Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
You cannot imagine the craving for rest that I feel—a hunger and thirst. For six long days, since my work was done, my mind has been a whirlpool, swift, unprogressive and incessant, a torrent of thoughts leading nowhere, spinning round swift and steady
H.G. Wells, When the Sleeper Wakes
When I finally lie down, I find sleep elusive. The same thoughts that trouble me during the day are only compounded by the stillness of night.
Brandon Sanderson, The Well of Ascension
We live longer than our forefathers; but we suffer more from a thousand artificial anxieties and cares. They fatigued only the muscles, we exhaust the finer strength of the nerves.
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.
Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind
Don’t underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.
Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne
I try to take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once.
There is more to life than increasing its speed.
Mohandas K. Gandhi
Like steam from a cup of hot tea that fogs our glasses, false urgency of matters at hand blurs our vision to important things in the distance.
Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries.
In two day’s time, we will be leaving for a short holiday. It is a generous gift from my mother-in-law, who some time ago gave us a sum of money and told us to use it for some time away. It has been a long year, and we are all feeling in need of a good rest. I find it quite ironic that at the very time most of us need to slow down, the “silly season” pulls us into its manic dance, swirling and twirling us round so that we enter the new year dizzy and disoriented and feeling in need of a break. That’s often how it is for me anyhow. I have not yet managed to perfect that sense of mental equilibrium that enables me to move through this season quietly.
I am so thankful for this little pause, this breath before all the busyness of Christmas and the holidays. I am hoping that time and distance and being freed from daily responsibilities will create a mindfulness that helps me to make measured and careful choices about my time over the coming weeks.
I want to enter the new year with a heart and body that is open to the possibilities it brings. I want to be able to see others, to feel able to reach into their lives from a place of quiet and fullness. I want to gift those I love with presence. I don’t want to be so caught up in my own agendas and exhaustion that I have no capacity for compassion or service.
I am looking forward to many things in the new year, but for now I am thinking only of rest and of cultivating quiet.