Wow!!! I should just propose some topic and leave it at that more often! You guys really took this rest thing and ran with it.
Here's a summary of what you seemed to find initially: Rest equals laziness, weakness, basically being a not great person. Something like that?
But then you went on to try to change your thoughts and perceptions about rest, and that was the really interesting part.
Just to add to your discussion I thought I'd say something about the different kinds of rest I've noticed we all need (and leanonme also asked a question about the differences between types, which is important since we need to be able to differentiate the kind of rest we're in need of in order to get it for ourselves).
The three main types of rest I think we need are: physical, intellectual and psychological/emotional. I may be missing something, so you guys can add to these categories if you want.
The physical type is the one we tend to be most familiar with (whether or not we pay attention to it and take care of our needs!). After physical exertion our bodies need time to recover. After we lift a heavy object our arms need to have a break. After standing all day at work our bodies want to sit still a bit...
The intellectual kind results from something like researching and writing a HUGE term paper, or studying for a big test, and our brains just feel "fried" from paying such close attention and concentrating so intently.
The need for psychological/emotional rest happens when we've been using (exercising) our psyches- for instance, during hard work in therapy, or an intense conversation with a spouse or partner, or completion of an emotionally difficult challenge.
Of course, life being life, there are many times when we encounter combinations of types of "rest needs."
Just a couple of examples: playing a piano recital can leave us with a combination of all three types of rest needs; a therapy session can leave us needing emotional and intellectual rest; a swim race can leave us needing emotional and physical rest...
You guys are coming up with some great ways to rest, so keep at it. As you consider each of these types of rest, think about the ways you could get yourselves rest- sometimes the ways we get the best rest are not what we'd initially think of as "rest." For instance, I find that for psychological/emotional rest as well as intellectual rest I get the most effective "rest" when I'm in physical motion (gardening, walking, swimming, hiking, playing with children... those kinds of things).
Rest, as you guys are observing, sometimes means sleep or physical quietness, but not always.