Twenty Two: Rest


“Activity and rest are two vital aspects of life. To find a balance in them is a skill in itself. Wisdom is knowing when to have rest, when to have activity, and how much of each to have. Finding them in each other – activity in rest and rest in activity – is the ultimate freedom.”  – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

“Rest and be thankful.”  – William Wordsworth

My Dad has never been at rest. He always has a project on the go: restoring a classic car, building a house, learning how to do wrought iron artwork. It is as tiring as it is inspiring! I’ve never been able to live up to his level of industriousness – mainly because I just don’t want to. I’m okay with that, but occasionally I measure myself up against high achievers – Why am I not the master of anything? Hmm…

There’s a lesson in recovering from illness, and being at rest. I don’t write a laundry list of expectations for the day. I am still. I delight in moments instead of achievements. Over the last couple of days, I have taken my son out for short walks so we could get a dose of fresh air. On both days we have ended up in the middle of a big old ball of fun. First, we played tag with the neighbor boys. Well, I wasn’t exactly at rest but my boy and I had no place to rush off to so we were completely there in the moment. I haven’t laughed so hard in a long time, and I’m pretty sure that was good for my health. The following day, my son met up with the same brothers for some serious construction of a fairy house. I gave them the space to do their own thing, but they called me over to see what they were working on. The boys’ mother came out and we ended up in a lovely conversation about what was going on in our lives. Connection: ingredient number two for healing.

Being at rest has created an opportunity for things to arrive in my world. I have had the bandwidth to notice and enjoy these things, and I am slowly feeling stronger.

Are you constantly in motion? What would you gain from resting?


Altered photos from Flickr Creative Commons, “Sleeping” from Moyan Brenn; “Sleeping Deer Buck” by Jonnnnnn;  “Sleeping Porcupine” by Juan Tello

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