Rest when needed (You don’t have to do it all).

I have been putting off writing this post because I have been busy.  The strange thing is, it’s a different kind of busy though.  A quarantine, not expecting this kind of thing, busy.  What have I been “busy” doing?  The kinds of things I should have been doing when I wanted to for years, but felt I couldn’t.

I have been busy sleeping in.  Yup.  I decided I didn’t need to wake myself up anyway.  I made myself try to be an early riser for years and some days it felt good, but other days, I really felt like I needed more sleep.  So no more forcing right now.

I have been busy gardening.  This is rest for my soul because it feels good.  I don’t look outside and think of all the things I need to get done.  I just look outside and decide if I am going to do them today.  It feels different.  It’s not a to-do list anymore.  It’s a what do I want to do list?

I have been busy watching some shows.  As a perpetual thinker, I always think, what should I be doing now instead of watching this?  How is this helping me in life?  I have now stopped that voice, and just watched the things that I want to watch which does allow my mind to rest.  It’s a new thing for me.  I always think I should be doing something productive.

I have been busy in my yoga shed…chilling in the hammock listening to my favorite Bob Marley songs.  So after a good stretch, I put on my reggae channel and chill.  I feel very at ease just listening to the birds.  I am learning that I don’t HAVE to be anywhere right now, and if you are a hard worker, this might be a hard lesson as well.  I am not saying we couldn’t rest before, but it felt like we couldn’t….right?  It felt like we had things to do, and places to be, but we don’t now.  So rest.

I have been busy riding my bike…like I said I was years ago.  Years ago, I said I was getting back into mountain biking like I used to do.  I don’t have to come home with scratches and stuff like I used to, and I can be careful and not reckless.  But remember those days of riding your bike?  I thought it was the best thing ever to go on a bike ride and no one knew where I was because guys, we never checked in.  We had no way back then…and it was freeing.

So the rest I craved was in all of this.  It was in not feeling pressured, yet still keeping up with things I wanted to do, but felt guilty doing.  I don’t like guilt at all, but to be honest, was raised by one parent (not the other so much) who used guilt and felt guilty as well.  My dad was a very hard worker, and still is, but it’s that work ethic that pushes you to exhaustion and that is when your immune system goes a bit wonky as well.

So if you have been feeling pressure to be a super hero person during all this, I just want to caution you to allow yourself some grace.  Grace, stillness, gratitude and then the release of whatever expectations you previously put upon yourself.  We’re all doing the best we can and that is going to be the lesson for the next month.  Also, we’re all in this together…so allow others that same grace.  I have seen some react in fear, and others calling everyone to step up during this time.  But I ask you this, what if stepping up in your own life is just listening to that quiet voice that has been saying rest to you for a long time?  In my opinion, that too is stepping up.

In case you need it, write this out:

I am allowed to rest during this time.  I am allowed to have a good cry.  I am allowed to release whatever expectations I was holding about myself.  And I am allowed to change.  I do not have to come out of this the same person.

Need help with journaling?  Read Journaling: How it healed my life.


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