Rest is a Four Letter Word

According to Sara Avant Stover, author of The Book of SHE we treat rest as a four letter word in our society today.  She goes on to talk about being out of touch with our feminine menses cycle, or if you no longer menstruate, cycles of the moon.  During the first day of our menses, or at the first full moon, we need to be gentle with ourselves.  To pay attention to when we will not be at our best due to PMS, bloating, shortened temper, or tiredness, and simply take time to rejuvenate.   But how many of us are able to take time out of our busy lives exactly when we need to?

Although I haven’t been paying attention to my moon cycles, I do try to take time away from my busy live to rejuvenate or rest whenever I feel the need.  There’s no doubt about it, there are certain times that I’m not at my best.  Why just this week I’ve been feeling sad, so I decided to mark it on my calendar to see if there’s a cycle attached to this feeling.  If there is, then I will have a better understanding of why I feel blue from time to time.  It might be attached to my own personal cycle.  I do know that when I’m not at my best, it’s difficult for me to focus on my writing, so I will perhaps do research instead.  This is something I can do outside and enjoy the nice weather and feel connected to nature.  At other times, it’s a matter of taking off for the day to do something by myself, like perhaps visit a gallery, or go shopping, or maybe go out for an intense bike ride. It helps me to put things in perspective.

Time alone is something that Julia Cameron, in her current book Its Never too Late to Begin Again, also advocates as a way to get in touch with our inner rhythms which can lead the way to personal insights and direction.

I remember a friend of mine who taught piano lessons, who needed to be at her best at the end of the day, when the kids got out of school and came for lessons.  She would take a half hour cat nap before her students arrived and was able to continue teaching until into the evening.  Such a simple solution.  But how many of us take the time to nap in the afternoon?  I have always taken great pride that the only time I nap is when I ill, even though I would probably benefit from a lie down at 4:00 pm in the afternoon when my energy wanes.  At least I usually stop writing at this time and switch to something that requires less of my attention.  I’m afraid I’ve always acquainted napping with something old people do.  Perhaps I need to take a lesson from my friend and, if not nap, then meditate, as it is purported that Madonna does to keep her energy up.

That’s something else I’ve always fought against – meditating.  I know it would probably help to keep me more relaxed, which is something I could use every day, never mind only when I’m stressed.  Perhaps those stressful times would be easier to manage if I took at least 15 minutes out of my day to lie down and close my eyes and breathe.
Stover says: that our menses, or moon cycles, are a time of death and life.  Something ends and something new begins.  It is also a time to prioritize being instead of doing.  Through this, we open a portal to our inner SHE, or feminine, to receive valuable visions and guidance for the month ahead.  It seems to me that’s a lot to receive in return for a little rest.

Categories: Memoir, Women's Lives

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