Good Morning to you.
It is finally here, our first day of rest.
In my year long study of rest, I have learned so much and I want to share every bit of it with you, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. I don’t want these 30 days to be just like everything else you have to do in your life.
This is not and can not be something you add to your never ending to do list.
In it’s simplest terms, 30 Days of Rest is a time set aside to honor what your mind, body and heart need, instead of always doing what you should.
Should’s are mostly good things. We should eat dinner as a family. We should promptly return emails, texts and phone calls. We should go to that meeting. We should eat healthy. We should, you should, I should. You have your own list going off in your head all of the time. You know what I am talking about.
In our culture, we have become so depleted by our “should’s” that we don’t know what we actually need anymore. So many of us should ourselves to exhaustion and then crash only to wake up the next day and try harder tomorrow.
These 30 days are a little tap on the shoulder, reminding you that you are human, a tender limited being-not a robot, not a machine. It is my wish that you will grant yourself permission to have needs and to honor those needs during this time.
We will be identifying and addressing three different types of rest:
Physical Rest: Most Americans are sleep deprived. Research tells us it takes about three weeks of significant sleep to replenish our body’s physical needs. You might consider using these 30 days as an encouragement to sleep whenever you can. Go to bed an hour early instead of watching another show. Nap when the baby naps. Sleep in an hour early instead of getting more work done (or maybe even instead of a workout). The healthiest thing you can do for your body is to give it the sleep that it requires.
Mental Rest: Because of technology, we have the option to do hundreds of things at any given moment. All of us are suffering from decision fatigue. This means that we are exhausted before we even get started on doing whatever it is we eventually choose. You might consider using these 30 days to let your mind focus on one thing at a time, to set up some new boundaries for yourself in how you use technology. Enjoy phone free hours. Drive with your phone powered off. Take a social media sabbath once a week.
Spiritual Rest: When our bodies get the repair they need through sleep and our mind gets the focus it requires through boundaries, it becomes evident quickly that our souls are also longing for rest. From my experience, it was only in the last week of my 30 days, that I realized I had just scratched the surface of the ache in my spirit. For me, this was about perfectionism, people pleasing, about believing I was solely responsible for the well-being of so many people. I learned that I needed rest from a belief system that always needed me to do more, to try harder, to be better. You might consider using these 30 Days to do what you would if you already knew you were unconditionally loved, worthy just as you are today. Make choices based on the truth that you are significant, your life already has purpose, and you are exactly who you need to be right where you are.
The most important thing I want to tell you is that this is a deeply personal experience. It is your’s to make your own depending on what you discover, what you need, and your own personal, physical, and spiritual make-up.
30 Days of Rest is a gift for you to receive based on what you are most in need of. Anything I share with you is not intended to be a list of things you need to do. There is no way to rest right, no way to rest wrong. It is all a beautiful experiment in our practice of being human.