There are many times when we feel restless either in the body or the mind. Most times it’s because we need to get things done and have procrastinated. But sometimes it creeps up on us and we can’t quite put our finger on why we feel restless. We find ourselves tossing and turning at nights, frustrated and can’t shake it off. Then during the day, we may get an anxious feeling but not sure why because everything seems in order with life. This is when it is time to sit still and spend time with this restlessness,” become friendly with it”, as Pema Chodron teaches, “to lean into it.” Most people naturally want to shrug it off, find distractions to alleviate the frustration or anxiety. But choosing Pema’s way, the impact of the results seems to work in a better way, by discovering a part of our self-deep inside that is asking for our attention.
If restless occurs in the body, it usually a need to focus more on personal workouts, stretching and allowing with what I call ‘body consciousness.’ This is done by focusing totally on each stretch, allowing for the anxiety to stretch with the body, feeling it in the muscle tissues, the cells in the bloodstream, the breath. Letting this feeling have total focus of attention while working out and let it be expressive in the imagination. Usually the underlining cause will reveal itself during the workout. Then in recognition, one can allow for it to be released.
At other times of restlessness, keep in mind that the Earth is constantly shifting with global energies that affect all living things on it. Many people do not know about these energies and how we are affected by them. This is very important to learn because sometimes our anxiety or restlessness may come from these energies sending frequencies through our body, therefore once recognized, give us the freedom to relax, nothing is wrong, the Earth is shifting, and our bodies are shifting with it.
Another, more intense reason for restlessness is feelings of guilt. Guilt can come in many forms and create havoc inside and outside of us. To see guilt, contemplation may be needed. An honest, reflective time to understand our judgements on ourselves and others may assure a healing to this type of restlessness. Forgiveness and mercy, for our self and others, allows a tremendous relief for any underlying restlessness caused by the stress of being angry. Blame can move from righteousness to loving kindness as one acknowledges that pride is being held on to. Pride must be overcome for this to take place. Seeing people as equals in the mistakes that are made, reduces the strength of pride, and opens the door to forgiveness.
So, the next time you find yourself restless and want to alleviate it, try using one of these methods and see if you can discover for yourself, the richness of leaning into it and move into loving kindness and relax. Restlessness does not have to be a symptom but a call for awareness.