Late in August, 2017 I had a conversation with a co-worker about exhaustion. At the time I was feeling burnt out from work, was not sleeping well at night, and experiencing body aches. So, when it came to picking a word-of-the-year forI landed on the word rest. I signed up for Ali Edwards One Little Word class, bought my scrapbooking kit, and started brainstorming intentional ways to rest throughout the year.
Then, in the middle of January I started a business. I remember physically handing my landlord the down payment for my first month’s rent and feeling a mixture of excitement and anxiety. This was not going to be a period of rest! Instead, I was going to have to work my butt off to start getting clients in the door.
Rest, however, has turned out to be the perfect word of focus during this season of my life. Practicing rest forces me to slow the “Type A” down so that I’m not constantly spinning myself into exhaustion.
Here are 4 things I have learned about rest:
- It is OK to rest in the chaos, the undone, and the middle. I am reminding myself life is a marathon not a sprint. I am choosing grace over perfection. I am embracing the quote by Banksey – “When you get tired, learn to rest, not to quit.”
- I am learning to accept the energy rhythms of my body and not fight against them. I am also learning more about what helps me rest: essential oils, baths, meditation, prayer, soft lighting, heavy blankets, and writing.
- My body/mind/spirit benefit from one day of rest a week. In the Christian faith this is called Sabbath. It is important this day is guilt free – nothing is on my to-do list. I fill this day with meditation, prayer, writing, and reflection.
- I am completing “one thing” each day, (based on a book by Gary Keller) instead of creating a mile-long to-do list each day. I use Trello to keep track of my daily “one things.” Once upon a time I felt anxiety and guilt over undone lists – but now I am trusting that everything will get done…just not all in one day.
I’d love to hear your feedback, and comments. Do you have a word of the year? What have your experiences been with the word rest?