For a couple of years now, I’ve been on a new path of designing my life in a different way. When I started this blog 9 years ago, I called it Reclaiming Life, without knowing what that would mean today at this stage of my life.
Now, reclaiming my life today has proven to be much trickier than loosing 100 pounds; but the parallels are there just the same.
One piece of the puzzle that has been elusive to me these past few years, is the importance of Rest. Reset. Recharge.
Three amazing kids
One thankful (but admittedly tired) Mom.
Last week at the gym, I had a conversation with a regular goer (he’s an encourager). Us regulars, who workout at a certain time of the day, get to know one another a little.
Like-energy attracts like-energy…I learn this the more authentic I become.
The only way to be authentic is to be unapologetically yourself.
If you build it, they will come. Building in this case, equates to character/outlook on life, and it has attracted the most genuine friendships with like-minded people (which I’m so grateful for…thank you to my tribe)
Back to the gym conversation…we have talked about training in the past, how to push out of a plateau. To grow in strength and develop conditioning. Last week’s conversation was different.
“Have you considered resting for a week?” he asked.
What do you mean rest? I thought. I have goals! I need to figure this stuff out for not only myself, but for my clients. If I rest, I might fall into complacency. A week?
He continued, “When was the last time you gave your body a rest from the type of workouts you’ve done?”
As I spun to nowhere on my exercise bike, I realized it had been over two years. Wow, has it been two years? Sure I’ve taken rest days, but I have put a lot of pressure on myself for two years. To be strong in mind/body/spirit. Even on my rest days, I feel guilty…like I’m being lazy. Not doing enough. The destructive pursuit of trying to press growth when maybe…just maybe…growth happens when you allow the body to rest.
I know this. How do I not know this for myself?
He encouraged, or more so challenged me to take Friday to Sunday off at least. I agreed.
Friday was no big deal, my body was tired. I welcomed the rest.
Saturday came, and through out the day my mind told me to get my workout in. Over and over on repeat. Like a broken record.
No, I committed to rest. And then it occurred to me, that I was missing the point. Rest means to recharge. If I was going to take some rest days, why not do the very things that recharge my soul over the week-end. Music. Writing. Photography. Coffee with a friend. Spending time with my kids.
So I did all those things. I traveled to a session for a family I’ve photographed for years. I relaxed right into our time together. Marvelling at this beautifully connected family they have created together, I remembered back to photographing them when they were first dating. Now they have created a fierce little army of love. It was because of this reflection, that I shot the session with more parallels back to their other sessions, so they would have some comparison photos as to how their lives have evolved. How good!
The next day, I told my kids to get ready for our very own family session. I’m lucky my son’s girlfriend agrees to take photos of me with the kids, so I can actually be in them. We took our time getting ready. Even turned my curling iron on. 🙂 Side note: I regretted that decision half way through, but you can’t have a half curly head…so I forged on. Curled my daughter’s hair too. Funny enough, the wind took the curl right out of my poker straight hair anyway, but my daughter’s hair stayed delightfully bouncy.
We went to this little lane way (which incidentally I found out about from Mr. Rest-Encourager). I saw another photographer there whom I have met before (not such an unknown location apparently). She was in the middle of photographing a family.
“Amazing Couch” I said to her as I noticed the very couch that had been in my head for years…my dream vintage couch I’ve been scouring kijiji for to bring to sessions. In the exact shade of blue I’ve envisioned.
“Oh ya, it was just sitting here, I don’t know who’s it is”
I blinked slowly, WHAT?! Are you serious?
The kids and I went to a lane way over to wait patiently for the dream couch to be open.
I’ve always dreamt of having photos of my children on a lane way lined with sun-kissed trees that touched, and dragging a vintage couch there. And there is was. Magically, on a day of rest which I needed more than I knew.
This is how Law of Attraction works…I’ve had the most weirdly amazing experiences when I figured this out.
Now, I will preface these photos by telling you that our family is weird. We are lovers of odd, awkward, weird, funny. Not everyone gets our sense of humour, but that’s the kind of photos I wanted. I also took normal ones in the beginning, but the funny ones are my favourite. So we just went with it.
Monday I woke up with more zest and excitement to get back to my workouts than I’ve had in a very long time. I truly felt rested and I had the best workout as a result. Later that day, I went to my training shift. One of my clients had seen my photos on Facebook, and told me she saw two people dragging that very couch into that very lane way the week before as they were shooting mini sessions.
So a great big..HUGE…thank you…
To Mr. Rest-Encourager
To the photographer I knew who told me the couch was available to use (and made sure she gave me some time to use it as well)
To my client who solved the mystery of the abandoned vintage couch
And to the stranger photographer(s) who drug it there in the first place. I’m very thankful it was there for my very own session, and I hope no one takes it from you (it’s a pretty amazing piece to just be chillin’ there under a magical archway of trees).
From my heart to yours,