A Liturgy of Rest for the Artist
Last week The Breath and the Clay asked me to contribute a post to their weekly Sabbath post. I wanted to post it here for you to enjoy and perhaps find some hints or practices that can enhance your weekly habit of rest.
I have always been a busy body. Even if my body stops moving my brain has a hard time turning it off. So when this scripture grabbed my attention I was forced to take notice, to slow down. Everything I ever knew about work was about to be challenged. All I ever knew was work, take off a few days for holidays, throw in a vacation, and repeat. In other words, earn your rest. I was being shown that true work, one that brings true satisfaction is born from rest.
I never realized how important rest was to my creativity until the quarantine happened. At the time I was experiencing a creative block. I even asked myself was I really even an artist anymore? I was growing more and more aware that I was striving to create, instead of trusting the process.
During the lockdown, we started a garden. When all striving is removed, we revert to slow methodical practices. While I watched some artist friends post about thriving in isolation, I was quietly placing seeds in the ground. Those seeds were my pivot, they were the only thing I knew to do. Other activities began to occupy my time as well like fishing with my son, reading in the early hours, and journaling. I was learning to intentionally make time to be renewed, to perceive, and rest.
Rest rejuvenates our mind, body, and soul.
Rest is based on trust. Sometimes we have to lay things down and not preoccupy ourselves with the outcome. Sometimes all we can do is put the seed in the ground and do our best to nurture the environment and see what happens. For the artist, this means laying down our work in order to receive before we produce. It means creating as a form of rest. Rest rejuvenates our mind, body, and soul… including our ideas and abilities.
Here are a few things I learned that maybe you can include in your sabbath practice:
- Choose rest before you’re forced to.
- Find a new activity outside of your normal work or creative lifestyle.
- Tell your work it can wait. It will be there when you get back.
- Try something new. Experiment, Play, Risk, Fail, Repeat.
- Trade striving for trusting.
Meditate on this scripture today “Make every effort to enter into my rest”. Listen for the invitation, nurture the space, and see what happens.
Peace to you friends,