Rest a promising mystery that beckons the stressed


Rest: A Promising Mystery that Beckons the Stressed


It’s both a noun and a verb.

It’s a state of being and an action.

It’s a built-in dichotomy!

It’s something the whole world needs, but precious few practice, especially us time-enslaved Americans.

Most marketing pitches promise some form of rest, from ”you deserve a break,” to “get away from it all,” to “get a good night’s sleep.” We’ve venerated something that we have not really understood. We’ve been sold a knock-off and most of us have yet to experience the original.

Rest is a mystery that I am learning (slowly, and even painfully) to apprehend. It’s the first four letters of “Restoring Order” and I have a growing suspicion I’m supposed to learn what it means up-close-and-personal so that I may release it to others.

  • You would think I would want to rest. After all, who doesn’t want a break? Right??  I’m a pretty good sleeper, but historically I haven’tbeen a good napper. I used to take “panic naps.” That’s because even if I was able to fall asleep, at the first disturbance, I would rocket out of my comatose state with a pounding heart thinking “What did I miss? (I’ve come a long way from this state of living, but I’m just giving you an idea of how high strung I have lived a lot of my life!)
  • But rest isn’t just sleeping or napping; it’s the absence of motion. Another ding against me! Throughout my life, I have barely been able sit down to watch a movie. I have preferred to stay in motion, emptying the dishwasher, folding clothes, doing something productive. It has felt wasteful to me to just sit.

I’ve grown in both these areas in recent years. I’ve learned to crawl back in bed if I need to. I’ve begun to sit at Rest with the familythe kid table and play Legos or play-doh, rather than tidy the kitchen. (Having kids has been a good tutor!)

I’ve thankfully jumped off the hamster wheel of life. I am no longer chasing, striving, and running. I’ve learned you can’t prepare when you’re running, much less live with purpose. You can’t enjoy life, because it is speeding past your window on the fast train to nowhere!

Synonyms for rest are ease, freedom, relief, and tranquility. Makes you want to take a deep, serene breath, eh? Rest is a state of being. A state in which we operate and function in peace. A state where we’ve traded in stress, worry, and anxiety, for ease. Ease of mind. Ease of emotions. Ease of will. Ease of soul.

It has taken time for me (ok, a lot of time) to intentionally SHED this unlovely list of “junk” (stress, worry, and anxiety) but I want to encourage you that it’s SO WORTH IT! If operating in peace is foreign to you, take it from me – a former bondslave to stress – you CAN re-wire your life!!

I am beginning to experience this ease of soul as layers of performance and ceaseless activity are swallowed up by the weight and growing clarity of my life’s purpose.

Rest with familyI’ve let go of so much (and I’m confident there’s more to come!) to the point where I actually WANT to see it all now – every last shred of tension or fretting – and annihilate it!! I want to live and soak in a state of rest and peace all the time; effortlessness. This may sound crazy to you, but I am beginning to experience this more and more, and now I want it every day.

So, how am I beginning to experience the noun of REST – that state of being (even though I know I haven’t fully apprehended it yet)? I am choosing to practice the verb of REST!

In other words, rest is not only a state of being, it’s a proactive choice I make!

I am gaining victory and learning to refresh, relieve, and repose. But the hardest one for me is to be still. This is why it’s hard for me to do things that are grindingly slow, or worse, inert. To be frank, I’m failing as much as I’m succeeding. I’m sitting but squirming. Waiting leads to wondering. Quietness is a foreign language to this born communicator! Motionlessness is awkward, strange, and painful. I fight sleep because this new state (the restful but attuned state) is uncharted territory. I’ve decided I would make a terrible monk.

I’ve learned in the last few years to submit my mind and emotions to peace, and now, it appears my will is the final frontier that rest must conquer.

Will you join me in this determined quest to apprehend rest? Whether you’ve come part way, like me, or you’ve never considered it, would you now? (Or if you’ve made it all the way, would you share the glory?)

I am convinced that mysteries will unfold to us as we become people of rest.


Vicki Norris





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