Monday Morning Pages: Rest Thyself

by Rebecca A. Watson on April 7, 2014

in change, Just Be, Monday Morning Pages, Uncategorized

Wanna hear something kind of embarrassing? When I first started on this journey of healing and self-improvement around 2007, I didn’t like to hear that others were doing better.

Stories about people who had turned their lives around weren’t inspiring to me, like they are to many people. Nope. It was like somehow I was jealous that they got attention for their good deeds which meant mine were going unnoticed.

I’m not sure when I realized how silly that all was, but I did come to understand that the more people improved themselves, the better off our whole world would be. So I now choose to celebrate those who work hard to become better humans.

Hooray!

Hooray!

 

This week, I have had this thought in my heart. Sometimes it seems like a lot is going wrong in this world — that society is broken. But a meditation earlier this week reminded me: “I heal society by healing myself. Just as life is lived one day at a time, the world will heal one person at a time.”

As I was going through my morning pages for this week, it’s obvious this has been on my mind around this time of year. From 2012:

It’s true; things seem so much bigger when they stand before you in their mass. Seriously, some seem impossible. But once you start then it’s not so scary.

I feel like sometimes I’m two different people. Like the one I want to be and the one I am. Well, you’re a million/billion different people really — we’re all one. So, the more you work on becoming who you want the more someone else can be who they want.

You slide out of that spot and make room for someone else to evolve. That’s a cool concept. The more I become a more whole and mindful person, the more others will as well.

And then from 2013, it became apparent that I’d done all the improving I could, and that I had to be honest with myself:

This was a very fundamental change I needed to make in my life and honestly, trying to move forward without changing this [drinking habits] was just like slapping a coat of pain on a home with a terrible foundation — pointless.

And although I sometimes get upset I put goals in front of me, like I’m constantly pushing and for what? Well, the whole healing society thing is one answer, but here’s another. Later in the week of 2013 I wrote that I’d really like to be comfortable with the idea of being a housewife and a stay-at-home writer. Well, cross that one off the list. That feels good.

But what’s interesting I think, is that in 2012, I had the same 30-Day Challenge as I do this month: do something nice for yourself every day. It got me thinking. If I have to remind myself to do something kind for me with a challenge, perhaps that’s where the fundamental change needs to come from now.

Yes, I work out, don’t drink and meditate because I love myself (at least partly). But I don’t necessarily frame it that way. Loving and accepting and just be-ing are not easy for me, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone there. My friend Tanya has a good video about this. She must have picked up this vibe too, because she decided April was to be Acceptance Month.

I used to equate acceptance with giving up. I used to equate needing rest as a form of weakness. In reality, these things are the ways we become stronger. Think about it in terms of muscle mass. Yes, when you work out you’re stretching and breaking down muscle so it can get bigger and stronger. But without rest, our bodies don’t have a change to rebuild and become what we’ve worked so hard for.

moab rest

When I continue to do things in the same way without getting the results I want, I begin to look at how I can change my technique I see improvement. So while I’ve been working on being kinder to myself for at least two years (on and off), it’s obvious things aren’t turning out the way I’d like.

I think what’s missing is that moment of rest. I read something today that really resonated from a new blog I’ve been digging:

Let go of the weary path of needing to change, to transform, to heal, to awaken, to be more spiritual, to be a better person, to accept everything, and to hold it all together. For just one moment, give yourself the gift of pure rest… (read more)

While I do think it’s important to change and become the person I want to be — I consider it my gift back to the Earth and the Universe — the only way to do that is through pure rest. And I think that looks different from day to day. It might be a nap, watching TV, baking cookies, reading a trashy magazine even.

What’s important for me is that I allow it to happen and not judge. I did that this weekend when I sat inside watching World War Z on a nice day. I didn’t feel good, and even though I knew that staying inside and chilling would help me, the potential for feeling guilty was high.

I kept myself in the moment and watched the judging machine whenever it came around. Just noticing helped to dissolve it. And today I feel much better. I even got out to enjoy a hike.

I’m certain that this rest, these moments I give myself, are the key to another level of healing. I hope you’ll join me in giving yourself a break as a way to make the world a better place.

Wondering what this Monday Morning Pages thing is all about? Read how it started. Or check out all the archives.

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