I frequently hear myself saying to people, “It’s all good.” It tends to be well received as it is heartfelt, so I’d like to play with putting that in a visual context. After a long uphill curvy dirt road in Phnom Kulen National Park, and a climb up a steep stone staircase with no real end in sight, this doozy of a temple and statue appeared in all its glory. It was such a gleeful surprise, not just to see such bright colors, but the positioning of the statue- it felt natural and seemed to epitomize the expression, 'it's all good' in one go so allow me to introduce you to ‘Reclining Buddha.’ Fyi the statue is basically the same size (slightly taller) than an adult giraffe and a great analogy as they both invoke silence and stillness as giraffes are famous for their deeply quiet nature.
There are of course analytical discussions about this position symbolizing ‘death’ before reincarnation, while others say it is more about accessing inner harmony and peace. My base instinct says reclining is good for the soul, allowing for a physical ‘letting go’ so the mind can follow suit. Then space can be made for imagination to flow, restoration of the body, recalibration of energy and better focus in the long run. And yes if a nap ensues, all the better!
Reclining without Netflix, a phone or a book is a different experience, although I like those things as well. Reclining, also known as ‘rest and restore,’ can foster a rebirthing of sorts. Pure, creative, free flowing thoughts experienced without interruption are accessible in this process (some meet such thoughts on long drives, in the shower, running, kneading dough or working on a pottery wheel as well). So it may not be that your body actually reclines, view it as a metaphor for your monkey chatter mind, anxiety and other energy drainers to subside so you can practice stillness and heart listening. In this metaphorical reclining an idea or option can be improved upon, discarded or embraced after reclining. It encourages an emptying out of everything into the ground, recycling and rejuvenating oneself simultaneously.
When practicing yoga, this sensation is often produced by the pose known as savasana. Although that is corpse pose, full on your back, this is a slight variation, just as yummy. Recently we gave our son a bolster (yoga prop) for his birthday as he has begun his own yoga practice. Recognizing that props can provide support as we enter certain poses that heal, rejuvenate and refresh us is another route to inner harmony and peace.
Props can mean support on a very real level every day. They can be found in daily health rituals like mediations, gratitude exercises, therapies (of any kind really:) The act of reclining can be a renewing of your trust that things will work out for you-as you suspend judgment, unplug, allow yourself to sink into the earth (some call it leaning in) and letting yourself, 'be' (some might call it surrendering).
You may have heard Covid-19 being referred to as a ‘Collective Pause.’ If this appeals to you there may be more time to recline. If you are a ‘doer’ Esther Hicks famously shares, ‘you can’t get it wrong and you never get it all done’, so why not recline a bit or tell yourself it is all good? If you are an essential worker and feel like you have had zipo opportunity for these things here are few free unifying resources (aka props) that may resonate.This interview by Tami Simon, founder of sounds true with Scott Shute discuss compassion and teamwork while Danielle Laporte's introduction to heart mapping at onecommune maybe inspiring. There are many short free links from there so have fun exploring. I have recently been given the book How to Do Nothing, Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell and am impressed just by the title and timing of it. Last but definitely not least, some of you may share my concern for the many children out there that are in all sorts of situations please explore here to learn more about Children’s Aid.
And perhaps take a cue from this pretty kitty:
Please feel free to send or post a picture of you or someone you love reclining (pets welcomed). My daughter added these to contribute...