Brene Brown is one of my favorite people. I’ve read every one of her books, listened to every podcast and Ted talk I can find, and own all of her audio series, which I have listened to a ridiculous amount of times.
One of the things I love most about Brene is I feel like her research, her stories, and her message reinforce what I already believe and know about God. Her research merely confirms it in modern stories of people today battling the same issues I face every single day about worthiness, shame, insecurity, vulnerability, creativity and joy.
One of the things I love so much that her research has found is that wholehearted people – that is, people who live and love with their whole hearts – cultivate rest.
We live in a culture that tells us what we produce correlates to who we are. So we’ve become addicted to this crazy life on the hamster wheel that I know just as well as anyone. Before we finish one task, we’re already on to the next never taking time to fully enjoy where we are right now. In this moment. For some of us there are no moments; there are just more things to do.
Peace comes from rest. Peace comes from knowing that who you are is enough. Even when you’re not doing anything or when someone else doesn’t approve. Peace is knowing, deep in the fabric of your soul, that you’re okay.
Over the last few years I’ve tried to make cultivating rest one of my highest priorities. Some seasons it happens by accident and others it takes everything I’ve got. Of course, there have been seasons of busy and getting things done but, on the whole, rest has become non-negotiable. Other things have gone instead. For example, I hardly watch any television. There are so many things I want to do and television takes up a lot of time that, for me, is useless and unproductive time. Don’t get me wrong, unproductive time is what we’re aiming for in rest, but I’d rather read. Or nap. You have to decide what feels like rest for you.
If you have a hard time disconnecting from doing, here are a few suggestions to get you started:
1. Limit or eliminate television – I don’t have a single show I watch. Are there any worth the time these days? Really, I don’t even know… The point isn’t that you can’t watch a show that you love but, rather, that you don’t use it as a crutch to check out of life. Television isn’t rest.
2. Take a social media break – Social media has got a mad grip on us. I know I’m a better wife, mom, daughter, sister and friend when I disconnect. Believe me, I need to do it more often.
3. Get out in nature – When life starts feeling out of control crazy and big, this is where I’m reminded of God’s grace, His goodness, and my small place in the world.
4. Take a nap (gasp!) – Taking a nap helps to remind us that life goes on just fine while we’re sleeping. Really. Your value isn’t defined by our ability to constantly produce.
5. Look for the extraordinary in the ordinary – If you’re paying attention, there are no ordinary things. If you need help with this adventure I’ve got an awesome little ebook you can download on finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
6. Read – I’ve heard it said that “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies.” Oh my gosh, I looooove that. I think I’ve already lived several hundred at least.
7. Put your pjs on early – I am no stranger to afternoon pajamas. In fact, it’s pretty normal in our house for mom to change into clean pajamas around 3:00 for the rest of the day. In the winter it happens closer to noon. Don’t judge.
Cultivating rest is essential to living a wholehearted life. I also believe it’s essential to living a happy life. As I began the process of resting more, my husband did too. We started talking more, working and stressing less, and realizing the things that we absolutely love. If you’re constantly working, trying, pleasing and fighting then there’s no time for being.
How do you cultivate rest?