When I thought about my desire to live well with fewer regrets, it struck me that all of the verbs I used were very active: dare, drill, dive, drum, dance
But what about inactivity? What about stillness?
I think that to live a meaningful life I need to engage - and fiercely. Like a lion.
But I also have a need for quiet, for stillness, for solitude, for gentleness. This sometimes requires that I disengage. From the computer, from the car, even from people. Like a (very quiet and content) lamb.
I love and need both - the rigorous and lively, and the stillness of my own soul.
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28, KJV
I think that there is so much value in the biblical notion of Sabbath rest - that once a week, we disengage from our regular work to rest and recharge. I'd like to get better at really having a day of rest each week where I can fiercely, gently disengage and connect with others and myself in meaningful ways.
Other cultures/faiths seem to recognize this need for rest. There is Uposatha - a Buddhist observance that occurs about once a week to cleanse the "polluted mind," to bring inner calm, tranquility, and joy.
Holy, expansive rest and stillness. Cultivating gentleness alongside my fierce desire to live well. To push myself, but go easy. To come to a full stop altogether.
Some of my most restful times have been while spending time in creation: digging in the dirt, sitting in a canoe in the middle of a lake, watching a sunset, floating on my back with ears underwater, sleeping under a million stars
But I want to/need to cultivate that still presence not just out in nature, but in my own everyday messy life, even amidst daily chores and family schedules and work. Rest is often at the bottom of my list. When I get all of these things done, THEN I'll rest. But the list never gets done. There's always more to do.
What would my days be like if I started with rest? And not the sleeping in variety. Or what if I took just 10 minutes of rest in the middle or end of the day - walking (with nothing on my ears except earrings), sitting still (with no computer or electronic device in sight), or lying down (with no book in my hands). To stop my thoughts, clear my polluted brain, rest my body, and still my soul.