When was the last time you rested?
Truly just put aside some time – a minute or an hour – to do whatever it is that recharges you.
And what is that for you anyway?
What does rest look like – for you?
Is it kicking back and taking the phone off the hook and just breathing in the sun?
Or do you rest best while you’re mindfully engaged in some activity – like maybe gardening or cooking or drawing or something else – where your mind can get involved just enough in the minute-by-minute process that it can let go of holding onto everything else?
Rest seems underrated sometimes. Misconstrued. Painted in the colours of lazy or unambitious. And then compared to the razzle dazzle ‘importance’ that busyness likes to decorate itself in.
But maybe rest is at least as important as busyness…
I was walking in the park this morning. Past the hundreds of thousands of millions of leaves, all applauding each other in the wind.
Which one of them isn’t perfect?
Which leaf hasn’t “lived up to its potential”?
Which has “fallen short”?
They seem like slightly ridiculous questions. (And yet, are there times that you ask them of yourself?)
In light of all of these leaves, the idea of “perfection” seems suddenly a bit lifeless and arbitrary next to the endless, vibrant variations dripping from the boughs.
You are not a machine.
You’re mortal. Organic. You don’t come in a shape that will always easily slot into all the timetables and schedules and systems that beckon.
That’s probably no surprise. (And yet how many demands do you put on yourself sometimes?)
So there might be times when you can’t “keep on keeping on,” or where maybe you don’t always have the energy to “push on through.” Where it’s not always so easy to “just do it.”
Times, instead, where you might need to rest.
Respect the boundaries of your humanness – perfectly imperfect just as it is – and simply restore the balance a little. To stop treating yourself like the machine that you’re not…
What’s your relationship with perfectionism like?
Does it sometimes storm in wielding a red pen?
Does it make it hard for you to even begin things sometimes, knowing that it’s waiting to judge you?
Or have you learned to negotiate with it?
There’s something that’s always struck me as a little strange about perfectionism. It assumes completion – that a thing can be finished. Whole. Over. Done. So in a world where it seems that ‘the only constant is change’, perfectionism demands a static ending.
It wants the destination over the journey…
That’s so different from this little handwritten note on an otherwise blank noticeboard in a stiflingly, clinically (‘perfectly’) refurbished waiting room:
“I’m a work in progress”
So how do you want to approach your life?