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Rest: Eight Stages of Experience #1

This is a map of our experience. Its purpose is to give us a guide to where we may be having problems (especially when we feel that it is ‘the same thing again’). It is based on the combination of the taoist symbol the ba gua (an octagon with a centre) and gestalt psychotherapy. This map is the basis of my book Living Authentically which you can view as a PDF at livingauthentically.org.

The First Stage of Our Experience is Rest.

This means not only sleep but pausing throughout the day. It is a time of idleness, not active recreation. It is when we ‘slip into neutral’, we are not particularly focussed on anything, not even watching the world go by.Â

This stage comes to an end when we focus on something.Â

The focus may be outside our skin (a sight or sound perhaps) or inside our skin (perhaps an empty feeling in our stomach, a tightness in a muscle).

This part of our experience is not much focussed on in psychotherapy. But I think it is very important. If we don’t have times of rest we become driven and we don’t focus well.

The rest is ‘the void’ from which our awareness and activity emerges.Â

Not just on waking but also from pauses between our activities while awake. If we rush into something instead of resting we will often be clumsy and just make more work for ourselves.

Is rest a part of your life?

  •  Do you wake refreshed?
  •  Do you have pauses between your activities? How does this affect your activities?
  •  Do you find you rush into things? What effect does this have on you?

The other articles in this series are:

Rest Disturbed: The Eight Stages of Experience#2 

Looking Around: Eight Stages of Experience #3

Focussing: Eight Stages of Experience #4

Beginning to Act: Eight Stages of Experience #5

Engagement: Eight Stages of Experience #6

Satisfied? Eight Stages of Experience #7

Growth and Learning: the 8th stage of experience.

I'm Evan Hadkins. To find out how to live a more satisfying life you can download my manifesto on living authentically. It is a book of exercises to guide you to finding, nourishing and living from the core of who you are.

If you would like me to write about some aspect of living an authentic life please don't hesitate to get in touch. There is a box in the sidebar where you can leave a question anonymously if you wish, or you can email me, use the contact page, or comment on this post.

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