Rest is an inherent part of the natural world. All around us things ebb, flow, rise, fall, frost, melt, shine and hide. As human beings, why would be excluded from this law of nature?
BUSYNESS AS A BADGE OF HONOR AND REST AS A SOURCE OF SHAME
Rest is rich with merit, and yet our culture has discouraged us from having it, instructing us to override our instincts and instead push forward in a perpetual hustle. We’ve gone so far as to turn busyness into a badge of honor and twist rest into a source of shame.
But that’s a losing proposition. We’re overriding our natural rhythms instead of embracing their wisdom. When we should be rising and falling like the seasons and the moon and the tides, we’re burning ourselves out, buzzing and flickering erratically like a cheap neon light.
We’ve forgotten how to rest. In fact, many of us are downright scared of rest. And yet, without rest, we can’t really do, be or achieve our best.
RECLAIM YOUR RIGHT TO REST
So let’s reclaim rest, shall we? Because we all do our best when we let ourselves have a little rest.
I know that transitioning into rest can be a little tricky when we’ve been jammed in fifth gear for weeks or months or years on end.
So I wrote something for those times when we need a little help landing into a season of rest. It’s part permission slip, part prayer. It’s an invocation, a way to invite yourself into the energy of rest. It’s a blueprint, a checklist, a reminder of all the ways rest builds us into something better.
Print it out, read it out, rest, rise, repeat.
An invocation for transitioning into rest.
This is how I honor the ebbing tides and waning moons of my life:
By sinking in when my body whispers “go slow.”
By getting quiet when I can’t hear clearly.
By tending carefully to the coals and feeding them something fresh to transform when it feels like the fire is burning low.
By planting my feet firmly on the ground when fear wants me to run in circles.
By wrapping myself in layers of trust when uncertainty has left me shaky and shivering.
By smoothing myself out with a firm and gentle hand when my mind feels creased and crumpled with shadows and sharp edges.
By making space to breathe into my belly so my heart and mind can return to a rhythm of coherence when confusion has taken hold.
By attending to just one thing at a time when my attention has become divided and my thoughts have become divisive.
By letting myself be swept up in the arms of play when productivity has outstayed her welcome.
This is how I honor the wisdom of the tides within me.
By moving with less push and more flow.
This is how I move with utmost power.
By letting my instincts animate my actions.
This is how I trust myself.
By turning up the volume on my inner wisdom.
This is how I leverage my internal tides and harness their unstoppable energy.
By stopping for a while.
This is how I take back my power and rebel against the artificial currents of urgency and importance.
By following the intelligence of my own energy and emotions.
This is how I expand my capacity.
By contracting into a smaller shape from time to time.
This is how I harness the full dynamism of my potential; the voltage, the vigor, the virtue.
By conserving energy when it’s called for.
This is how I nourish myself and create a fruitful future.
By letting myself not just tolerate the quiet, the dark, the rest, but relish it.
This is how I regather my resources.
By resting, simply.
So I can rise again.
WIth more potency and more presence and more self-possession.