Sunday is traditionally known as a “day of rest”. But are there really any days of rest any more? Being busy seems to have become the thing to aspire to – “resting” a weakness rather than a necessity for living. This time of year in particular, with preparations for festivities and the closing of the year, rest often gets shoved to the bottom of the “to do”list.
If we look to nature at this time of year all its energies are focused towards resting. Recuperation. Gathering energies. Minimising expenditures. Entering into The Great Rest before the Springing Forth we get to enjoy in just a few short months. I say that as if we’re not part of nature. Of course we are. Yet so often we like to think of ourselves as distinct.
We “clever” humans, at a time when the rest of nature is hibernating, extend our working & waking hours with artificial light. We “push through” as if it were a heroic act. We proudly go to work with a cold (less so now in the shadow of Covid, but it still happens) – “I haven’t had a day off sick in years…” We wear the bags under our eyes like medals from a great victory. We reach for the caffeine to extend the day even further.
But at what cost? A very dear friend is, right now, massively struggling with their health. By their own admission they are more broken than they have ever been. Ever. As we explored their state in conversation it became clear they saw no way of easing off their relentless schedule. There was no space to stop and rest. There was even a sense of not being able to rest – of having lost that skill.
This terrified me: because I saw this as a trajectory of destruction by unrelenting busyness. One that so many of us may, unwittingly, be setting ourselves on with entirely unknown and unforeseeable consequences.
What if we lived in a world where taking the rest you need, when you need it, was celebrated?
What if we lived in a world where being tired wasn’t seen as a victory mark, but as the imbalance it is?
What if we lived in a world where everyone could get the rest they needed?
How different would our day to day interactions be? Our patience? Our compassion?
What if indeed. Contemplating the big questions has its place, but this Advent series aspires also to offer some “small chunks” which are more manageable. Which can be used to make things a bit better. Perhaps only a little. But a little is still better than none.
Today that small chunk is simply that Massage can play a magnificent role in resting.
Rather than trying to rest on your own, with all your competing thoughts rushing through your head and the “to do” list often right in front of you, a skilled and committed therapist is there alongside you. Supporting you to breathe. To feel. To create a space where, when the time is right, you can find yourself letting go of things which no longer serve you.
Without drama or histrionics.
What a gift, eh?
NO HANDS therapists are trained to create exactly this space for you – you can find your closest here.
As “the day of rest” comes to a close, I invite you to considering bringing more rest into the “busy” part of your week. Challenge that busy-ness. Challenge any idea that you’re not worthy or rest. And know that in doing so, you’re taking a step towards protecting yourself and your loved ones from the pain of exhaustion and its many and varied devastating consequences.