Looking through a glass, clearly

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“I commit to rhythms of rest and renewal through the regular practice of Sabbath and resist a culture of busyness that measures my worth by what I do.” – Christine Valters Painter, Abbey of the Arts “Monk Manifesto”

When I was younger, “the sabbath” meant a flurry of volunteer activities, getting up really early in the morning, fulfilling church and family obligations, and then, finally, when everything was done, done, done, resting. The idea of “rhythms of rest and renewal” weren’t a huge part of the lexicon. A couple of weeks ago, I tried something. What would it be like to wake up without an alarm, when the body felt the fingertips of sun tapping the shoulders? What would it feel like to move throughout the day by absolutely no sense of obligation, but rather, the nudging of my own whim and imagination? What would it be like if the rituals I created were not only someone else’s, but also my own? What would it be like to live out a “rhythm of rest and renewal”? Sound irresponsible? Actually, it ended up sounding ultra responsible – to myself. To empty my cup, wash it clean, and then refill it with fresh water, metaphorically, sets me up, and everyone around me, for that matter, for a brighter, truer me. I can see more clearly through my own glass. That, to me, is sabbath.

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