one of those and give yourself that space. And if I can help in any way, you know where to find me on Instagram, or you can email me at, I would love to help in any way I can. And I will see you guys on the next episode.

Thank you so much for listening. I can't tell you how much it means to me. If you liked the podcast, please rate and review us on iTunes, it'll help other people find the show. If you want to connect or reach out, follow along on Instagram and Facebook at Lessons From a Quitter and on Twitter at QuitterPodcast, I would love to hear from you guys and I'll see you on the next episode.