Rigor AND Rest
My husband and I seek to live and love by DESIGN rather than drifting into a dangerous DEFAULT mode. We make it a habit to lean into setting and reaching meaningful relationship goals.
We bring a playful level of rigor to improving our relationship, knowing that failing to invest in intimacy inevitably results in us drifting apart or into unnecessary conflict.
Yet we ALSO embrace and invest in REST. It’s actually an essential part of the goal setting cycle.
Doing nothing is ironically a foundation to productivity.
The Underbelly of Ambitious Intimacy
All work and no play makes Jack and Jill a dull couple.
Reaching for relationship goals is great, but there’s an underbelly of too much ambitious intimacy and not enough REST.
Endless Effort Is Exhausting
If we drive and drive and strive and strive without pausing to REST and rejuvenate, it’s not only exhausting, it can even be life-threatening.
Stress kills, especially if it’s endless. And it certainly kills off intimacy and connection.
A little intentional stress, especially in the form of stretching to pursue meaningful goals is a good thing. But if you’re relentless about improving, you’ll burn out.
Burn Out to Blow Ups
Burn out in a relationship can devolve into frustration, crankiness, blame, projection, short fuses, or even big blow-ups.
When we’re stretched and stressed, we often take it out on our beloved. Little things become big deals. Big deals turn into blowouts. Sometimes blowouts can turn into breakups.
Next thing you know, something like not taking out the trash turns into a terrible fight.
We often think we don’t have time to REST, yet we somehow make time to fight. Or the fight makes time for us.
An Environment to Thrive In
When you gift yourself, your beloved, and your relationship a REST you’re creating an environment to thrive in.
It may be counterintuitive, but sometimes, especially if you’ve been pushing hard, taking a rest and doing nothing can be a path to everything.
Doing nothing can be the path to everything!
Taking the time to take a REST has been shown to have a wide variety of benefits that apply to a thriving relationship.
- Stirs inspiration and creativity
- Allows time to get to gain perspective
- Increases productivity
- Heightens sensitivity and empathy
- Recharges your battery
- Restores and recharges
- Boosts your immune system
- Improves your memory
- Slows reactivity
- Helps you think more clearly
90 Day Games and the Proactive Period
All of these benefits are why in between the 90 Day Games, (where my husband and I lean into our relationship goals), we take a month “off” for the Proactive Period.
And the second week of this Proactive Period month is all about REST.
We know that as empowering as it is to get clear on what we want and to practice habits to get there, we will actually go farther and be happier if we take the time to STOP striving too.
Think of your relationship like a muscle. When you work out, you have to rest so the muscle can repair. That’s how it builds.
What you put under stress, you must also give time to recover.
Goals are inspiring and empowering. But to become more than we currently are, we have to stretch ourselves. Goals can also be stressful.
Any athlete knows that if you’re going to perform again, you need to have a recovery period. And no matter how great an orgasm was, we all need a rest before we can go again!
A Constructive Break
Even machines need maintenance so give yourself and your relationship a REST.
Put your productivity on pause and take an intentional and constructive break.
This week, release any seeking of accomplishment and allow yourselves to just enjoy the emerging experience.
Sometimes doing nothing can be the path to everything.
Your Partners in a P3 Relationship,