D A Y o n e
Happy New Year’s dear friends! If you’re reading this for the second annual Rest Retreat, I welcome you with wide open arms and am delighted to have you. We’ve got another painting behind us, and fresh new canvas awaiting our brushstrokes. What hope. What promise. What creative potential the dawn of this year holds.
Every time the New Year’s sun begins to rise and shine its holy light all over the world, I swear I can feel the invigorating energy of everyone, everywhere, offering their up resolutions and dreams for the days to come. Like ripples on the water, they echo forth in harmonic song, inviting us inward to ponder things both big and small, from the essence of time and the miracle of life, to the faded number inside inside our jeans that makes us grimace, and the tally of hours we’ve spent on Instagram.
But as we find, if we’re lucky and happen to be paying attention, the big things and the small things aren’t separate entries floating apart in the universe, but rather, they are woven together as one, braided together in the great tapestry of our existence. Both big and small, each is linked to one another, and both big and small, they are expressions of the mystery of why we are here, revealing the sacred interconnectedness of all things.
It can be a lot to take in, overwhelming even, if you demand answers and get swallowed by all of the really big questions that have no answers, but if you’ve got a little faith your back pocket, or at least a pinch of spiritual wonder to sprinkle on your path, there’s no better time of year to dig deep and reflect on what’s working and what’s not so you can begin again.
This year, this time right now, is fresh and full of opportunities to let in more light and to try again. Last year, no matter what it held, is over and behind us. And now, you and I and everyone else, gets the gift of trying some more. Of breathing new life into the moments, that when strung together, will make up what we will one day look back and call our “one wild and precious life” as my hero Mary Oliver once wrote.
Two years ago I wrote the Rest Retreat for Homesong. I felt the nudge deep within the narrow of my bones to make some tangible changes in the rhythm of my day so I could spend more time living life in the present. During this time of stillness and solitude, with minutes spent away from something that does a really good job of keeping us out of the present, and instead, stuck in a mindless rut of scrolling and tapping, I reset and recalibrated from the inside out, restoring my energy through the practice of rest. You can see last year’s template right here, and we will follow the same one again, but with some different material to read, write about, and listen to. Together, we will focus our energy spent off of social media and instead, on pruning our listening skills so we can better hear the song of our soul.
Rest is the word time and time again that begins to surface just as soon as the holidays draw near for me. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is a magical time full of so much magic and joy. Especially if you’ve got little ones and get to see the light behind their eyes shine. But with a gigantic outward breath such as the rush and activity and both literal and figurative expenditure of this season, our inner wisdom knows what it needs to thrive beyond survival mode, which is an inward breath and a big intake of healing air inside the lungs of our soul.
That is what the Rest Retreat is all about. About breathing in, so we can breathe once more. So we can live and love life through a lens of presence and attention and gratitude. It’s about taking the time we’ve spent viewing the lives of others, to be with those we do, the loves of our lives right in front of our faces. It’s about seeing more sunrises. Smelling more flowers. Hearing more birdsong. Feeling more simplicity. And tasting more freedom. I am going to be writing and posting nearly every day of this retreat, sharing things both big and small with you. Today’s practice is both of those, so begin whenever you’re ready:
Step One: Close all social media accounts.
Step Two: Breathe inward until you feel the air reach your toes. Repeat.
See you soon, loves.