Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Many of us have been raised in cultures where achievement and activity have been deemed worthwhile, and rest has been treated as a necessary evil. But from a Sacred Feminine perspective, rest is essential in our awakening, and in restoring personal and planetary balance.
Most of the earlier years of my life, I was achieving myself into serious illness, without even realizing that’s what was happening. (More about achieving yourself into illness) Doing and achieving was how I knew my life had value. It is how I knew I was alive. But in the process of finding value through action alone, I was achieving myself to death.
It wasn’t until I was flat on my back in bed, completely dehydrated and inches away from a stay in the hospital that I realized my life was out of balance. I needed rest, so I made myself ill enough to finally stop my entire life in its tracks.
In my illness there was time to rest, reflect and experience life from the perspective of stillness. Today, I would call that entering the realm of the Sacred Feminine. Once I stopped doing, my yang energy was able to rest, and in the stillness, I was able to experience the gifts that come with the receptive yin energy. Purpose, creativity, clarity, intuition, insight, inspiration—they all emerged when I became still in the cool and soothing darkness of the Sacred Feminine. Just recently I was listening to some of our initiated elders at New Dream talk about rest and its significance in their lives now. They acknowledged that in this age when time seems to be speeding up, rest may be more important to us now than it has ever been.
One elder, Ariann Thomas, likened the need for rest to the process of making bread. She explained that after you have kneaded the bread, you let it rest so that it can rise. In life, letting ourselves rest provides an opportunity to see what rises to the surface. Rest expands our ideas and is part of the process if we wish to live in right timing.
In her own experience. she explained, her driven-ness kept her going until she finally collapsed and became ill. The body has wisdom and it knows when it needs to rest. Further, we work to feel our value and meaning, but not all of our value is tied up in what we are doing.
Cindy Mills shared with us that we often refuse to rest because we fear that everything will fall apart and collapse if we don’t keep everything going. We think it is our responsibility to keep juggling—to keep all the balls in the air at the same time. But, she reminded us, non-doing is where we experience sparks of creativity and inspiration. Her family, she explained, had one day per week that was their non-doing day, and she has many fond memories of the creativity that was expressed on those days.
Helen Sherry shared that rest requires trust. It means that you are willing to trust without a clue about what the future might look like. To rest, you need to align with Spirit, knowing that something wonderful is coming—in fact, more wonderful than you might have imagined. When you rest, you choose to trust.
Personally, I find that my empathic and sensitive nature simply demands rest in order to maintain balance. Without it, I’m overstretched and not a very nice woman to be around. I become overly controlling and cynical, trying to make the world around me conform to my idea of what makes a happy world. When I allow myself adequate rest, I discover happiness within me, and realize it is always there within. My body heals more quickly.
In the balance of adequate rest and achievement I am my happiest. When my inner world silence receives my attention as well as my outer world activities, my balanced state allows me to experience life with greater peace, clarity and ease. As we enter into this time in which the planets are aligning, we may feel the urge to created greater balance. You may find, as the elders have discovered, a calling to create more time for rest—more time to honor the gifts of your inner world.