REST with Maia Toll
Author and herbalist Maia Toll helps spiritual seekers, seers, sages, and makers wake up and connect with their intuition. She's been actively working with understanding her body’s signals and listening to her own intuition for two decades. It's obvious Maia understands that rest plays an integral role in waking up and handling any life event.
Here, she details the daily and seasonal signals that can cue us in on when it's time to rest. Maia also explains that when we rest, we benefit those around us, too. Rest is no longer a struggle for her because she understands that it helps her get more done and do it better –– and she shares the studies to back this claim up.
WHAT ARE YOUR RITUALS TO RELAX, REJUVENATE, AND RESTORE YOURSELF?
While Herbiary is open straight through the holiday season, at MaiaToll.com we take a scheduled and anticipated Long Winter’s Rest, closing from Solstice through New Year’s Day. This allows me time and space to be without a schedule and away from email and social media, which is what allows my nervous system to truly unwind so I can deeply experience the rhythms of the season. You can hear more about The Long Winter’s Rest from a business point of view on my podcast.
What is your advice to empower women to make time for (guilt-free) rest?
No matter what work you do in the world — from mommying to CEOing — it feels best for both you and those around you if you’re wholly present. There’s a lot to handle— a lot to take in— on both a personal and global level right now. When you rest you allow yourself to step in with enough strength and verve to handle whatever life is dishing up, whether that’s crying kids or screaming stock holders. And if that’s not enough to convince you, there are studies which show that you get more done when you’re relaxed and rested so a rest actually helps you do what you need to do better and in a shorter amount of time.
Please describe a time when you had to surrender to rest.
Just last week I had to cancel a weekly program because I was under the weather. It’s not a struggle anymore— I’ve seen over and over again that modeling rest is far better not just for me but for everyone involved. When I say I need to rest, people around me often say, “Me too! Thanks for reminding me/ giving me permission/ making it okay.”
How do you tune into your body's wisdom to know when to rest?
LOL—I’ve been working with understanding my body’s signals and listening to my intuition for two decades; it’s harder at this point to tune-out than to tune-in! Seasonally, I rest around both solstices. Sol- stice is from the Latin sol means sun, stice means to stand still. When the sun- which represents yang or outward moving energy- stands still, so do I. Then there’s the more daily signals like getting a low grade, all-body buzz under my skin when I’m getting sick— definitely a sign I need to give it a rest!
Author of the upcoming book, The Illustrated Herbiary, storyteller and herbalist Maia Toll spent a life-changing year apprenticed to a traditional medicine woman in Ireland. She mentors spiritual wellness seekers, practitioners, and teachers through her online program, The Medicine Keepers Collective, and is the founder and owner of Herbiary, a natural products store with locations in Asheville, North Carolina, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
You can find Maia's weekly writing at MaiaToll.com, and if you want to join her live, she does a free weekly webinar called Ground Your Shit. It’s 15 minutes of spiritual calisthenics to keep you from top-spinning. Sign-up and watch replays here.