November 13, 2022
Rest, and stillness, and taking time for yourself are all practices one must train for to get good at, just like anything else in your life. Especially when multiple billion dollar industries have an ultimate goal to leave you stressed-out, restless, and scrolling and watching and listening and....
I recommend this book, Rest is Resistance.
I too struggle with 'resting' so identify with your post this week. Every night and morning I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit by the window, watch the leaves (or snow) fall, the birds enjoy their feeders, the clouds pass overhead, the squirrels forage....etc....but find it difficult to take time to simply SIT during the day. It's something I need to practice more....being present in my life and not distracted by 'work/busyness' I'm not alone..thank you.
"Is it possible if we learned to rest better we would also become less sedentary?" I do think these things can go into a feedback loop. I never feel better either mentally or physically than when I've been on a really long and strenuous hike. When I do that, the feeling of "giving myself permission to rest" releases because I'm just tired and content and no permission is necessary. (Also, GirlTrek does an annual Stress Protest in the Colorado Rockies that I think is just the best idea ever: https://stressprotest.com)
Hi Karen coming back to your newsletter after a hiatus of a few weeks. It’s been a few weeks of no rest for me as well! Haha
During weeks like this, sometimes I think the only rest I’m going to get ￼is via reflection. Taking a bit of time out from the stream of things and simply observing from a little far away, gives my mind some rest.
I hope your body finds the rest it needs.
Lots of love.
"tried searching for poems about rest - and my search results were filled with poems about death" wow that's really quite something; an insight that we can all share. I think rest is fast becoming one of the most difficult things. But for us it's either got to involve exercise or the great outdoors. By the way, your photos are mind-blowingly excellent and your writing as consistently excellent as ever!
Rest is an interesting term. What is restful to one person might not be to another. I'm also very active, but there are a few activities that I consider my way of resting, because they soothe my mind. Gardening, even though it's very strenuous, calms my senses. I also love to put on an old movie, one I've seen a million times so I don't have to think about the plot, and do a jigsaw puzzle. I only used to do this on vacation, and one day I realized I could do it any time. So we typically do one to two puzzles a month. And walking to my pond and sitting on the shoreline watching the wildlife, definitely restful. Oh, and playing games, Scrabble or MahJong. Thanks for the beautiful photos! 💟
I find that rest is linked to issues of trust and control. When I am worried about outcomes, or want to personally control them, I can't rest. I'm like a sentinel on perpetual guard duty. Once I return to a place of trust in my Higher Power (for me, God) and relinquish trying to control everything (including my own striving for perfection), I am more apt and able to sink into a space of being watched over and lovingly held, and then, like a tired child, I can rest. And it humbly reminds me that I'm not necessarily the one who knows how "everything should be." :-) Letting go of that "all-knowing" hubris helps me rest, too, into the gift of the present moment I may have previously overlooked.
I suppose rest has been conditioned out of us by the constant push to pursue and value productivity above all. And so, we need to learn again to rest - that is to say, unlearn the busy...
Thank you for writing about this, Karen. I've been thinking about rest a lot lately. I'm not letting myself rest. I just feel more driven than ever. Last week there were two nights when I only got 5 hours of sleep, which is very unusual for me. I would wake up at 4:30 a.m. & keep telling myself, You've got to get more sleep. No way was my body going back to sleep. I literally got up at 4:30 2 mornings in a row. Luckily this morning the time was 6:30 but still....."Give yourself permission" just doesn't work for me at all. Resting seems like the most boring thing in the world....
Beautiful and calming pictures. Thank you 🙏
Like you, health has forced me to accept rest. I'm getting better at it but still have times where I question my worth because I am not as productive. But I think this new skill of self kindness will eventually take me a lot further than "productivity".
I honestly searched for poems to share with you but couldn’t find any. Why am I surprised that it’s so difficult to find good poems on this subject! Also, thanks for making me feel not alone in this. I had a difficult week with some physical pain as well and I tried to rest but felt extremely guilty about it the whole time, defeating the whole purpose of it really.