This journey has been a complex mix of taking on more and less at the same time. A significant part of increasing my capacity is learning more about rest and doing less. I had a lot of downtime but still didn’t feel rested and it did little for building me up to tackle what I need to do in my days. I have had to redefine what I see as resting and what my availability looks like. It is a journey of taking more ownership of who I am and how I work best.
My rest times often look like zoning out in front of the TV, Netflix or You Tube. I still do these things but am more aware that my soul is not restored by them most of the time. Sometimes rest comes in the form of writing or crocheting. Sometimes it comes in the form of colouring or reading or listening to podcasts. Some of my favourite soul restoring rest activities are walking along the beach or in the forest. These are few and far between unfortunately.
One of the shifts in my capacity for rest has been in becoming more aware and accepting of my need for quiet time at home. It can be easy as a part time worker with a young child to overfill my schedule with play dates, outings and a myriad of other activities. This drains me. I am an introvert and need space away from people to recharge. I need space to allow my soul to feel at equilibrium again.
I have come to realise that the shift in my view of what is restful and embracing my introvert self is only a small part of this process. Above all of it is learning how to keep my soul in a state of rest no matter what is going on around me or what I'm doing. I can be at rest while doing the dishes, teaching, creating. It all comes down to my relationship with God and allowing Him to teach me his "unforced rhythms of grace" (Matthew 11:29 MSG). Rest is an internal state rather than an external activity.
|Click to tweet: Rest is an internal state rather than an external activity.|
Apart from hearing and drawing closer to God, my capacity for rest has most determined my capacity for leadership, relationship and parenting. This is a capacity that fluctuates wildly over time and is most definitely a work in progress in my life. I struggle with feeling lazy (and being lazy) and working to stay in a place of rest throughout my day. Tiredness is an ongoing challenge.
I have found some great books and other resources in my search for rest (or more accurately, God has brought them across my path) which I will talk about in my Inspiration Monday posts during October if you are interested in exploring more for yourself.
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