A few weeks ago as I lay on my acupuncturist table attempting to ignore the sensation of the needles by pondering my life – I visualized the following chart.
Later that day I shared it on Twitter – the reaction was quite positive, so I thought I’d share it here with a few thoughts on how it came to be.
By no means do I consider myself to be a self help guru or expert in any of this – the chart comes more as I thought about when I find myself to be ‘at my best’ – physically, emotionally, relationally and spiritually.
As I lay on the table attempting not to squirm I came to the very non earth shattering realization* that I’m at my best when I have a good mix of activity and rest.
*Tangent: I call these realizations ‘goldfish moments’ based upon the myth that goldfish have a three second memory and that I seem to have these ‘ahaaaa!’ moments in a cyclical fashion every few months and then realize that I’ve ‘discovered’ them before time and time again.
Rest and Activity
What was different about this realization that I’d not pondered before is that there are different types of ‘rest’ and ‘activity’. Previously I’d been thinking about it purely on a physical level however the reality is that in my line of work I have extended periods of physical rest and mental activity (I sit at a desk for many hours each day writing, interacting with others, being creative, thinking strategically etc).
On the flip side of this is that when I exercise (something I need to do more of) I quite often let my mind go blank and find it to be a mentally restful experience.
Of course you can also be active both mentally and physically (strategic thinking when playing sport could be an example) and at rest both physically and mentally (something I experience often in times of meditation).
As I lay on the acupuncture table that day I realized that I’m at my best when I get a balance of all kinds of rest and activity. Conversely it is when I get out of balance (usually for me it’s about a lack of physical exercise or a lack of mental rest) that I find myself getting into some kind of trouble (usually for me it’s when I get sick).
The conclusion that I came to was that I need to be more intentional in thinking about these things. As I’ve mentioned above – I tend to live in top right hand corner of this matrix (Active Mind and Body at Rest). I do stray into the lower right area (Body and Mind) from time to time (mainly for sleep and occassionally for meditation) but I think I’d be a healthier with more balance.
I suspect we all have our natural areas of the matrix where we spend most of our time. I have a number of friends who I shared this with who reflected back that their main struggle is finding times to have rest their mind (even when they lay in bed they’re always thinking/worrying/planning etc).
I’m certain that this matrix is not perfect (for example I’m not sure we all have to live right in the center – it also ignores many other factors of healthy living such as diet) – consider this one of those half thought through ideas* that I have and feel free to add your own thoughts/reflections and experiences.
Note: I suspect this blog will have a lot of these half thought through thoughts. I love to think out loud and love that many of my thoughts and ideas are actually completed by those around me – that’s why I love blogging/social media so much, together we are a lot smarter.
A few questions to ponder.
- Which quadrant do you live in? Which do you need to do/explore more?
- What’s missing from the matrix? What other examples of activities would fit into the different areas?
Welcome to DarrenRowse.com
I’ve had this domain for quite a few years now but have never done much more than forward it to one of my other blogs.
However over the past few months I’ve had a growing desire to create a space online to write about topics that have less to do with the niches that my blogs talk about and to write more about ‘life’.
I’m not exactly sure what I’ll blog about or how often I’ll post – but whatever it ends up being it’ll be more of a glimpse into what I’m thinking and feeling passionate.
Don’t expect too much in the way of writing about blogging, photography or anything much else to do with social media – I’ve got blogs for each of those topics (see sidebar) – rather expect to see me think out loud about life.
Posts will by no means be daily – they may not even be weekly – rather they’ll come as I’m inspired to add them.
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