This past spring, the towering mountains of Peru were my teachers. They taught me one of the secrets for an enriched, supported life -- the foundational pillar of RESTing.

These ancient Incan mountain gods, the Apus, showed me a secret ledge so invisibly strong even the frailest little baby bird has the courage to take flight and soar high.

Still, resting, unmoving, the mountains vibrate with immense power. These mountains taught me to just be still. To listen to the silences in between, as the storms blow with fury all around me.

The greatness of a mountain is in its foundation, its base embracing mother earth drawing courage, stability, and confidence up high into the altitudes.

Immovable, the mountain weathers the storms with a quiet calm stillness. Resting in power. I learned too, to rest my body and my mind. Building up courage like a mountain goddess, this silent power is my soulmate, with me as I weather through the storms in my life.

Take your time, child, spoke this Apu. Relax your muscles, ease your mind with frequent gently and nurturing rests -- vacations from the daily mental and physical frenzy.

Take the time to lie around, be lazy, get off those hard working feet and put them up. Offer yourSelf (thats self with a capital S) the opportunity to relax.

The mountain continued its lesson-
When you rest, you heal.
You build up strength.
You develop clarity of mind and spirit
you let down your defenses and your guard - allowing something special in
You open yourself to love
You open yourself to opportunities
You notice that beautiful perffectly woven spider's web - sparkling with the morning dew in between those rosebushes.

The mountain's relaxed resting lesson taught me to save my energy for those situations that call for every ounce of my consciousness, of my awareness. difficult conversations with the confidence of a newly opened rosebud. lifes challenges met with freshness, not tiredness.

A tired soldier working without rest is exhausted even before the next battle begins
The ancient tai chi secret for holding great strength over any opponent echoes this lesson of the Mountains of the Sacred Valley:
- Strength comes from resting every muscle, relaxing every joint, and breathing into ease -- only then will the master have built his energy ready to release this mountain like strength exactly at the moment of need.

Like a true student, its taken me months to accept this teaching fully -- rebelling against this wisdom untli the truth of this pillar hit me like a ton of bricks. Now, I've learned - taking my time each day for active relaxation with warrior-like ease, weathering through all the storms of my life with grace and peace.

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