“People look for retreats for themselves,
in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . .
There is nowhere that a person can find a more
peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . .
So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.”
Written last week?
They’re the words of Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius from 2000 years ago.
How crazy that our needs have not changed in the intervening centuries.
And, compared to our world of high speed internet, social media frenzy, debt, pressure and constant connectivity, second century Rome was a picnic.
(Give or take a blood-soaked sword or two.)
BUSY IS NOT BETTER
Trying to keep up with the overwhelming pace of today’s world?
Good luck with that. ‘Busy’ is the new ‘Fine’.
Have you noticed how, when you’re over-committed, busyness can become a vicious cycle and you end up chasing your tail?
STOP BEFORE YOU DROP
Publishing doyen Arianna Huffington launched Thrive.org, a website dedicated to rest and recuperation, after her own reality-check with over-busy-breakdown.
She exposed the delusion that burnout is the price to pay for success.
“We know, instead, that when we prioritize our well-being, our decision-making, creativity, and productivity improve dramatically.”
Her website Thrive Global spearheads the culture shift “that allows people to reclaim their lives and move from merely surviving to thriving.”
The offices of Huffington Post, along with start-up giants Uber, Google and Nike, boast space-age sleep pods and dedicated quiet rooms where employees can juice up their minds with a powernap.
Huffington predicts that nap rooms in offices are soon going to be "as common as conference rooms".
NAP BEFORE YOU SNAP
Visionary business innovators are turning the torch beam on "invest in rest".
In the USA, The Energy Project, a consulting firm geared at building more human, humane and higher performing organizations, is the brainchild of writer and workplace advisor Tony Schwartz.
Schwartz recommends ‘Strategic Renewal’ — daytime workouts, short afternoon naps, longer sleep hours, more time away from the office and longer, more frequent vacations — to boost productivity, job performance and health.
Human beings, he says, aren’t designed to expend energy continuously. Rather, we’re meant to pulse between spending and recovering energy.
His catchcry is “manage your energy, not your time”.
Way to go.
In Australia, health coach, journalist and personal sustainability specialist Thea O’Connor runs NapNow, an initiative advocating a new work ethic incorporating daily rhythms of renewal.
Our personal sustainability, says O’Connor, means learning how to manage our own energy reserves. It is critical to environmental, business and community resilience.
HAPPINESS IS HORIZONTAL
Whether in ancient Rome or today’s world, where we all have one foot in Cyberspace, the solution is the same.
Rest and renewal.
A simple equation:
overload + overload= burnout.
Overload + rest= survive … and thrive.
Marcus Aurelius knew a thing or too.
As it says in my upcoming new picture book Rest is Best:
“Rest gives you back your very self.
Now ain’t that just the best of wealth!”
Copyright Shakti Burke 2019
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