There is Self in Rest.
VI - My Ode to the tiresome hustle of adulting
Evening goes, Morning come
Day after day , time goes thus
You knew what a cycle it could become
To wake to work and to work till one's wake
You saw what a trap it would become
For this you created an escape route
A break in life's transmission
and you called it rest
You saw that it was good
It was evening, it was morning...
From the moment God's creation made sense to me
I always wondered why God - the "all-powerful-never sleeps-nor slumbers God" needed to "rest"
and why he used the depiction of a whole day for it.
Now i think that perhaps he created it for us
For He could see beyond generations to come
the tug-of-war that our bodies would succumb to?
the gruesome chase for earth's standards.
neglecting one's bleeding flesh and aching bones
After 6 days of bringing life into existence; he created the very sustenance of life itself.
yet many are we that lack it.
Why is it so hard to rest?
To drop everything and release oneself to be repaired
I think that perhaps we could not want to give in
Not wanting to surrender "our control" over controlling ourselves
Not wanting to wear the look of weakness, of asking for help
and for this he led by example.
he retreated time and time again
to recharge, "to be filled up" , to rest
He set a precedence with his holy seal of approval
Yet its still so hard to do it, or is it?
perhaps "rest" didn't just mean "sleep"
What if it was a thing of the mind and soul
What if we need to repair what was within for what's outside to keep standing?
what if rest was closing one's eyes, taking away every distraction and simply breathing?
will we do it then?
or perhaps rest can mean many things
but can only be rest when one is truly renewed
All i know now is that nothing made was a mistake
Rest is no ordinary thing that can be skipped off the menu
it is in fact the recipe to not get skipped through life
so in this new year,
I earnestly must.
Last year, I realised a little too late how much my body lacked rest and how the strain of stress took a toll of every other aspect of my life. As much as I knew that I needed to make a change, some thoughts just remain dormant until something is done about it. For the result to change, I need to change the process.
I have never been one to make resolutions because of the silent yet loud expectations and pressure it exhumes. I would usually write down visions of what I see for myself and I set goals to guide me in achieving them.
For my need to rest this year, I have decided to echo the few things that I found have been golden recipes to my sense of peace.
- Turning on my break light
One thing I often neglect to do is set out time for doing nothing. Using last year as an example, I filled up my schedule to the point that my off days became additional work days. With shift work and life work I barely made time to be still and do nothing. I left myself feeling exhausted and drained. This year I have decided to say no to working myself beyond my breaking point. I plan to turn on break lights in my week. Moments when I busy myself with doing nothing; just lying down and breathing or sleeping.
2. Going on retreats
This was the best decision I ever made at the end of last year. after being so filled up to the point of bursting and feeling drained at the same time, I took a 3 days trip to an air-bnb and de-cluttered my mind with journaling, meditating and reflecting on anything and everything that was on my mind. I came out of it feeling so refreshed and energised that I couldn't believe what I had been missing. So to this year, I am starting a mini tradition of taking a few days off to retreat to a quiet location to reboot. I might also extend my horizon to some solo travelling within Canada.
3. Paint nights
And for the nights when sleep was far and my mind was running miles, I found that painting helped to still the storm. There is something about the strokes of the brush that is so soothing. More so the feeling that a completed and presentable painting evokes. So this year, art will be my solution to insomnia. A new form of rest that keeps me from countlessly rolling on my bed.
Last year, I had this plan to read at least 1 book in a month. my total count at the end of December was 17 (so I did do it and more!!). This was another way for me to get out of my head and to relax my mind. I loved every journey each book took me and the calm i felt in the moment. That's why I am continuing the challenge this year to read more and worry less.
If last year taught me anything, it is that life is short and no time spent on one's health or well-being is wasted. we all have the tendency to get stuck in a routine and forget that we cannot pour out of an empty cup. We all need rest (in whatever form that is to us).
And I hope that we all give ourselves the break we deserve this year.