Give It A — :Reflecting on REST

Because I read a shit-ton of blogs and many, many books in the self-help genre, I am routinely inundated with the message put to society — especially mothers and other caretakers — Make sure you prioritize YOU time, too! Put yourself on your own to-do list. You can’t function on your highest level when you’re running on empty.

This is a VERY important message.
I take it to heart.
In fact, I took it to heart when I first heard it and integrated the lesson into my everyday.

And it’s funny because I feel like as someone who routinely prioritizes her mental health, as a person who can turn off and relax  on a regular basis, and who often treats herself for no reason at all, I often get judged for the exact thing which we’re all encouraged to do.

Because our culture, especially for women, embraces the idea of business as a status symbol. And even when we’re confronted time and again with studies and books and sage advise from our elders telling us to REST and pamper, many still default towards passing judgement on those who follow instruction.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot during the last week. My frustrations​ with how things are when my idealized self doesn’t think it needs to be that way.
This is where I recognize and acknowledge the SIGNIFICANT privileges my god-given identities have, well, given me. I have an ethnicity which promotes white mediocrity. My nation of origin is nothing but a gift of riches and spoils. Growing up, though we weren’t totally wealthy, I never knew a night without a full stomach. I am certainly blessed.

Additionally, my choices and station of life grant me further benefit. I work one job that provides me an income which I can not only support myself comfortably but which allows me to enjoy luxury on a regular basis. And my childfreeness allows me to sleep until noon, drink mimosas until 3:00, enjoy a blissful (not to mention quiet) meal, and rock out to a concert until all hours of the night.

I live a charmed and luxurious life.
I know it.
Though it does come without sacrifice.

Sacrifices which I won’t tout here because they will inadvertently come across either defensive and insufficient. And frankly, because I’m an adult who chooses whether she wants to provide explanation for her choices.

I guess I don’t have a huge purpose to this ramble. I write if only to say that I consider and am grateful for my privilege literally every single day — in the ways I earned it and the ways I don’t deserve it.

Each day I also look at the manner we tear our sisters down rather than build our tribe. The ways we look at other lives and determine ours is the baseline, ours is the right one or the hardest one or best one. And those who have it easier than us deserve reprehension and those who have it harder than us deserve instruction.

I’m tired of the competitiveness, especially amongst my ladies.
And I hope to be a vehicle for that message to take a REST in whatever way we can.
And to let all that other shit REST as well.

 

This week we RELEASE what we’ve caught
(which hopefully includes this lingering cold)…


Lin’s SOW (Song of the Week):


 

And check out Steph’s post on #VOWrest (which is, indeed) ironically timed

 

#VOWrest (i.e., #VOW-Burn-the-Hell-Out)

Sister and I haven’t talked about it, but I am sure we both think #VOWrest is ironically timed. Or perhaps just one week too soon.

I’ve been gearing up for the third of three huge conferences I’ve been organizing for a government agency, and I am BURNT. OUT.

Past toast.
Past crispy.
Nearly ash.

But I can’t slow down until Thursday at noon, when things officially wrap.

All last week all I did was ponder (/dream about) the word rest, and what I would like to do with my time when I get a chance to do just that.

The thing is, I can’t get much past sleep at this point. It’s not because I am that tired, but because I am that exhausted. Originally I was thinking that I may put the upcoming long weekend to good use with some sort of a self-retreat and summer planning session. It’s not that the exercise sounds undesirable, but it does sound daunting.

It just feels like I’m running on empty this spring, and the very same thing I need the retreat to fill me up with is the same sort of energy it takes to plan it.

I may be busy, but I am so damn bored.

Actually, bored is the wrong word.

I’m uninspired.
Under-stimulated.
Wanting in simple beauty.
Powerful words.
Complex red wine.

It’s funny: one of the antonyms for stimulate is

reLEASE,

our word this week. And I am just so very ready to find rest. To release some things. Be done with them. Get some damn peace.

So here’s to the letting the show go on and wrap up. To letting myself find the space I need in the unplanned days of this upcoming long weekend. To letting the light come in through those cracks. And to letting go.


Steph’s Song of the Week: Hold On by Alabama Shakes

& Don’t miss Lin’s post on #VOWrest (coming soon).

#VOWstretch & the Journey of the Love Warrior

“You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love.”

Slay me, Cheryl Strayed (aka Sugar), just slay me. Just like spring has.

Sister told me the other night, delicately, that she though I may be a bit tender right now–her very PC way of challenging me to consider that I may have overreacted. I don’t disagree with her on that. But I did disagree with her suggesting I was too soft.

I feel like fucking stone, Sis, I said.

Minus the initial scene of the pain, I haven’t cried. I haven’t teared up. I haven’t felt pain. Or sadness.

I feel nothing.

Now I know that means that I am actually actively trying not to feel a whole lot of nothing (Thanks, Brené). My rib cage is making itself a big fucking anti-vulnerability barricade around my heart.

So this week, I continued on, just as I have been, and I honestly figured my post would be about yoga, since I went for the first time in a couple weeks this past Sunday.

It was not fun.

My body was crunchy. Uncoordinated. My balance was even more off than it usually is.

I left my mat feeling deeply unsatisfied and ran smack dab into that Cheryl Strayed quote and promptly flipped both of them the bird.

The thing is that I do actually miss yoga and know I just need to make more time for it. But this post is not about missing yoga; it’s about missing stretching. Not just the physical acts but also the spiritual, emotional and intellectual ones.

Believing in something.
Reaching for bigness.
Demanding more of myself.

This spring has taken a lot out of me professionally. It’s taken a lot from me personally. It’s left it hard to be soft and flexible and, therefore, brave and open.

So this week, as we

rest,

I am pausing. Thinking how I might return to the way of the Love Warrior and not just be open to letting pain change me but to finding joy and letting it as well (Thanks, Glennon, for your SuperSoul Session).

Exactly This…

Nearly every day at lunch, I eat at my desk and watch a TEDtalk. While this may seem depressing and pathetic to some, it proves to be the best way for me to refresh in the middle of the day and enables me to eat lunch without covering my keyboard with crumbs.

As we’ve mentioned before, sometimes our words find us that week. Pico Iyer’s featured Talk about The Art of Stillness made my day, made me think, and (for the first time in some months) made me meditate.

Enjoy…

 

Want more? TED has tons of playlists but Slow Down! Enjoy Life may be my guiding light this week.