I thought, at this time of year, it would be wise to write about rest. Both for my own benefit and perhaps for yours.
It's hard for many of us to rest when there can be a combination of factors: travel, obligation, social things, or just feelings that make busyness and general agida more the norm than rest.
What does rest actually mean?
My personal definition continues to morph. For example, when I come into my studio, there's generally a strong pull to get going. But my gut often indicates that the very best use of my time, especially when there's a fire going in the wood stove, is to plunk down and just be there for a little. That's an invitation to rest. Perhaps rest here is defined as letting the dust settle.
Growing up there was a big road outside my bedroom window. I went to sleep to the constant sound of people going places. When I was awake, productivity, efficiency, and generally bustling about was what I saw all around me and what was modeled by the school day. I know this is a common experience and that you can likely relate.
What is your relationship to rest right now? What does rest look like to you? Is rest something that the environment of your home and community makes space for, or is it seen as a failing or selfish?
When have you experienced rest in a nourishing kind of way? What were the components of it?
For me, rest is as much of a way of holding my body, the very muscles of the face, and a mindset, when I'm prioritizing it, rather than a specific set of conditions. Can you have a conversation in a way that feels like you can rest? What's going on with the muscles in your face? I notice in Michigan, people tend to be quieter with one another, and at first, I thought this meant something was wrong. Now I understand it as just another option of how to be together.
If inspired, perhaps you can take a moment to think about the next few weeks. Can you walk from A to B in a state of rest, or perhaps in a state of trust? They are very related I find.
How do you find you rest best? What most relaxes your body? What small pauses allow you a moment to reset or center and where do they happen?
Transitions, like when climbing into the car, sitting on the can, stepping into the shower, or committing to eat sitting down can be touchstones to note what is present in your situation, like stopping to notice what the weather is doing outside.
What do you like to do on a snowday?
What tools do you use to center yourself?
If you are visiting or receiving family or friends, perhaps those items you listed might make the experience more restful. Can you give yourself permission to take a nap at random, ask for help, let something be a bit half-assed where there's a prior thought that it has to be an A+?
I'm discovering that when I let myself be human and honor the peaks and valleys of my energy, other people have permission to do that too, and we all can breath a sigh of relief a little more easily.
Please share your rest strategies for the benefit of others below.
Happy Holidays all. See you in the new year. Thanks for tuning in.
THIS IS HOME
May 27 - June 26
Gallery B in Castine, ME
A four woman exhibition opening Feb 3 2023 at the Ann Arbor Art Center.
Curated by Thea Eck.
Janice Charach Gallery
West Bloomfield MI
Jan 15-Mar 1 2023
Works of pure abstraction by 18 artists including five new puffies!
Make your own hand sewn book from the papers left by a loved one.
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Hannah Burr is a contemporary artist and author. Originally from Boston, she lives in Ann Arbor MI.