It seems that it should be so simple. Of course rest matters. Time off compliments time on. Replenishment is a part of any living system’s need. As Judy Sorum Brown puts it in her poem, Fire, “What makes a fire burn is space between the logs.”
I think I’m still learning about this. It’s not the cognitive concept that is difficult. For me, it is the emotional freedom to give myself permission that has been more difficult. It’s funny sometimes. Silly too. Frustrating periodically. In a removed way, like I’m stepping outside of myself to watch myself and noticing how obvious it seems and how many self-made obstacles populate my path.
I grew up in one of those families in which hard work was valued. Definitely doing work before play. Everybody had jobs and chores. Play was the reward for work well done. Or rest too. I’m grateful for that family. Values learned there have formed many of the best parts of me.
I suppose some of that commitment to hard work is an insecurity. Got to keep going, for fear of not being valued if not working hard. What a “gotcha” that is, isn’t it.
Well, perhaps it is the small steps that help to make the shift. Taking a 15 minute walk, just because (not as utilitarian step toward greater productivity). Breathing quietly for 20 minutes. Turning off the noise of radio or TV. Resting in the sun. Releasing the incessant drive for accomplishment that will likely be there for another day.
I’m curious to ask some of the teams I’m working with, “In what way to you give yourselves permission to rest?” I’d love to hear what is the subtle (organizational cultures that accept spaciousness as a core value), and what is the more blatant (space between and in meetings for example; or gaps between major projects).
Rest matters. Still learning. And enjoying a breath, just because.