For Rest's Sake
Good morning my loves and happy day 22 of our Dry January Journaling series.
Here is today's prompt:
"Do you let yourself rest? What does rest feel like to you? If everything would get taken care of, would you let yourself enjoy an entire day of rest? What would that look like?"
My favorite thing about nature is the way it changes with the seasons. Every year, the leaves fall off and the trees look like they have died and then every spring they return and the leaves embrace us once again. Nature is our guide when it comes to cycles and nature rests every single year. For months at a time, nature resets.
I spent the first 25 years of my life achieving. From elementary school through high school through college and for a couple years after that - I tried my damndest to win as much as possible. To be the best as much as possible. To be the happiest and the funnest and the best.
And I was. I was exactly who I thought I should be.
And then I realized that none of my achievements were anything that I actually wanted. I had spent so much of my life on autopilot that I never took a second to land the plane and ask myself if this course we were on was even where we wanted to go.
I think rest can be terrifying when you have lived your life without ever taking a break. Breaks felt boring and boring felt scary and lonely and for some reason...shameful? Like only boring people got bored or something.
I used to fill every second with something. Friends, tv, my phone, booze, whatever it took to numb the voice in my head.
As I let the stillness in, I felt uncomfortable. Letting myself rest made me feel guilty. But I decided that I was okay being uncomfortable because I was trying something new. Rest was new to me. It was slow where I had been fast and it was peaceful where I had been chaotic.
I figured that if most of my life had felt really intense and loud maybe the next chapter could feel really slow and quiet.
I have started to find myself a little in the stillness. I work in small increments with journaling, yoga, and meditation. Those three help me move between my rapid fire thoughts and a focus on calming down.
I also have really fallen in love with puzzles and music. Puzzles can be really hard for us over-achievers because it forces you to take breaks and to go slow. It forces you to think in the big picture and move slowly so you don't mess up your work.
I used to prioritize a clean house over rest because I valued what I could offer more than I valued who I was.
And who I am is more important. Filling my cup - or maybe even sitting my cup down for a sec so I can rest is what I need to be who I am. Rest is essential to our healing. Rest itself is productive.
If you try to capitalize on your healing by making yourself go go go 24/7 - you'll never actually give yourself time to heal. Again think of our friends in nature - plants, trees, even animals - go dormant in the winter. They teach us that rest isn't just something that we like - it is essential to our very DNA.
This may feel like a silly thing to write an entire blog about but I feel like lack of rest is something that people need to be liberated from. Constantly forcing yourself to grow and achieve will leave your mind little place for calm - for peace. And we all deserve the permission to be peaceful.