Working for what we need and what we want is part of life for most of us. We get regular breaks – weekends, holidays, vacations – from the daily grind. We escape from work to regain balance and peace. Writer, waiter, doctor, office assistant, lawyer, teacher, mom, dad, whatever our work is, we need to take a break from it to maintain our sanity.
Though I'm not big on taking vacations, I do feel the need to escape from time to time. I felt that need recently, and began thinking about a destination that would settle the chaos in me. I love my work as an editor and writer, but deadlines can get overwhelming and schedules can be hectic. I realized while I was daydreaming about getting away that the "work" that was dragging me down so much was the work I do to achieve my goals, personal and career goals. No matter where I go, where I escape to, I'm there, my thoughts whirling, checking in on my productivity, my attitude, my personal growth, my relationships, and on and on. It's a lot to manage (a word that sounds like more work), and I start longing for absence of doing and instead just being.
Just being is not something we're familiar with. We've been taught, I believe, to keep busy doing the many things that our society and we believe make us happy and fulfilled. But for me, keeping on task leads to complete soul fatigue. I know the solutions that will soothe my overworking brain, but even they can feel like work. I meditate and it always proves helpful, but I'm resistant to stopping and getting still. After all, I have work to do!
So while I was cleaning my desk the other day, it's not a surprise that I noticed in a pile of papers I was sorting a page where I'd typed this sentence:
I send you waking naps, where for brief periods of time, you can stop working on yourself and simply luxuriate in where you are right now, just as you are.
I don’t know who wrote this or where I got it from, but it made me pause. I just stood there, letting myself relax. It felt so nourishing to my working-on-myself self. I have strong desires to grow personally and to grow my writing. But, I think I deserve moments of just being. Rested, I think I'll be able to be more loving, more creative, more alive.
What is it like inside your brain most of the time? What do you do to have peace?