Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Leading myself by prioritising rest

No one else can make the choice to rest for you. There is a myriad of demands and distractions that want to pull you from that choice. How much priority do you give to rest and what impact does that have on your leadership capacity? What does rest look like in your season of life?

It seems counterintuitive to take time out to pursue rest when your to-do list is ever increasing. Many people, including myself, have found that your productivity and effectiveness is boosted by rest. Our world promotes more and more hustle- do more, connect more, be more involved, be all things to all people. We were not designed to function this way. I think we are especially susceptible to this expectation as women. We want to do and have it all. The downside of the wins of feminism, perhaps. It takes an intentional choice to lay down these expectations we place on ourselves and choose to take care of our souls.

Rest is part of that work of caring for your soul. When you recognise that it is just as much about your soul as your body, your view of what is restful can shift too. Rest for you may look like cooking a special meal, reading a book, writing, painting, watching a show that you love, talking to a friend, sitting on a beach, hiking through a wood. The possibilities are endless. What do you find restful that you may not have viewed as rest before?

I would love to say that I have mastered prioritising rest. I have come a long way but have a vulnerability to switch into rest that doesn't actually restore my soul. Watching one episode of a show may provide a welcome brain break but this can quickly turn to binge watching that drains and adds time pressure. Carving out time to write fills a deep need within but doing that at the expense of relationship time with my daughter leaves me drained by a conviction of my actions and by the meltdowns that ensue when she hasn't had her connection tank filled. This is the area of rest that I now need to work on.

If you are wanting to explore these concepts more, I can personally recommend "Simply Tuesday" by Emily P. Freeman and "Present over Perfect" by Shauna Niequist.

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