A New Spiritual Practice
yes that's such a beautiful example. It's as though we instinctively find our moments of calm all by ourselves and they make such a huge difference when we allow ourselves to linger there with them.
absolutely. for instance every time i'm on a train/bus journey i feel like i never want to actually arrive because just sitting there watching the landscape pass by, makes me incredibly happy. i want to schedule these things more. such a good reminder.
'I don’t want my rest to rely on trips away from my life' - totally relatable. When this realisation hit me some years ago, it totally changed my outlook. The only reason we would go on holiday now is literally to get some range, and experience a different environment or culture. Not to rest or get 'quality time'. Seems so obvious, yet it took me half a lifetime to see it.
I learnt about rest a few years ago. I became ill and was diagnosed with a terminal untreatable illness. It was stressful. I realised that if I didn't reduce the stress, the illness would kill me. I learnt to rest in the circumstance of losing my health, my ability to live and my pending mortality. Rest is the key to healing. I'm alive and my health has improved. My mortality has been postponed.
THank you for the article, rest is a revolution that transforms our lives
Very well put. I’ve often said that the best happiness is within, and the best health benefits are free. A walk, appreciating the simplest of foods, noticing the seasons, saying ‘I love you.’ It’s all there for us to enjoy.
Love this Abigail - and I really resonated with self care becoming another item on the to-do list and the expensive ways we can unplug. Integrating smaller changes into our everyday life, gently, without judgement, is much more sustainable and a journey I’m also on!
Well said and I'm with you. What's seen as the common form of meditation feels like work to me -- but savoring a cup of tea while watching birds carry on under the feeder is pure bliss.
We certainly need that rest, that "effortlessness." Such rest may also bring us to silence, and that thought reminds me of a passage developed by John Cage: "I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it.”
Perhaps we should all reflect on the inherent beauty that arises when we rest in silence, doing "nothing" and saying "nothing." Thank you for this marvelous passage, which serves as a gentle reminder!
Thank you for this piece. Learning to rest better - to enjoy more restful rest - is one of my ambitions for 2023. I love your take on effortlessness, I had similar connotations.
I learning to sometimes do nothing. It's still hard to not feel guilty about "wasting time" but I'm starting to realize that my health and well being are an accomplishment.
Beautifully written and so very helpful. Thanks for this piece, I’ll be sharing it with my readers next week.
I hear you regarding the commodification of rest, and the way it can become another mental and financial money pit - Jia Tolentino's essay 'Always be optimising' is definitely in the same ballpark but focussed on wellness (I'm sure you've read). Have you come across The Nap Ministry by Tricia Hersey? She's speaking quite explicitly to POC, but she definitely has wisdom for us all... x
So beautifully said!
Rest is becoming deeply important to me as I age (59). I was nodding my head throughout your entire piece, relishing the reminders of how far I've come in self-care. Perhaps the most powerful change has been to realize when I'm socialed-out, and stay home in blissful quiet.
"It is choosing – in those seeming insignificant moments – to do what will make me feel good... having a bath in the middle of the day..." Yes, yes, yes... not only effortless rest, but also bubbling happiness!
Appreciated reading this, as currently I'm sat in bed feeling irritated that I had one too many glasses of wine last night and I'm looking at Sunday and thinking "OK, I have to achieve in order to feel better about myself" and lamenting that I'm going to be tired and feel unhealthy. What I really need -- especially before the week ahead -- is a day of taking proper moments of rest and being totally OK with it, so thanks for the nudge :)