Keeping a Day of Rest

It is ok to have a full plate, to some extent, as long as you regularly provide yourself with the opportunity for restoration.  The question then becomes: what is required to do this effectively?

To begin, it is important to realize that very few people can achieve this quality of restoration without periodically disconnecting from technology and material life and intentionally reconnecting with family, friends, community and spirit.  Some people actually have a daily practice of reflection, contemplation or meditation to do this. However, many others, perhaps most of us, do not adhere to a schedule of regular relief and only once or twice a year actually give themselves this opportunity–clearly, not often enough.  The important thing is it has to be regular and reasonably frequent. Indeed, I believe our calendar actually guides us to this practice, yet few of us in our frenetic world actually manage to take advantage of it. I recommend that at a weekly ritual of restoration is what you need to regain and maintain balance.

Putting religious explanations aside, I believe the true wisdom of the Sabbath is that it is a time when regular activity ceases and you depart from the busi-ness of the rest of the week. Could a day to reconnect with family, friends, nature or the divine be enough to recharge your batteries? Historically, there is something profoundly important about honoring the periodicity that coincides precisely with the seven-day/quarter phases of the moon and probably suggests a more ancient appreciation of the seventh day. As we know, the moon has a substantial impact on the rhythms of life on earth-a fact that was well understood by ancient humans. Our modern language further reflects this in the words “menstruation” and “menses,” which come from the Latin mensis (month). Mensis relates to the Greek word mene (moon) and to the roots of the English words month and moon. Even more than the sun, the moon regulates the rhythms on earth.

The Sabbath day is an opportunity to renew and reconstitute, which helps prepare for the coming week’s challenges. Without even adding a religious overtone, this is a classic “day of rest,” which marks the culmination of the weekly cycle, in every sense of the word.

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