Dear Straight from the
"I am so
seems to be a universal refrain these days. We
all certainly know what it feels like to be
caught up in the relentless busyness of daily
of us get seduced into frantic over- activity
by the promise of more.... more money, recognition,
influence, power, possessions, security. It
feels like the things we must do always supercedes
the things we want to do! So we find ourselves
continually delaying the rest and nourishment
we need to recharge our lives, by putting it
off for some unknown time in the future. We
keep thinking.... when the kids go to the babysitter,
when I finish this assignment, when the housework
is done, when the bills are paid, when everything
is ok...then! But have you noticed, the
work is never done and that inner driver rarely
shuts up and says 'ok stop now...you have done
enough.' Usually it takes an illness or
dramatic life change to finally get us to unhook
from the treadmill of our lives and finally
slow down. Do you want to wait that long?
the next question is....Are
you spending as much time as you would like
to nurture your soul?
spiritual traditions have the commandment: Remember
the Sabbath. There is a good reason for this.. Without
rest, we cannot sustain the energy needed to
have life. It's a reminder to take some
time and find your way back to your center. To
reconnect with who you are, how you see things,
and what your priorities are in life.
for a moment that someone who cares about you
has sent you a gift certificate for a day that
is to be devoted entirely to the needs of your
day to be really alive, you can play, take
a slow walk to nowhere, talk to friends and
family, eat, touch, smell, meditate, pray, bless, nap,
read, dance, sing, be silent, pamper your body,
make love, rest your mind, free your spirit
and REMEBER WHO YOU ARE. It's a day to
look at the blessings in your life, open your
heart and find peace with where you are right
kind of rest, restores your soul. According
to Wayne Muller,
"One of the astonishing attributes of Sabbath
time is its unflinching uselessness. Nothing
will get done, not a single item will be checked
off any list. Nothing of significance will be
accomplished, no goal realized. It is thoroughly
without measurable value.......Just as the unborn
child in the womb of its mother silently receives
an endless supply of nourishment, warmth, and
protection, so, during Sabbath time, does the
sweet womb of sacred rest enfold us, nourish
us, heal and restore us."
have a full day each week?
Sabbath can refer to a single day, an afternoon,
a peaceful hour or even a precious moment. It
is much more than the absence of work; it is
the presence of something that arises when we
consecrate a period of time to listen to what
is most deeply beautiful, nourishing, and true
within ourselves. When we show up in the
moment and are fully present to experience it.
this mean that the Sabbath is spiritually superior
Not at all. The practice is to find a balance
point at which having rested, we do our work
with greater ease and joy and bring healing
and delight to our endeavors.
the transition from the peaceful Sabbath into
the stressful work week is not an easy thing
to do. But there are things you can do
to invite a Sabbath pause:
one common act--touching a doorknob, turning
on a faucet, answering the door, hearing
the telephone. Throughout the day, when
this occurs, simply stop, take three mindful
breaths, and then go on.
Have a Sabbath cup
of tea or coffee and give thanks.
a walk breathe in the air, notice the sounds,
sights and textures all around you.
loving compassion, while standing in line,
silently bless everyone you see.
gratitude and giving thanks before each
something inspirational before you begin
your day and as you end it.
some time, even 15 minutes to fully be present
and with your mate and your children.
something that feels good to your body each
someone you love.
done mindfully and with thanksgiving can become
a Sabbath. My wish for you is that you
find a way to incorporate many Sabbath's big
and small into your life and that they lead
you to the deep desires of your heart and soul.
P.S. Here's a quick exercise
from Rabbi David A. Cooper.
Take a sheet of paper and
make a list of activities that nurture your
soul. (i.e. taking long walks in nature,
listening to beautiful music, drawing, eating
a peach, talking with friends, etc.)
Once you've made the list
calculate the amount of time you spend each
week doing these activities. Do you spend
10 minutes a week nurturing your soul, an hour,
a day? Now here's another question: Are
you spending as much time as you would like
doing these activities? What changes would you
like to make?
Take note how many
of the things on your list are happening in
the moment. You will most likely discover
that virtually everything on your list is an
experience of the fullness of the moment, whether
it be in relationship, in nature, or involved
in some activity that releases us, purifies
us, or opens up to the beauty of now. This
is what Sabbath is all about.