My kids are outside playing today. It’s a gorgeous day with a cool breeze and a bright sun. When I first shooed them out the door my 7 year old said, “Can we bring the iPad outside so we can have some music?” I hesitated. I really wanted them to just play. To explore, imagine, pretend and just be. I told her “Not today”, and she skipped outside. They are now playing Flying Ace and taking off from their made up airport.
I think most of us would agree that kids need to just play. They need to make mudpies, pretend to be soldiers and play house. Kids need some quiet downtime to think and wonder.
What I am asking myself today is, do I take time to just be? Do I explore? imagine? pretend? think? wonder?
Usually, I’m toting around my Kindle to get in a new book, grabbing my phone to start up a new podcast or scroll through Instagram. When the kids are in bed, I’m catching up on the DVR or cleaning out my inbox. When do I ever just sit and get quiet?
And what would happen if I did? Would I create the grown-up equivalent of a backyard battle, a cross-country adventure through our woods or a twig and pine cone airplane hangar?
How can mamas keep quiet in the middle of the noise that is motherhood?
Have you ever heard of a savasana? It’s a yoga pose where you lay on your back, close your eyes and are quiet for 20 minutes or more. That’s it.
I don’t know about you, but it kinda makes me nervous to think about laying still for 20 minutes. My mind would be going a mile a minute and I don’t think I’d actually relax!
Jen from Every Breath I Take says this kind of relaxation is a learned skill. It shouldn’t make you stressed or agitated, in fact it can, “reveal the anxiety and tension that you are normally able to ignore“. I don’t want to ignore anxiety–I want to face it and work on it. I need to practice relaxing so I can focus on that tension.
Plan to stop.
In Jen Hatmaker’s book, 7: An Experimental Mutiny of Excess, she relates rest and stress-free living to the Israelites’ weekly practice of Sabbath rest. They had to plan for their Sabbath day—get ready to have a whole day of no work, no meal cooking, no caring for animals, no sewing, no working. They set aside the we-have-got-to-get-this-done and put a priority on rest.
Isn’t that a lovely thought? Making rest a priority? Planning for it the way you plan any part of your week? Let’s face it, “rest” has never been on my to-do list. Maybe it should be.
So, I’m asking myself again, will I take time to just be? to explore? imagine? pretend? think? wonder? Will I choose to rest, recenter and regain peace this week? Will I look for some time to rest?
How do you fit quiet into your days and weeks? How does quiet benefit you?
Originally published at LifeYourWay.net