Thursday, November 7, 2013

Embracing Rest

Embracing Rest woman girl lie grass under the trees idleness

Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under the trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time. –John Lubbock
I am changing gears at work and releasing much of the day-to-day responsibilities of the business that has defined my days for as long as I can remember. I have hours at a time now when my mind is free from the multitude of details that constantly needed tending and the many complex relationships that required attention. I am finding myself strangely unhurried and feeling the weight of the exhaustion that I have not had time to acknowledge.
In place of my driving need to work, I find myself longing for rest. I feel out of ideas and the fire that has always burned so hot with all that I imagined to do, is little more than a pilot light. I never knew my light could flicker so low, and that I, without panic or concern, would feel like a little is enough. It falls well this fatigue, as it is time for me to pass a baton of sorts.
I have run a good race and the team of runners with me are strong and inspired.  I finally feel like I can, as Plutarch recorded in ancient Greece, enjoy my “rest: the sweet sauce of labor.” I long to swim in that sweet sauce, and immerse myself in the gratitude and peace of a job well done. I find this unfamiliar territory, as I have long seemed wired to multi-tasking and defining myself by what I do. I haven’t really known how to take in the small victories and the well deserved rest. I have always been on to the next thing.
Letting go in the last couple of weeks was painful at first, then a bit clumsy, but now it is starting to feel buoyant. I am heartened by the words of  Ovid,  another ancient roman poet who wrote:  “Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.” In any cycle of creative generation,  rest must have its turn. I am grateful for the chance to find this part of the rotation and optimistic that sitting idle for a bit will produce surprising magic.

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