Reverie and the Discipline of Rest
As a teenager into my twenties I had perpetual insomnia. After that I traveled through time zones and my circadian rhythms were all kinds of dishevled. Instead of retreating to recover from all those years of not sleeping, I had 4 strenuous pregnancies back to back. Then I had 4 kids ages 4 and under. Also in that time I moved internationally. Twice. There has not been an abundance of typical “rest”or sleep in my recent years but stopping to slow down so that you can be invigorated is what you make of it. It is possible to be at total rest amidst chaos and simultaneously possible to be anxious when everything in your life is bending toward peace.
My son's middle name is Reverie (don't all go naming your kid that, now...the unspoken MomCode of not stealing each other's baby names applies here). It means to be in a state of wondering or meditation, so much so that what's around you doesn't matter. In music, a reverie is an instrumental composure that evokes a dreamy state. He was born in a really chaotic time in our lives and I knew his name should be a constant reminder of choosing peace in unknowns. I am prone to anxiety (or I just live in a city with a really high crime rate) and it has been so powerful for me to be able to remind myself to slow down just by calling his name.
Revitalizing is a learned discipline and must be practiced diligently. A simple way that my family cultivates this sacred yet simple practice is by recharging on weekends (and every chance we get). This can look different for everyone. For my husband it often looks like lighting up the braai (Like a barbecue in South Africa) and hosting a huge gathering at our house. Over the years, as I have learned more about myself, my personality type and my boundaries, I have realized that I was carrying all of these personal expectations about what weekends were meant to look like and a lot of it involved sleeping (way) in and the whole family making pancakes together, gluten free flour strewn everywhere and endless cups of coffee. (Ok, I have a seriously stellar husband so many of our weekends do look like this but that's not the point of this post). The point IS that I was draining my own energy by living in my own head regarding my perfect weekend plans. Now, on all the weekends that we can (and all the weekday mornings we can and every free moment we can), we adventure. We walk in the forest or dip our toes in the ocean or walk around an inspiring city and it really lights us up. We take time to read each other and discern what the other needs (and I am talking about kids, too) and its pretty freaking perfect. Whatever ignites your soul, whether that is hiking mountains or raking leaves, painting, total silence or curling up with snacks to watch movies, find your reverie.