WHAT ABOUT REST? by Laura D. Harver

During the holiday season, many people bake. They bake their favorite cookies, strudels, or pies for themselves and to give to others. Imagine the smell of these great delights. The bread leaves warm scents of sugar and butter flavored with hints of yeast. What a great fragrance to fill the air!

Ever since I was a child, I enjoyed baking. I was a great kneader even as young as seven, and still am to this day. I remember being summoned to the kitchen by my mother to help her prepare bread.

Upon my arrival in the kitchen, I placed flour on a clean counter. Then, I began to knead the dough with my hands. After kneading bread, I put the dough in a rimmed clear glass bowl and set a clean towel over it. While the dough rested in the bowl, I would watch the dough rise about three times the current size. What a fascinating experience for me to be a part of and watch the bread-making process as a child.

After the bread had time to rise, if the recipe called for it, my mom would tell me to punch down the dough. Then, the bread was given time to rest again. Rest was a needed part of the process to successfully make dough. Without a great dough, there could not be great bread.

The rest period gave the yeast time to work its magic, the flour time to soak up the water, the gluten time to relax, and the dough time to become pliable, making it easier to shape and cut if needed.

But this was not the only time the resting period was needed to have great bread. After taking it out of the oven, the bread needed to rest, so it cools down and had a great texture. It takes rest to make a great dough and bread.

Now that I shared a part of my life related to bread, I will share a little more of my life with you to support you.

At the beginning of this month, my podiatrist gave me a walking boot after an examination and x-rays. My doctor said that I needed to let my foot rest so it could heal. She prescribed medicine to aid me in the healing process, along with the boot.

As I thought about the boot, I thought about the power of rest. I reflected upon my life and other areas I might need to rest. Perhaps, the boot was a symbol of another place that I could benefit by resting in so I can have time to heal, expand, and be more pliable to increase positive outcomes and have better bread (i.e., possibilities, money, profits, etc.).

What does the boot symbolize for you?

o Discipline

o Strength

o Power

o Self-protection

o Protection

o Defense

o Groundness/Grounding

o Starting

o Planning

o Motivation

o Success

o Happiness

o Travel

o Other

What about bread? Surely, you probably heard of Money in terms of bread? But, what does bread mean to you?

o Money

o life

o Time

o Inspiration

o Generosity

o Gift from God

o Word(s)

o Miracle

o Fertility

o Pregnancy

o Harvest

o Nourishment

o Transformation

o Protection

o Good fortune

o Other

Again, what about you? Are there areas that you can benefit from by giving yourself the gift of rest so you can rise beyond where you are now? Perhaps you need time to rest to be more open and available for opportunities that could involve shaping and cutting-letting go (i.e., training and development, coaching, consulting, mentoring, etc.).

Perhaps you need time to rest from specific foods to detox your body and decrease inflammation. Maybe you need time to rest to obtain adequate rest, so you improve your state of being and give your body time to heal.

Perhaps you need time to rest to break from all your hard work. Rest is crucial to your growth process and wellbeing. So, explore what the gift of rest means for you. Take time to rest and reflect and discover what comes up for you. If specific feelings, words, sounds, images, or senses in your gut come up for you, journal them.

Then, honor the wisdom that comes from within you by giving yourself the gift of rest where you need it.

Laura D. Harver is the founder and CEO of Harver Edge, LLC, the Innovative Solutionista™, and a credentialed Professional Certified Coach (PCC) through the International Coach Federation (ICF). She covers topics centered around leadership, health & well-being (individual, family, organizational), diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, and legacy development.

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