Why do we resist rest?

ear Miracles, August is upon us. And I find that for many this is one of those points in the year when there are lots of decisions to be made.

Go on vacation or save money?

Get back to school supplies early and avoid the crowds or wait for the sales and better selection?

Grow our businesses, our lives, our relationships in this way or in that way?


How about a third option? Let yourself rest.

Truth be told, allowing ourselves to rest is easier said than done.

Filling our breathing space with empty activities happens more commonly than we care to admit. It happens almost as soon as we say to ourselves, “today I will just rest, and be, and do nothing.” As soon as those words are uttered many of us begin to scramble looking for exactly what we said we wouldn’t…something to do.

Rest, genuine revitalizing rest, is hard. Being busy and staying busy is easy, encouraged by our surrounding culture, and rewarded in a number of subtle and not so subtle ways. For many of us it actually feels good to be busy. Often it is not until we are told by our doctors that we need to reduce our “stress”, not until we find out we are good candidates for heart disease or stroke due to our frenetic lifestyle, that we pause, look around, and ask if maybe the tasty treats of busy-ness we’ve been enjoying have an edge of poison to them.

They do.

None of us get to be frenetically busy without some cost to body and soul, even, and sometimes especially, those of us who really love our work. Rest is not the same as sleep, and it is not the same as so-called passive activities like watching TV or surfing the net.

Rest is allowing for calmness, quiet, and stillness as an internal, not necessarily external state. When we rest we allow ourselves to see with our inner eyes, to hear with our inner ears, to observe and understand with our inner knowing. When we rest we create space to listen to our dreams, peer into our desires, and come to know ourselves a bit better.

Rest is especially important to those of us who are seekers, who are doing the hard work of looking into our broken places and shadows and not turning away from, but engaging directly, with what we find. It is essential to all who are interested in bringing the sacred into their daily lives, for if we are constantly exhausted, worn out, and all used up, our channels get blocked and our connection to our sources of vitality becomes polluted with so much noise and activity.

As each of you hold the many obligations, desires, and decisions that we all experience in the business of just living life, it is my hope that right now, for today, for a week, for maybe even an entire lunar cycle, you will create a little more room for real, revitalizing rest.


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