Yesterday, I did nothing for several hours and almost did not feel bad about it. I have consistently taken thirty minutes every day to sit and do nothing. Some days, I did it in silence, others with music, and some with guidance. In every instance, the main challenge was to not ruminate on what I could be doing instead. I also did not want to have any expectations about sitting. Sometimes. I did get flashes of inspiration, such as a fun icebreaker for an event, but that was not the purpose. I am unlearning living as a human doing and embracing existing as a human being. As I watched videos yesterday, it was challenging not to judge myself. I had been mentally organizing my pantry and writing my blog when I finally embraced the healing actions of stillness. A reminder popped up about a library event and that was the only intentional action taken yesterday.
Why is resting such a challenge? My parents were very much from the idle hands is the devil’s playground mindset. I never got in trouble in school because there was no time to slack off. I rarely had free time between homework, piano lessons, karate, and singing. Adam Ant probably wrote “Goody Two Shoes” about me. College was a welcome change of pace from the madness of high school. The leisure was deceptive if one did not have strong time management skills. I may have over-course-corrected in college since my Spring Break literally consisted of rest. I think I woke up to check the mail and do laundry, but I slept for hours and had no qualms about it.
Why the guilt and shame now? Would anything have been different if I had organized the pantry? Meals would still be cooked, and my family would still be fine. After we returned from the library, I returned to my spot on the couch and caught up on K-dramas. The physical impact was undeniable. My body was allowed to rest and stopped being in flight or fight mode. When seeds are planted, they need sunlight, water, and nourishment. If I were to till the soil daily, I would probably tear apart their fragile roots. My intense pace was not allowing my roots to dig into the ground and become established.
Ironically, one of my friends, inspired by the family game time at the library, challenged me to create a game to encourage people to rest without guilt. I went down a mental rabbit hole and probably spent an hour figuring out the game board. I have an idea for this game, but I do not need a prototype completed today or yesterday. What if I continued my daily practice of sitting still? I’m sure this game will come to life on its own time. In the meantime, my amazing mom has shared a new show with me. What a precious gift for a parent to encourage their child to rest. This Labor Day weekend, will you put aside your ceaseless labor for even five minutes and join the resistance? Namaste