Rhythms of Rest

Typing out that title and this post feel a bit ironic today. My past week has been anything but restful with work commitments, the wonderful wedding of a cherished sister-friend and loads of personal to-do's that remain undone. Can you relate? Reading that short phrase again, something wells up in me... Rhythms of rest. It is an invitation that offers me the opportunity to take a deep breath today and I invite you to join me.

Here's a little activity to engage for a few extended seconds:

  • Breathe for three rounds of breath.
  • Maybe even close your eyes. 
  • Deep inhale; extended exhale. Again. Again.

Did you think of anything? What did that feel like? I found myself wanting more time there. You? 

I've been thinking about our dialogue about the hustle again this week and have added a new reflection to the mix. I find it interesting how we hustle, hustle, hustle and simultaneously live for the weekend. We count the days down until we're done—until we can rest or do something we really want to be doing—then we hustle some more. And maybe some of us who live with the hustle mindset never really wait for the weekend because we're still hustling when we arrive there. 

What do you think? Is that true for you or people in your life? If I consider my choices this past week, I fall into both categories. This led me to further consider my actual activities and where my decisions led me. Here's what I've uncovered:

  • I'm physically exhausted.
  • I'm behind on a lot of stuff and have questions about how I'm practically going to stay focused and organized in order to get it all done.
  • I haven't set aside enough time for my spiritual practices and I feel a little wonky.
  • I miss my friends and need good connecting points right now.
  • I've allowed some of my time to be swallowed up in analyzing relational realities and unfinished business instead of creating solutions and taking action.

I encourage you to take a few moments to quiet yourself and jot down a few thoughts of your own.

  • What do you notice as you consider your activities from this past week?
  • If you could recap your week by describing any tension you might be experiencing in a single sentence, what would you say? 

I'd say: I'm so physically drained that it's hard to be present and get things done because I just want to sleep, BUT I feel tension about taking the time to sleep because I have so much to do! Gah!

Does that resonate with anyone out there? Even if your tension is different, I imagine it has something to do with what you think you need to do and what is actually needed. This can be a place where we get stuck and then maybe we keep hustling just to keep the hustle alive instead of embracing a mindset and rhythm of rest.

So here's a question to consider... Where will I make space in my daily life to uncover where my decisions are leading me? I can break it down further by asking myself:

  1. What am I doing right now?
  2. Why am I doing that?
  3. Where is this decision/activity leading me?
  4. Is what I'm doing right now getting me where I want to be?
  5. If not, what step will I take to get there in the healthiest way possible?

Choosing to live in this way creates a posture that ensures I'm resting well into my decisions by living with intentionality in my little yes's and no's. These decisions extend into my thought-life:

  • What am I saying yes to in my thoughts?
  • What am I saying no to in my thoughts?

Every day we make agreements inside of our heads. Our feelings follow these agreements. Our actions follow these feelings.

  • Where are your thoughts leading you?
  • Do they lead to a posture of hustle?
  • Do they lead to a posture of rest?

In the long run, I think we actually accomplish more by taking stock of our thoughts and the postures they create in our lives, making decisions from there. I have definite room for improvement as I consider my last week. What about you?