By Brooke Binstock
Rest and slowing down the busy-ness
I often find myself contemplating the idea of rest in my life as a self-identified chronically busy human being. I sit down to write this and for the first time all week, I am able to tune into the sounds around me. The leaves are rustling in the wind and I can hear the chirping of birds and the quiet hum of my ceiling fan.
Slowing down has proven to be difficult for me and perhaps it is why I have chosen to teach about it so frequently. As humans, we are wired to be on the go. Productivity is a cultural landmark and if we are not constantly striving or trying, we find ourselves at a loss.
In September just this past year, I was faced with the underlayer of my own busy-ness. I got to see face-to-face the purpose it had been serving me and also how impossible it would be to keep going at the rate I had been. After two years of holding space as a therapist to clients in the midst of a global pandemic, I reached a point of burnout I had not yet known in my career up to that point. Many of the clients on my caseload were survivors of domestic violence and I felt the impossibility of being there for them if I did not first begin to refill my very empty energy reserve.
Stepping off the train of productivity
I chose to do something that I had never done before and that was to scarily take a three month sabbatical with no foreseeable plan for ‘what’s next?’ It was ultimately the wisest and best thing I could have done for myself and my future clients. It took so much will and effort to step off the fast moving train of productivity and I was faced with a lot of the feelings that were buried beneath all of the activity, but it was so important to slow down and connect to my own inner refuge. I re-emerged into the field with much more energy and a pocket full of self-care tools including the beautiful and powerful word, “no.” I am still confronted with a pattern of being overly committed but now I feel more fiercely protective of my time and space.
In Tricia Hersey’s Book “Rest is Resistance,” she explores the deep roots of staying constantly occupied. She says, “Can you remember a moment in your life when you have been told that the machine pace of your days is not normal? Sit with this for a moment. Breathe this in for a moment now. There has been no space for any of us to dream of anything outside of what we have been born into. To hear the simple and bold proclamation, “You are doing too much. You can rest. You can just be. You can be,” is revolutionary. To believe it and continue to dream up ways to feel and find rest, care, and healing is liberation.”
Healing and finding ourselves
We have been conditioned to produce in order to prove our worth and satisfy our ego. Hersey posits that a lot of this comes from capitalism and white supremacy. Ultimately, as we continue to give into the magnetic hamster wheel of filling every moment of our time, we are left feeling further and further away from ourselves. Giving our bodies and minds time to slow down can be incredibly healing and corrective, and we might even find ourselves again in that space.
I am honored to get to teach with Kelly Lindsey and Marissa Knox this summer at our 5th annual Quiet Mind, Open Heart Retreat at Drala Mountain Center July 23-28, 2023. We’ll be exploring the concept of resting in inner refuge, which is more near and dear to my heart now than ever. We hope to provide a safe space to step out the grind of your busy life, find deep rest and emerge feeling more full.
Join Brooke, Kelly and Marissa in July!
Brooke Binstock believes in starting where her clients and students are by incorporating gentleness and compassion in everything she does. In 2016, Brooke started Open Circle Healing, an all encompassing wellness initiative where self-care and self-acceptance are the main pulse. With groups and individuals, she combines yoga, massage therapy and meditation instruction to provide a truly holistic experience. To add even more tools to her belt, Brooke is currently working as a Therapist Intern with Plumeria Counseling Center in Austin, Texas to obtain her LCSW licensure.