Day of Rest

I’m currently enrolled in Andrea Scher’s E-course Bootcamp. One of our assignments this week was to flesh out one lesson from the course we are working on and share it. I’m working on a class called Cultivating Practice. I put together one lesson, and since it’s about rest as practice, and today’s post is about rest, I want to share it with you too, kind and gentle reader.

Rest as Practice

Ringo knows how to rest

Ringo knows how to rest

Contemplation

Want to hear me read this to you?

When we think of practice, we typically consider the effort and the discipline of it. We have to show up, we exert energy and attention. And what maybe isn’t so obvious is that to practice we must balance our effort with our ease.

And to rest, we cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh, recover. Rest is a period of time in which one ceases to engage in strenuous or stressful activity. What is restful will be different for each person, and even each person will go through seasons or cycles where what is rest shifts and changes for them. Rest could be sleeping, but it could also be something relaxing like sitting in a comfortable chair reading or listening to music. Or it might be more active but also still restful, something like stretching, doing yoga, or taking a long walk. And rest could be for your body, or it could be for your mind, or both at the same time.

I’m not very good at rest as a practice. In fact, I recently have been quite terrible at it. I’ve had a season of being sick or injured or both and even though I need rest, there’s so much I want to do, to experience and accomplish. It makes it difficult to rest, but rest is necessary. It’s essential.

As with everything, I don’t want you to take my word for this. I invite you to consider, together and alone, rest as practice.

Exploration

Take out your journal and spend some time some time considering the following.

  • Set a timer for five minutes and quickly list all the types of rest you can think of.
  • What does rest look like for you? How do you typically rest?
  • Do you get enough rest? If not, why? What are the obstacles to rest?

Invitation

  • Pick one thing, one type of rest and practice it today, even if it’s only for five minutes. Check in with how you feel before you practice, then rest, and after you finish spend some time noticing what’s different, what’s shifted. How did it feel to rest? Did you resist it? Were you able to relax? What obstacles arose? Was there any benefit?

Inspiration

2 thoughts on “Day of Rest

  1. Rita Ott Ramstad

    Perhaps the only thing that could get me to rest in the ways I know I need to is to consider it an assignment. To consciously think of it as something I need to do to be well. That is the only reason I exercise as often as I do. Both physical activity and rest feel selfish and frivolous. Now, I know they are not. I know they are the opposite of that: Both are necessary for me to be able to give and work as I want to. But somehow, those faulty beliefs are hard-wired into me. I’m sure the only way to re-wire is to practice rest. I never thought of it that way until reading this post. So, thank you. Something to ponder further.

    Reply
    1. jillsalahub Post author

      I hear you, Rita — I am very very very bad at resting. I wasn’t always that way. About five years ago it’s like a switch got flipped and I just can’t slow down. I feel like there’s so much to do, so much I want to do, and there’s so little time. And yet, it feels so good when I do and I know how important it is, so it helps me to treat it like a practice. Have you ever read that book, Sabbath? I’ve got it on my Kindle and am working through it. It’s helping to reinforce the idea. P.S. I actually took a nap today!

      Reply

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