When I was a kid, my favorite day and least favorite day of the week was the same: Sunday. The best part of the day was sitting in the balcony at church passing notes with my friends (sorry, mom), eating a wonderful Sunday dinner (thank you, mom) and NO chores. My least favorite thing was the quiet time that befell the house after dinner was cleaned up. My dad and mom would either rest with books and music in the living room or nap, and the rule was I was to do the same!
So, Sunday afternoons found me frustrated to not rock around the house in my usual way and, instead, being in my room trying not double over with boredom. Eventually, I would surrender and create elaborate plays with my collection of stuffed toys and a tape recorder. I would write stories fueled by imagination or let myself be lost in a book. While I didn’t realize it at the time, as I was “forced” to dig into the quiet spaces those Sunday afternoons, I found it strangely invigorating. As my imagination soared and I stepped out of the usual pace I found great satisfaction in creating something new with my time.
What my parents were teaching me those Sunday afternoons was the concept of Sabbath. Considered a religious observance for Jewish and Christian faiths, many other religions and spiritual practices also embrace this concept: take time each week to step out of routine and create rest. A couple of months ago, I wrote a post (The Rest is Up to You) about listening to the cues of the body and mind to take time for rest. The idea of Sabbath is about choosing a deliberate and dedicated practice of stepping out of routine to rejuvenate; a discipline of refreshment.
While my faith practices have changed over time, I have always valued choosing a day of the week (not always Sunday) when the tempo of my life shifts and I deliberately engage in a new rhythm. Sometimes this means extra sleep and some time chilled out on the couch. Other times, this may mean a walk in the woods, yoga, or cooking up a new recipe. Sometimes it has taken the shape of visiting a museum or a long drive. Even cleaning out a crowded closet can provide a container for refreshment if my mind is in the place of rest while I enjoy the task. The point isn’t about sitting still, but it is about choosing a different stride of when and how to do things, which is a signal to my whole self to release, reset and refresh.
Sabbath speed takes my system off the gas pedal and allows all my energy to coast. This stepping out of time allows my brain, my organs and my nervous system to regroup, which supports sustaining health, vitality and balance.
How might you create ways to create a sabbath experience? Below are some questions to help discern what will reset you:
- What brings a sense of joy?
- What feels like play to me?
- How often would I like to set aside routine for something new?
- What makes me feel refreshed?
- What is the difference for me between recovering from work and refreshing my spirit?
Whatever you determine resets your weekly routine, put it in your calendar and make a commitment to a new pace of life every several days. Watch how it can reinvigorate the rest of the demands of life and refresh your body, mind and soul.
In honor of the spirit of renewal, the Newsletter and the Eat Well, Be Well blogs will be coming to you differently. In place of two offerings a month, a Newsletter will be sent every other month and an Eat Well, Be Well resource will be sent during the other months. Announcements about classes and events will be sent out separately and, as always, tune into Facebook with class updates, health tips and other inspirations for your mind, body and soul. Thank you, as always, for reading and sharing in this wonderful journey of life.
May the rhythm of your days be full of peace, wonderment and joy.
With my heart,