Posts Tagged ‘how to rest’

Every day we need rest, sometimes we need deep rest.

We need a kind of deep, abyssopelagic, bottom dwelling rest when we have become cumulatively tired, when we have pushed for too long, too hard, too fast.

So how do we get that; how do we rest in such a way that we shape within ourselves a rubust recovery?

To do this we must detach, detrailer and deplane We must unhook, unsnap and unfasten. We must quit.

We must quit work, we must quit doing any work and we must quit planning more work in the car while driving home.

We must quit communicating. Yes, we must stop talking with others for a time, so that we can listen to ourselves and God. We must stop  making phone calls, texting, emailing and connecting on social media.

Why? Because deep healing is a solitary thing; it is hermetic, reflective, a kind of mental chewing of the cud, a kind of quiet licking of wounds, a kind of contemplative, ruminative self-mending — in silence.

Silence is salutary. Long silence is curative. Deep silence raises the dead.

To go deep, and recover, to be raised again, we must also do some psychological quitting. We must quit thinking anxiously about our problems, about other people’s problems and about the problem of problems.  We must take  responsibility for being present-in-the-moment of the adequate now, for once, and we would do well, for a few moments at least, to stop acting like we run the world.

This must get so very specific, this kind of honest, congruent, salvific resting. This means taking breaks from things we do habitually.

For instance, we must stop running to the store for the next new thing, the next trendy trinket, fancy food stuff or busy buy fix. We must stop shopping online for our next piece of clothing, the next piece of jewlry, the next nick-nap, knock-knob. We must stop acting as if consuming is the essence of living, stop believing the fallacy that we will be satisfied by the very next bright and colorful fetish we acquire.

Here is the deal, the thing we so often miss. It is not all up to us. So much comes to us, is provided, is taken care of already, at the right time, running together, running over the edge of the cup.

What should we do?

Bask, sun, luxuriate in time, soak, receive.

And most specifcally, to make it clear.

Take naps — like our cats.

Read stuff — slowly.

Eat healthy, yum food.

Look at the bright sky — or at sparkling water.


to music,

to the beating of our hearts,

to our own breathing,

to the love stiring inside of us,

to hope,

to peacefulness,

and to God.

Work, work, work; push, push, push, rush, rush, rush —  that’s just what we middle-class Americans tend to do.

And after extended bouts of work, it’s hard to come down, even when we get a holiday break. I’ve been jittery lately — too many dead lines, shopping trips, meetings, duties and self-imposed, others-imposed, high flying, hard-driving expectations.

Yesterday, after weeks of working too hard, I went and sat in my backyard, with tea, and looked, at my pond, the sky, my plants, at nothing. I also took a nap, and wrote a new batch of proverbs that flowed out of my reflections.

I needed this kind of seeing and doing little, or nothing.

We all need deep rest. What is deep rest? It’s like deep sleep.

Deep sleep, also called slow sleep or wave sleep, alternates with REM (rapid eye movement) sleep in a regular pattern of 3–5 cycles each night.

During deep, body-calming sleep, good stuff happens — the body repairs and regenerates tissues, builds bone and muscle, appears to strengthen the immune system, consolidate new memories and secrete growth hormones.

We need deep sleep. We also need deep rest — rest while we are awake. Deep rest is found in wakeful but quiet, comfortable body postures, in cessation of activity, in relaxed observation of the environment, in quiet reflection, in quiet conversation, in rumination, in meditation and perhaps for some of us in reading, writing or prayer. 

Yesterday I read in the Psalms, took a few minutes to let those wise words soak in and felt appreciative. Later, I went out to the front yard and gardened, and then, slowing time with my hands at my sides. I stood back and looked over my work. I laid-back on time, and with a deep-drawling, pause-pleasing, slow-slipping, soft-shoeing satisfaction, I rested.

Cats sleep 16 hours a day, or five years out of seven. We might do well to emulate our cats more, to cat nap, to cat rest, to cat-live, to slow-blink life softly down. After all, the domestic cats lead the good life.

To deep rest is to slow life down, not to stop life. It means to cook slower, eat slower, talk slower, think slower, react slower. It means to pick a slower wave, found in each life-washed moment, and to ride it gently and patiently all the way to time’s softly-lapping shore.

Rest — deep rest — it’s regenerative;  it’s good.