Last week, I encountered a lovely piece of writing on the perils of always needing to be productive, to be doing something -- and of course I read it while sneaking in a Facebook session, while feeling guilty about being on Facebook, while doing something mundane, like trying to sweep (again) the floor.
The story brought me into a chair, and I've been thinking about it ever since. It brought to my awareness how much I am always--almost every waking minute--trying to prove the worthiness of my existence by achieving: a clean floor, a new poem, a new book, another yoga class. I've felt it particularly since I stopped working full-time because I feel an acute need to justify my existence because I am not making a full-time wage anymore. I've internalized that making money, or keeping a clean house, or being a master family manager, is what generates my worth even though I would say to anyone else that they are worthy for simply being here and being them. So why is it so hard to offer rest and compassion to the self?
Of course, there's a laundry list of reasons for everyone, and we don't need to make ourselves busier by listing them. Instead, step out. Breathe. Go lie down on some grass in the sun.
Last week, I tried to do a few of these things. One day, I took a nap in the hammock even though I still had 4 yards of dirt to haul. And I listened to this fabulous yoga nidra--which is deep yoga rest--practice by Richard Miller, too. Yes, it's 35 minutes long, and yes, you are worth taking that 35 minutes out of a schedule to listen.