I have quite a few things to say about rest - what it is, what can prevent us from holding onto it, how balance might be a bunch of bologna - yet I don't want to steer us in a 100 different directions...
Let's see how this goes, shall we?
A couple years ago, I was listening to a podcast when the word "balance" became the topic of scrutiny - almost like it was on trial for pulling the wool over our eyes, playing the part as something "essential".
For leaving us to think leveling the scales of hustle and rest would bring us around to living life well.
No stress if you have me.
No worries if you got me.
No longer wandering when you find me.
You are whole if you won me.
Pretty sure the verdict for balance is it doesn't truly exist, and the scales will certainly (as they should) tilt and shift depending on your needs, circumstances and living life as it happens to you.
It is tricky though, isn't it?
Take away the work aspect of the scale - the hustle, productivity and check lists.
Rest is somewhat of an enigma.
Smooth as a rhythm - proven to be effective today and yet a dumpster fire the next.
We can find rest in different places and avenues.
The experiences we live out in our own lives are unique - and rest, though a common factor between us as living things, does not have a one-size-fits-all approach.
It's refreshing (though sometimes annoying?) to see how many are sharing reminders of the impact the space we make for rest can have on our today and tomorrow.
The list can be daunting when we see things like "how to incorporate rest in your day-to-day", "why rest is important", "how rest affects your overall health". It can become a chore or competition when it's meant to be the opposite.
Rest is not new, yet we find the reminders that we need it.
I think it's because we tend to either 1) forget or 2) put rest in the backseat since there's no point in exuding any effort toward something that might not help us.
I also think what can bring rest one day can lead us to utter exhaustion the next. And that's confusing as hell.
For example, re-organizing or cleaning certain parts of our home can be a restful rhythm for me - I like to see the end result and reap the benefits of a clutter-free space.
But today it sounded like a complete chore that didn't need to be done.
So instead, I made pancakes.
And drank some tea.
And watched Gilmore Girls.
You don't have to do the same "rest routine" every day. That might translate as another "chore" in your brain, anyways.
The you of today is learning how to best provide and find the energy required of you today to make it to tomorrow.
Keep in mind that rest covers different portions of you - spiritual, mental, physical, emotional.
Some things we do to recharge, release and regroup can hit all areas, but sometimes we just need to focus on one (I can hear the heels of multi-taskers coming at me from North, South, East and West).
Let's say mentally, I might feel led to check off a list to feel accomplished, but physically my body is drained and it needs me to be still. Make sense?
In closing (almost like a sermon, sorry not sorry): I can't speak for you, but I often get stuck in the cycle that "rest" is a reward for valued accomplishments.
What I forget is that in order to be productive - or even to just be - I must create space for rest. No matter the weather, the circumstances.
I almost titled this post "Rest Amidst the Noise" - but noise is not the only "hinderance" of making room for rest (there are actually a lot of factors that can prevent it - we'll save that for another day).
You can be in a quiet and slow season and see rest as a long-lost pipe dream - where the mundane has you captive and your internally restless, wanting something to move, for something to happen.
Friend, rest is there for you in the mundane.
It doesn't require you to accomplish, to check off things.
It doesn't force your hand.
It doesn't need you to make up for anything.
Rest is there, maybe not always in the form we think we want it - but always in the way we end up needing it.