A Prayer in the Eye of the Storm

January 03, 2014

The accumulation of snow with hibernating blades of grass beneath.  The warm covering of a quiet landscape.

A momentary lapse between fits of doing and being and perceiving action as truth.

At the root of it all, I have a complicated relationship with relaxation. 

On the one hand, I yearn for it. I peek into the mirror in the morning at my frazzled hair and dark circles beneath my eyes, and promise myself that I’m going to take it easy today… only to fill my day to the brim with to-dos and have-tos. I yearn for the slow pace of space in my calendar and lazy cups of coffee.

On the other hand, I do not recognize myself in a state of rest. 

snowday

When our self-image is based squarely on what it is that we are offering the world or excelling in at the moment, our self-worth is closely tied to production. As in, when we are producing and doing and acting, we are good, and when we are not, we are bad.

Many of the women in my life struggle with the concept of rest, embarking instead on the daily action of proving their worth to the world around them. They pick up the house. They make moves in their businesses. They rock their children. They show up and stand in their personal truth. They are good at doing things. 

But rest is another beast entirely, clawing its way into our perceptions of divine deserving.

When do I deserve to rest?

When will enough be enough?

We set barometers for ourselves. We tell ourselves that we will deserve rest, once we’ve _______. We create conditions for our enoughness, believing in our hearts that we will only have an opportunity to soften into relaxation once we’ve finished all of the tasks or tended to the needs of all of those in our lives.

I want to call a truce with myself. 

I am a high achiever. I am most comfortable in the amplified state of three cups of coffee and a massive list to tackle. I am, in my heart, the kind of woman that prides herself on her ability to get things done, tucking my needs neatly away in a small pocket for safe keeping.

But, I cannot help but notice the things that I sacrifice for my constant ability to be on and ready. The slow, languid expanse of knowing that comes from breath and space. The chance to know truly know myself in a realm outside of making things happen. What it might feel like to have that sweetly nurturing and deeply maternal energy turned in on itself, cozying myself into a tender nest of my own design.

Today, it is snowing. It is is snowing, so much that I don’t have a hope to hop in my car and run errands. And yet, within my house and heart, the busy inner working of a business that never sleeps.

I am giving myself permission, instead, to soften. To pick things up as they appeal to me instead of bullying my way through a list of perceived emergencies. To read the book that lights me up or rest my eyes for just a minute.

To separate my being from my doing. 

To know that I am enough – in breath, in prayer, in stillness.

I invite you to put down what you’re carrying and join me. 

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