Moving Beyond Exhaustion...
Rest is such a conflicted gift in my own life. You? Do you find it easy to rest in your home, in-between or amidst your work?
Conflicted because I’m clearly unable to deeply receive, live into its blessings amidst my online/offline life. Gift because one cannot work at rest without lessening its impact. Rest has a receptivity, a surrender, an egoless-ness about it that means I cannot "make it happen." Nor is this rest landing in an exhausted slump, demanded by bodies on the verge of illness. It is a gift of deepening presence, greater perception, heart-full compassion. For ourselves, for others. A rest that restores.
Our over-culture does not help any of us here, of course. We keep having to unlearn usefulness- or achievement-oriented addictions to enter into this kind of rest. Usefulness can feel great, right? Until it doesn't anymore... The causes that I work so hard to invest myself in are just, right? The world has so much need, and my drive to achieve, to serve is virtuous beyond limit. Or is it?
Well… I’m an avid CrossFitter who loves it as many days a week as my body can withstand. Adult recess, I call it. Who wants to miss recess? This past weekend, I wound up taking two days off in a row. Hasn’t happened in years. You know what I learned? My body needs rest, as it turns out. I train better if I rest after 4 days. Yet I still struggle to value rest amidst the fun and drive of CrossFit community workouts.
Today I also struggle to simply take a nap. Really. And I used to love taking naps. Research shows the benefits of regular power-napping. Today? Naps feel irresponsible in my mind. Lazy, even. A luxury I do not deserve because others in my life work so hard, serve so fully.
So this week, as a kind of experiment, I’ve been trying to slow down to take a 20-30 minute nap each afternoon. I know my life is flexible, abundantly so. I can do this as the desire rises. No one but me will know about it. I’ve succeeded only once in three days so far. My Whoop band confirms that I sleep better and need sleep less when I take a nap in the afternoon. So why is rest so hard to allow?
Why do we resist so? Why do we constantly bump into obstacles preventing the rest our bodies and best Selves need?
Lots of reasons, internal and external, but this is the journey toward what my friend Robin calls our rest revolution. How can we as human beings and as communities live into a rest that restores us…to love more deeply, see more clearly, enjoy life more abundantly…?
Join the conversation and co-create with us as we learn…together.
Moving Beyond Exhaustion: November 7-9, 2022, Hope Springs Institute
for leaders and deepening listeners of all kinds
living a restful generative life into this world, so hungry for it.