And on the seventh day, God rested.
How often do we take time out of our busy lives to simply rest?
The world can be pretty darn demanding of us at times.
If we are not careful, it will leave us feeling frazzled, fragmented, frustrated, fragile, and just flat out fried.
We end up meeting the needs of the world rather than meeting our own.
And when this happens, the world owns us. Say buh-bye to freedom. This is the path to spiritual suicide.
The best and safest thing to do is to create and keep balance in your life. We must absolutely take time out to rest.
To do this, we need to discover what our own needs and limits are. Once we do, we can make decisions, say no when we need to, and schedule our “me” time without guilt, blame, or shame. When we do these things, we start to take our lives back into our own hands, and we begin creating our lives by defining our priorities.
It begins with rest.
Rest allows us to reflect and to get in touch with our Deepest Self.
Rest allows us to acknowledge and access the great powers around us and in us.
Rest allows us to develop a well-rounded life.
Rest allows us to create harmony.
Rest allows us to make much-needed changes now.
Rest allows us to create and follow our own path, not the world’s.
Rest allows us to break out of old, tired, unthinking, and counterproductive routines.
Rest is a divine gift. It is holy time, designed for us to embrace, where we can wholly develop ourselves so that we can live productive, fulfilling, joy-filled lives…on our terms.
Give yourself permission to take the day off.
Many faith traditions offer insights about the importance of rest. For example, in Judaism, the Sabbath begins at sundown Friday and ends at sundown Saturday. No work is allowed during that time. Followers begin with a Friday night meal that has enough leftovers so that no cooking is to be done on Saturday. This is a time to rest from all obligations (with the exception of attendance in synagogue). Why not designate one day a week, your choice, where there is no cooking? Instead, go out to dinner, or simply enjoy leftovers. You may also choose to fast if you are so inclined.
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In Buddhism, the Uposatha is a day of observance that has been around since 500 B.C. It is a day designed to “cleanse the defiled mind,” resulting in inner calm and joy. Generally, the Uposatha is observed about once a week, in accordance with the four phases of the moon (new moon, full moon, and the two quarters in between). Why not create a rituals of your choosing around the phases of the moon? During the new moon, you could reflect on your goals for the new you. Set your intentions and write them down. Save this for the last quarter moon. Invite an exciting new view of yourself. During the first quarter of the moon, you could observe what in your life is challenging you to take new action. Embrace your warrior self. Do one thing that scares you. Use the full moon to open the gates of your mind to illumination. Pray or meditate at moonrise. During the coming week, look for significant new understandings. At the last quarter moon, weed your inner garden of old growth. Discard something you no longer need, and burn your list that you wrote during the new moon in a little fire ceremony, giving gratitude for all that you have.
Of course, the point is for you to define what rest means to you. Decide how you want to take your rest. Let this inspire you to think of taking rest in new and life-giving ways.