When I think of rest, my first thought is laying down to recuperate or sleep. However, there have been times where I thought of rest by way of ceasing to be busy doing all-the-things. To stop doing and just be requires a deep personal awareness of what pushes and pulls us from rest. You see I have a thing for making myself busy to the point of achieving not many things. Don’t get me wrong. Much of what I like to dive into is good stuff as learning is one of my strengths, but it often gets in the way. Busyness does not imply success or progress. Too much busyness robs us of the opportunity to pause, to wonder, to exhale, to make space for breath that revives us.
I’ve been rolling through the events of my life over that last two years. I see moments of resting, but I also see where I was living full-steam-ahead. It’s great to go after dreams, learning, creativity, artistic endeavors, writing, and even serving. In excess, these same things that bring life, purpose, and fulfillment can also destroy resolve, purpose, passion and resilience. Enter the practice of pruning.
I know it sounds painful. I mean who really wants to cut out things that bring zest to life, but let’s be real here. We can’t have it all or go after it all and not expect it to impact the way we live our lives, work our dreams, or become successful. Constant pursuit can be wearying, and that’s where I found myself as 2014 began to wind down. I had grown weary from all the doing and reaping very few long-term benefits. And since I chose rest as my word for 2015, I’ve been thinking differently about what that means. For me, I am reminded again: it’s pruning time.
As much as I dislike the feeling of pruning, I know it’s for my good. Pruning gives me an opportunity to cut away dead things, all the stuff I thought would add life. Pruning gives me a chance to hack away at any thing, activity, or idea that has overgrown its reach. Ugghh, but I thought the super growth was good for me?! Turns out it’s not. All that overgrowth has crowded out tiny dreams and simple ways of being that mattered. They were just beginning to grow, but were stunted. They couldn’t see the sun of hope because an overgrowth of all-the-things overshadowed them.
I don’t want those dreams to die. I want to nurture them, and that means taking a machete to the roots of overgrowth. Sometimes, I think we have to be ruthless with the things that look innocent but steal life from the more important things. So, I am taking a step back. I’m looking, as a scientist would, under the microscope of my life. Rest demands I take a second look, reassess, redefine, and restore.I think we have to be ruthless with the things that look innocent but steal life from the more… Click To Tweet
What does not need to stay, I must cut away. What needs to be nurtured and gently cared for, I will tend to meticulously – not in some overbearing, make-it-right-and-good-right-now kind of way. The nurturing I’m looking to do simply means resting in those tiny dreams and simple ways of being no matter how insignificant they seem to onlookers. It means allowing them to blossom again. It means letting them take deeper root. It means opening up like flowers unfolding. I can’t unfold if the bud (who I am and all my life) is bruised from the clamoring insistence of all-the-things. I have the power and responsibility of putting a stop to that nonsense. Throughout this year of resting, that is what I aim to do – live in the fullness of being whole and overcoming all-the-things that keep pressing into life.
Are you pruning too? I’d love to hear your stories and how you’re living out your word for the year.
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