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30 Days of Rest: Day 3

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We will be studying the stages of sleep throughout these 30 Days of Rest and today we begin with Stage 1.

In Stage 1 of our sleep cycle, our breath begins to slow down, our brain waves become light (theta waves), and our body temperature decreases in the transition from wakefulness to sleep.

As you enter into this first Monday of our 30 Days of rest, I imagine you are transitioning into your own world of work.

You might be wondering, how do I rest and also get all of my work done?

Remember, these days of rest are not about blocking off our time into working hours and resting hours, these days are here for us to discover a rhythm of work and rest that allow our body, mind and our spirit the space we need speed up or slow down as required.

In beginning my own 30 Days of Rest last year, I anticipated learning about rest and experiencing as much rest as possible, which I did.

What I did not anticipate is how much I had to learn about work.

A study of rest is incomplete if we are not also learning about work. And, in order to learn about work, we must move out of the reactive state of doing the next thing into a posture of curiosity.

As you go about your work today, consider offering yourself a week of spaciousness, some breathing room, and allowing margin for transition from a fast paced, quick response life to a slower one.

In these margins, ask yourself why are you doing what you are doing with your time (Time-Wise, Linda Caldwell):

1. Had To

2. Wanted To

3. For a purpose

4. Nothing else to do

5. What others thought

If work is your biggest obstacle to rest, it is important we ask ourselves, what of our work is really working?

In its purest form, work is what we do to get what we need to live- food, shelter, safety. (There is also the work that makes us feel alive. I promise we will talk about this eventually, but we must first differentiate the work we have to do to meet our basic needs from the work we feel passionate about).

The most significant question we are asking ourselves during these thirty days is “What do you really need?”

I will leave you with these beautiful words from a 32-year old who was in her very last days on earth after suffering from breast cancer:

“If I could come back to life, I would pay attention to just being alive. I would pay attention to the chance to be with those I love. It seems I spent too much of my life giving time for money. Now, I would give all my money for just a little more time. You must pay attention. Forget what you think you want and pay more attention to what you need.” (Paul Pearson, Toxic Success)

In a world that offers us everything we could ever imagine wanting, it has never been easier to lose sight of our needs.

Forget what you want, pay attention to what you need.