Rest is Part of Practice

There are times when resting is my practice.

My practice is all the small, almost-daily activities that make space for my creativity. But there are times when I find myself disengaged from my practice. This might happen for any number of reasons including: feeling tired, overstimulated, or overwhelmed. It happens when I over-scheduling myself or something changes in my physical/emotional health.

Sometimes I fall out of my practice into my grief.

It takes an ocean of care to console the pain over the violences happening in my community. I still cannot find words to hold my grief for the deaths of Adam Toledo (March 29, 2021) and Anthony Alvarez (March 31, 2021).

a resting moon
The waning gibbous moon resting beside a wave of clouds

Sometimes there is not a specific reason. Actually, there doesn’t need to be one. Missing a day (or two, or a week, or two) is absolutely fine. Taking a break is important. Resting is natural.

I promise I will not punish myself for missing a day. It is OK to lose track, take a break, or even quit altogether. There is no penalty because I refuse to replicate punitive structures in my practice. Instead, a break can be an opportunity to reflect.

I can ask questions like:

  • How long have I felt disengaged? When did I notice?
  • Does this break correlate to a specific circumstance?
  • What activities/aspects of my practice am I finding difficult? What emotions come up when I think about doing these activities?
  • Do I want to continue this type of practice right now?

If some part of my practice is not supporting me I can let it go.

Maybe I will come back to it at another time. Maybe I will replace it with something else. Maybe I will replace it with nothing.

My hamaca is suspended between the back stairwell of my building and trunk of a flowering apple tree. The tree’s blossoms release petals, which rain down and accumulate between the tufts of clover in the yard.

Recently, I notice myself ignoring my daily practices in favor of doing nothing. I sleep. I lay in bed. I stare at the clouds. I close my eyes and try to think about nothing. Right now, the only thing that feels supportive is rest. I honor this by making rest the center of my daily practice.

Currently, my only daily practice is to do absolutely nothing for as long as I need to. There are times when resting is the ceremony.

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