life: acoustic & amplified

poetry, quotes & thoughts about life

why should I worry or fret?


Rest is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner static bull’s eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange.
The template of natural exchange is the breath, the autonomic giving and receiving that forms the basis and the measure of life itself. We are rested when we are a living exchange between what lies inside and what lies outside, when we are an intriguing conversation between the potential that lies in our imagination and the possibilities for making that internal image real in the world; we are rested when we let things alone and let ourselves alone, to do what we do best, breathe as the body intended us to breathe, to walk as we were meant to walk, to live with the rhythm of a house and a home, giving and taking through cooking and cleaning. 
When we give and take in an easy foundational way we are closest to the authentic self, and closest to that self when we are most rested. To rest is not self indulgent, to rest is to prepare to give the best of ourselves, and to perhaps, most importantly, arrive at a place where we are able to understand what we have already been given.
In the first state of rest is the sense of stopping, of giving up on what we have been doing or how we have been being. In the second, is the sense of slowly coming home, the physical journey into the body’s un-coerced and un-bullied self, as if trying to remember the way or even the destination itself. In the third state is a sense of healing and self-forgiveness and of arrival. In the fourth state, deep in the primal exchange of the breath, is the give and the take, the blessing and the being blessed and the ability to delight in both. The fifth stage is a sense of absolute readiness and presence, a delight in and an anticipation of the world and all its forms; a sense of being the meeting itself between inner and outer, and that receiving and responding occur in one spontaneous movement.
A deep experience of rest is the template of perfection in the human imagination, a perspective from which we are able to perceive the outer specific forms of our work and our relationships whilst being nourished by the shared foundational gift of the breath itself. From this perspective we can be rested while putting together an elaborate meal for an arriving crowd, whilst climbing the highest mountain or sitting at home surrounded by the chaos of a loving family.
Rested, we are ready for the world but not held hostage by it, rested we care again for the right things and the right people in the right way. In rest we reestablish the goals that make us more generous, more courageous, more of an invitation, someone we want to remember, and someone others would want to remember too.


REST By David Whyte

there are words strung together

in such beauty

lined up in perfect sequence

finally arranged in such a way

they touch secret places

of pain so hidden inside us

they have had no way of expression 

they almost don’t exist

they are so deep

so shadowy scarred and twisted

so nameless I can’t acknowledge them

because they might possibly be a ghost

and why would I disturb alien creatures,

when there is quite enough pain

right here in plain sight

to try to heal and deal with?
until these thoughts appear,

the magical key,

and shadows become real,

in these words of another – 

because the other 

has felt 

has written

has sung

has wrestled and wrangled with…

this too!

and the words they have mined 

from these dark, broken quarries 

touch that wispy, pain-filled place

inside of me

with delicate fingers

and declare they are so,

and, somehow,

they make them alright,

binding and healing

my shame-filled broken bones

my secret stab wounds 

my almost too pain-full to be real

merely by sharing them out loud!

Suddenly, my soul says, aha!

And I breathe again, 

and I lay down to rest. 

Then roses in my heart

turn from blush to deepest crimson

and birds come and build nests in the trees,

which declare every moment that

Yahweh is always gracious,

and the morning wakes up

new and alive. 

Then love burns seven times hotter 

than I ever even thought possible

and I count gift after gift

of never-before-seen riches at my fingertips

as I step into a life 

that matters

because I am beloved

because I understand myself better

and the meaning of,

It is what it is

and

the truth shall set you free

become my praise songs

because I AM

with every word

and I grin and say,

‘You aren’t much, my girl’

and I belly laugh…

because it is true!

and then I laugh even harder because,

truth is also,

I AM everything I need to be! 

oh, hallelujah 

glory be!

🌞

AL

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