In order to act in the world with consciousness and compassion, you must regularly stop and rest, and renew and recharge. Otherwise, the light in our beings can be snuffed out. Our question for this 6th night of Hanukkah is: what helps you rest and renew?
We are not the first people, nor the last, that have faced challenging times. By feeding our souls, we can offer our families, communities, and the world so much more.
This is a countercultural perspective. Our society encourages us to be always “on.” Stores are open at all hours. People email us night and day, expecting a quick response. Many of us work until we drop, or get sick.
Shabbat is the most subversive practice of all. Shabbat is a full day where we do not build or create — we rest in what is. It is the most powerful spiritual practice and Judaism’s gift to the world.
In addition to Shabbat practice, it is important that we find ways to stop, rest and renew during the week.
Judy Brown’s poem “Fire” so beautifully captures this idea. She writes, “What makes a fire burn/ is space between the logs/ a breathing space…” We must leave breathing space within our days. Otherwise, the fire will be smothered.
I wrote an ebook with 12 Ways to Rest and Renew. You can find it here.
6th night of Hanukkah question:
What are 6 ways you rest and renew?
Here are mine. I hope you will share yours in the comments:
- My husband and son created a pulley so I could see hummingbirds right outside the window where I work. Anna’s hummingbirds come by every day, delighting me with their colorful fuchsia necks and beating wings. Looking up, they remind me to take a breath and say a blessing on their beauty.
- I’ve had a daily meditation practice for many years. Here’s the thing: if I don’t do it first thing in the morning, my lists of to-do’s get ahead of me, and I won’t go back to meditating. I use the app Insight Timer (I have some meditations on there if you’d like to take a listen.) I find this daily practice essential to my well-being.
- Regular study with my chevruta (study partners) is like finding an oasis in the middle of the week. I love learning so much and especially with colleagues and partners who gift me with their wisdom.
- Getting my hands in the dirt, whether it is by weeding or planting seeds, is a surefire way to create space in my always-busy mind. I love the garden so much and slowing down enough to pay attention to the rhythm of the season reminds me to be patient.
- Our wonderful labradoodle Bo will find a toy (usually his yellow duck or a ball) and bump me on the legs with it. He wants to play. He reminds me to stop and laugh.
- Shabbat practice is an essential component of my week. At sundown, after our Hineni Mindfulness Shabbat, I close the computer and do my best to not open it, or social media all day Saturday until Shabbat ends with Havdalah.
For the Hanukkah candle blessings, click here.
For my favorite latke recipe, click here.