What if Rest was Considered a Contribution to Society?
In just 2 days, November 7th will mark astronomical Samhain, the half way point between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. (Check out one of my latest IG posts with suggestions on how to spiritually honor this time of year.)
We have now entered into the final 6 weeks of the growing darkness before the light returns on Winter Solstice.
6 more weeks of exhale. 6 more weeks of descent. 6 more weeks of deepening and expanding inwards.
This is tenderest time of the seasonal wheel of the year.
It is during this late Autumn hour that the cycle of Life invites us to surrender into her arms. Surrender the to-dos, surrender the necessity for achievement, surrender the need to push and grow. (That’s Springtime energy, which our culture is addicted to.)
I was chatting with a friend at lunch the other day about how difficult it is to untether our identities and self-worth from achievement and work.
We’ve grown up force-fed by the notion that we are only worthy if we produce. We are only worthy if we’re making good money.
We’re only worthy if we’re bending over backwards to do more and help more people, or only if we’re contributing to society in the narrow definition of “contributing” that we’re given.
But what if part of “contributing” included rest? Communing with the spiritual? Tending to our bodies and feeding our souls? What if grieving was also included in the definition of contribution?
This is the most difficult time of the year for our culture. We absolutely pack it full with light (literally), and with gatherings, with to-dos, with shopping and buying and more and more capitalism. More and more things.
It’s almost like it’s unbearably painful to consider being present with the darkness without filling it up.
So needless to say, it can be difficult to allow this time of year to have her way with us.
But just as Bear curls into her winter cave for the season, letting everything slow down, we too can embrace this womb-like energy to let things integrate.
Let our bodies rest. Let our minds rest. Let our work rest. Let things revitalize themselves.
I find it useful to also name that rest doesn't just mean physical rest.
There are 7 types of rest that are commonly named, including physical, mental, sensory, creative, emotional, social and spiritual.
For example, you may be great at physical rest, but while you have your feet up you're scrolling social media, listening to podcasts or consuming other types of mental stimulation. In this case, you might need to prioritize mental rest.
Take note of which types of rest you are most needing.
What would it take for you to do even 5-10% less in this particular realm during these dark days?
What fertile richness would you find if you let yourself be with the still, quiet fallowness?
The word fallow means “left unsown for a period to restore its fertility.”
I think we could all use some fallow times: unsown, without expectation on ourselves.
Can you let yourself have this time of rest?In just 2 days, November 7th will mark astronomical Samhain, the half way point between Fall Equinox and Winter Solstice. (Check out one of my latest IG posts with suggestions on how to spiritually honor this time of year.)