Sunday, June 17, 2007

True Rest

I opened my little book on Centering Prayer, from the Contemplative Outreach program, to these words this evening:

Resting in God comes from the Sabbath. Sabbath is time consecrated with our attention, our surrender, honoring those quiet forces of grace and spirit that sustain and heal us.

I don't often take time for Sabbath, at least not true Sabbath. Weekends come with their own chores and demands, and although the pace is different than during the week, and there's usually a Sunday morning church service involved, I don't know if I can honestly say its time "honoring those quiet forces of grace and spirit". It's still just busy time.

On her blog, and in a recent tele-call, Jennifer Louden asked "What is true rest for you?" Excellent question because I believe most of us, especially women, don't really know what true rest looks and feels like and I believe that's a great source of stress for us.

So I've been spending some time contemplating this weekend on what true rest feels like for me. Here's some of what I think it is:
  • sinking down into the mat in corpse pose after spending an hour stretching my body, and feeling how delicious it is to lay there completely relaxed
  • eating when I feel hungry and not having to cook for anyone
  • a really hot bath, followed by pampering myself with a favorite body lotion
  • listening to music with my eyes closed and letting my mind wander
I think once you get going on this, you can really tune in, be creative and start listening to just what it is your body is asking for.

For true, true rest - I'm currently studying my cat. Cats have got true rest down to a fine art. Find a piece of sunshine, plunk yourself in it, stretch and have a nap. What more could there be?

What is true rest for you? * o


Anonymous said...

True rest and the Sabbath -- I love that connection. It's obvious but I hadn't thought about these as connected. Thanks

jennifer said...

I didn't mean to be anonymous!
Jenny Bee

Eveline Maedel said...

Thanks, Jenny Bee! (love that name...)

Anonymous said...

True rest for me?
-looking at Nature
-be in a silent place...etc