“Sleep: of all the things a man may do, sleep probably contributes most to keeping him sane. It puts brackets about each day. If you do something foolish or painful today, you will get irritatated if someone mentions it, today. If it happened yesterday, though, you can nod or chuckle, as the case may be. You’ve crossed through nothingness or dream to another island in time.”
~ Roger Zelazny
I have been known to go to sleep so angry, so upset, so embarrassed and wake up the next morning-or even after an afternoon nap-absolutely fine. So fine, I can laugh at myself. Mr. Zelazny’s quote is helpful in understanding why. Sleep provides us with brackets. Before and after. Like those fabulous home projects. What is before is not up-setting or embarrassing anymore as long as there is an after. Guys, there is always an after. A chance to wake up, to start something new, something beautiful, a fresh start, and the priceless ability only afforded humans-the ability to laugh at ourselves.
The goal of rest is not rest.
If we are just waking up every day only to get back under those covers what does it really mean to be alive? That is how a lot of us live when life is riding us.It is certainly how I have survived.
The goal of rest is a deep nourishment of physical, mental and spiritual needs. We rest to be full, to be conscious, to be whole, to be focused, to know and differentiate what is ours to do from white noise.
One of the things I most value about my Passion Planner is that it guides me to put brackets around each month and week. In Roger Zelazny’s words, this planner keeps me sane. Nodding and laughing at yesterday while also being comforted when I turn that page that there is an uncharted month ahead of me.
Here are my answers to the questions at the end of these thirty days of rest using the passion planner’s monthly prompts.
From 1-10, How do you feel overall about this past month?
What was the most memorable part of this past month?
This was my month of rest. It was not a 10 because I had to fight so hard for that rest. The struggle was mental, physical and spiritual. Creating the boundaries, upholding the boundaries, letting go of doing this perfectly (and facing that perfectionism-aka fear-head on) was the hardest work I have ever done. In many ways I feel like I’ve lost everything I never really had and gained everything I always had but never held.
What were the three biggest lessons you learned this past month?
1Taking care of my needs was harder than figuring out what my needs were/are.
2The better I am at taking care of myself, the less reactive I am to what other people need (like I don’t go into emergency mode just because someone else asks something of me.)
3Happiness, for me, feels more like peace than I imagined.
Review your planner for the past month and assess your priorities. Are you happy with you spent your time? If not, what steps can you take this next month to adjust them?
I can laugh at how hard I tried to plan my month of rest. The boundaries were essential, but they were also exhausting. Love to see how I was eventually able to stop planning (the last two weeks of the month are completely blank in my planner). I learned that I have been much more vulnerable and available than I need to be and this awareness is transforming.
How are you different between this past month and the month before?
I didn’t know how much I lived as if I was in debt to life. Gretchen Rubin talks about how rewards are not helpful in developing good habits, but what is beneficial is treating yourself well all of the time. Because, when you take good care of yourself, you have a lot to offer life. That’s the shift that has happened inside. It’s like living in a different country, a free one.
What or who are you especially grateful for this past month?
Sleep, Simplicity, Support, Guidance, Encouragement, Space, Quiet
Name three things you can improve on this coming month. What are concrete actions you can take to work towards these improvements?
- A higher comfort level with “wasting time.”
- More dance in my life. Yoga (while healing and strengthening) is serious and focused. Dance makes me act ridiculous. When I dance, I laugh and I am energized.
- Clarity about my work. Discerning (1) what do I need to do to take care of my life and responsibilities (2) what do I need to do that makes me feel alive.