Tonight we light the 6th candle of Hanukkah. And it is also Shabbat, the day of rest. We light the menorah first, and then our Shabbat candles.
The question for tonight is: Can you name 6 things that help you rest or stop or take a needed breath?
As my teacher Rabbi Sheila Peltz Weinberg teaches about the Sabbath – “Pausing is not an option. Pausing is part of the plan.”
An entire day is set aside for stopping and appreciating what is, rather than the continuous striving to do more, and make things happen. And there are ways to build in Shabbat “moments” throughout the week.
What are six things that help you remember to stop, pause or rest?
Here are my six:
1 – The Sabbath, by Abraham Joshua Heschel
Simply opening this classic to any page helps remind me to rest. Heschel’s book is sheer poetry and filled with beautiful wisdom about the Sabbath being a sacred time to be, and not do.
2 – Morning Routine
I do my best to set aside time each morning for a bit of learning and meditation. Before I meditate, I read a few pages from an inspirational book, write down what I’m grateful for, and meditate. I use the Insight Timer meditation app and either sit in silence or discover new meditations and pieces of musical meditations and chants. You can find some of my meditations on the app here.
3 – Our daily walk/hike
At around 4:00 pm every day, our doodle Bo, reminds us to get outside and go for a walk. He is very insistent about it, coming up and nudging me with his nose. As we walk out the door, I am so grateful because left to my own devices, I might continue to work without stopping. More about this tomorrow night.
4 – Weekly Chevruta/Study
I have a few wonderful colleagues that I study with each week. It provides an hour of delightful learning and companionship. It is a sacred time set aside each week.
5 – My husband, Ely
Ely will notice that I have been working non-stop and come into my office and ask, “have you eaten yet?” I am so grateful to him for reminding me to stop and take care of my body.
6 – Our Hineni community Shabbat meditations
Since the pandemic began, we’ve been meeting every Friday for an hour of music, discussion, healing and Kaddish. This regular practice has been enormously restorative and the fact that it’s on my calendar (and that I am responsible for leading) means that I cannot get “too busy” to stop. I must. Our community has blossomed and become a most wonderful gift in my life. (PS We open the community for new members a few times a year and one of those times will be in January. You can find more about it here.)
What about you? I’d love to hear (they don’t have to have long explanations either.)
Now it’s your turn.
What 6 things help you rest or stop or take a needed breath?
Add a few in the comments!
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