While taking an entire month to immerse myself in an experiment of rest seems like the most extravagant thing one could do, for me, it was an absolute necessity.
My body, mind and soul were going to get what they needed eventually, but I knew that I had a choice in the matter, I could prioritize the rest I knew I needed or I could allow my body break down on it’s own and put me in the hospital.
I decided I wanted this time of rest to be a fun, creative and inspiring experiment without having to file any insurance claims.
The year leading up to this month, was a systematic, methodical, step-by-step journey of downsizing, simplifying, quitting, un-committing, and un-schduling. Every day I said no about a hundred times and yes only once. I had to become comfortable with chronic guilt for all of the people I disappointed and I had to let go of my personal value to follow through on commitments made in a different time of life.
A life lead by guilt and obligation is too small for me.
All that to say, I didn’t wake up one day with an invitation from my own life to come inside, make myself at home and get whatever I needed.
I had to give up everything that was not essential first, including all of my ego’s needs to be important.
I believe the most important thing I can offer this world is kindness and compassion. And the only way this limited human can offer it is to receive it herself. Resting Lessons is my own personal extravagant experiment in resting as deep and long as my body, mind and soul require.
If you are trying to simplify your life, investigate the possibility for a sabbatical, learn about Sabbath practices, or just observe the intentional free fall into my own surrender to rest…welcome.
Phase 1 of Resting Lessons are my 30 days of Rest . These posts were documenting my own sabbatical on almost on a daily basis. You can follow these days by starting with 30 Days of Rest: Day 1 and read consecutively through Day 30. This real time reporting was important to me for several reasons:
- I knew that the richness of this time would not be revealed until much later. I did not want to idealize my experience by recalling it to others without the truth of all of the fear, loneliness, and shame that I had to face in being present to these empty days.
- I needed something to document a space that was no longer dictated by hours and appointments.
- This blog was my markings on the wall to anyone who finds themselves in the cave of sabbatical both saying, “I was here.” and “You’re going to be okay.”
It was very hard to write about rest and rest at the same time. When I finished my 30 days, I wanted to go deeper into the study of rest, explore more of the treasures I stumbled upon during that month, and share these truths about rest to anyone who is tired, weary, and/or craving soul care.
Phase 2 of Resting Lessons is The Art of Sabbath. I write each post after reading and studying one chapter in Wayne Muller’s book, Sabbath: Restoring the Sacred Rhythm of Rest as a guidebook. I do not know what Muller and I share in common in terms of life circumstances-though his words and experience are comforting to me in a poignantly personal way. It is my hope that sharing both his writing and the meaning they have in my own life will serve as one example of how the gifts of Sabbath can transcend our different needs, desires, life situations, and believe systems.
Phase 3 of Resting Lessons is How to be at Rest. These posts are describing how we can practically integrate rest into our already packed lives as well as understanding why being intentional about rest has become something we must prioritize in our modern lives. I will also be interviewing people about their personal stories and practices.
Thank you for the dignity you offer my own journey by visiting here.
It is my prayer that you receive the gifts life is holding out to you today.
May you know rest, work, play, adventure, love, beauty, gentleness and kindness all the way down to the tenderest places of your heart.
And may you have courage to keep going when everything in your world and your head says you should be there already.
Keep on going.
The promises are all there just for you, carved to imperfectly fit the longings placed inside of you by your Creator.
And then begin again to fall in love with the imperfect fit that means you are still alive, you are still becoming.