Is your “rest” a bi-product of your work? Or is your work the wellspring from your rest? An interesting and ancient concept. The concept of Sabbath Rest stems from the old testament of “keeping the Sabbath” as a day of giving thanks, prayer, and rejuvenation in preparation for the coming week.
Today, it feels we “rest” only as a way to deal with the fact we’re running out of steam. The past few years I’ve done a great job of setting aside time each day to unplug. The importance of unplugging has been proven in study after study which have shown that productivity goes up when people take the time to reboot their body, mind and soul. For the uninitiated it can feel counterintuitive to rest in order to be more productive, but consider how we’re more efficient when we tackle our days with a clear mind and energized body.
I heard an interesting question the other day, “Am I in control of the white noise in my life, or does it control me?”
Oooohhhh that’s a good one! I know the one thing that rattles the calm of my white noise is the “ping” of my phone to inform me I have yet another text message. I am grossly attuned to that sound. My hearing goes to dog level—I can hear that ping from 100 feet away and will stop whatever I’m doing to see who’s messaging me.
So… my rejuvenation process starts by turning off my phone and spending time focusing on what’s going on internally—either through Pilates, Yoga, prayer or meditation. All of these practices offer me the same challenge: quieting the “noise” and focusing within. It’s like finding the right depth of field with a camera lens, the unimportant noise fades to the background while the important subjects pop to life.
With that said, I must admit the past few weeks I’ve been working non-stop on the CBS television special, Jump Jive and Thrive, honoring cancer fighters and thrivers; and as a result I have not attended to much (if any) Sabbath Rest. I have not lived what I know to be true… that productivity goes up when rest is intentional. Each night’s sleep has arrived from a thud of exhaustion, not from a process of calm. There has been no winding down time or time set aside for prayer, exercise or unplugging. Every night I would crawl into bed, exhausted, knowing I needed sleep… and then I would actually spend a few minutes trying to choreograph just “one more section” …AS I’M TRYING TO FALL ASLEEP… total stupidity! Seriously… every night I had to remind myself I couldn’t accomplish both of those things at the same time. Particularly since each morning I was waking up with a start around 3am. I literally felt like a hamster on a wheel going around and around until I pass out.
Work that comes from Intentional Rest is bred from the personal energy of one’s soul; it is the mental acuity of wisdom and knowledge infused with the inspiration of wonder and possibility (wow… that was a mouthful). So get some rest and tap your life’s wellspring.