Links are sprinkled towards the end of your reading.
"Sabbath Rhythms are the heavenly realities that show up in our earthly living, both individually and within community. The many expressions of rest will address what's happening internally (our being) and externally (our doing)." Our being and our becoming are earnestly attached, the danger is when we distance them.
SABBATH RHYTHMS - THE FOUR ASPECTS OF REST
It bears repeating, as I begin to lay out this cyclical foundation, consider what a baby step for you might look like. Simply put—notice yourself, don't judge and analyze. It's about being a sacred co-witness leading with compassion.
When faced with the temptation of overwhelm with shifting paradigms or life expansion, I will give you the same counsel + comfort, l I receive for myself...
+ the Divine Gardener's care/character
+ the soil of my heart
+ the seed of new promise/potential
+ the current season
Yes, I dare us to co-witness the gardens of our lives, especially when we begin transplanting the way we live and have our being—personally + collectively.
As we co-witness the 'timing' of our new budding choices, we will also witness the new oppositions and resistance along the journey of syncing our feminine humanity with Sabbathing Rhythms. To be clear, the oppositions and resistance (internal + external) are revealers, notice their narrative as you engage in your unique Sabbathing Rhythms:
Daily Diversions + Decisions
Weekly Withdrawals + Woo
Monthly Moments + Meditation
Annual Abandonments + Attunement
These rhythms are rooted + grounded in our two unique biological clocks—our solar rhythm and our lunar rhythm.
Solar Rhythm: The well-known, 24-hour circadian rhythm (circa "around" + diem, "day"). It describes the solar cycle of one day, which governs the hours we sleep and are awake, and how we schedule work + play. (Worth noting: part of our sleep rhythm falls under the ultradian rhythm, our natural, rhythmic, healing response of the mind + body. This happens during the 90-to-120-minute cycle of rest + activity of the brain hemispheres—this occurs within the larger 24-hour circadian rhythm.)
Lunar Rhythm: The lesser known, 28-day infradian rhythm (infra "beyond" + diem, "day"). It translates to “beyond a day.” The most common infradian rhythm is the menstrual cycle. Noticing + nurturing + embodying the gift of infradian rhythms can help us to understand + embrace the monthly flow of the body's cycles, whether you are menstrual or not.
The fact is that our bodies are 80% water, and all water has its gravitational movement influenced by the moon—we all ebb and flow—like the tidal, we rise + fall throughout the month.
Essentially, we are rhythmic beings—creation is rhythmic. By tuning into our sacred, natural rhythms (circadian, infradian, ultradian and many others not mentioned) we get to reclaim + explore + embody a dynamic, self-care and soul care rhythm—Sabbathing Rhythms—personally + collectively. Let's revolutionize our lives accordingly.
Daily Diversion Idea
Interruptions are daily and they are usually divine diversions. And even if they aren't, they are divinely governed. Rest looks like not trying to control or fight interruptions. Striving and struggling only heightens your stress response (I know this all too well, having eight children, but I have learned a better way. You can learn a better way)
Ultimately, when we want something to be different than it is, we're fighting with reality. This opens a door to frustration, anxiety, stress, as well as other mental and emotional strain. There's a more noble way for us to accept life's diversions and gain some insight. By the way, accepting diversions do not mean you must like it, prefer it or settle for it. It means you accept it for what it is—an invitation to discover where Love accompanies you.
Thankfully, we can hold our plans out to a wise and benevolent God who is with us and for us. This is where we learn to keep our plans fluid and God's purpose steady.
Keep your plans fluid and God's purpose steady.
Sometimes, diversions will reveal some kind of road block, whether it's emotional, mental or spiritual—and at times, physical.
Road blocks are present in life because construction is going on in a specific area. When you're facing a roadblock, figuratively or literally, you'll want to think about the detour you must take and not obsess over the blockage.
Reverse & readjust your navigation, expectations and your attitude. Here are some ways to divert your attention in small, everyday pockets.
A Few Tips:
- Aim to do this in baby steps, gradually. Choose one thing at a time—there's no pass or fail, and there's no hurry.
- Begin to ruminate on your belovedness, your intrinsic worth. There's enough good to go around in the world for you, too.
- Give your body permission to connect deeply with your thoughts and emotions, and to connect with God and creation.
- Name the alarms on your phone (you can automate some needful diversions throughout your day). For example, "Sis, time to take a deep breath" "Who has shown God's face today?" "Take a break" "Hydrate healthily"—you get the idea.
Daily Diversion Rest Suggestions
~ Process the detours with God. Ask, "What is this interruption showing me about the intersection of my needs and my longings?"
~ Learn to manage daily stress by breathing from your diaphragm, it oxygenates the lower lobes of your lungs and communicates to the brain that you have an adequate amount of oxygen to kick in calm. You'll discover how breathing deeply can benefit you in stressful situations. Deep breathing can happen anytime or anywhere.
~ Have an ongoing gratitude list. Counting and jotting down your daily blessings or gifts can cultivate rest.
~ Taking many notifications off your phone for 15-20 minutes or longer.
~ Engage laughter and lament mindfully and within community.
~ Stretch for 2-3 minutes.
~ Your eyes are meant to keep moving, so give your them a break by following the 20-20-20 rule: for every 20 minutes you stare at a screen, pause and look at least 20 feet away for at least 20 seconds. This also helps your neck. And if you take the same moment to roll your shoulders and stretch your arms, you'll help release the physical tension in your body.
~ Listen to music or soundscape and move to the beat.
~ Remove 1 or 2 items from your to-do.
~ Write a handwritten thank note or thinking of you note.
~ Designate a physical space you can go to for refuge. Space of Your Own (S.O.Y.O) or a Sanctuary of Surrender (S.O.S.). This is where you will go when you need a grounding moment. This can be a room, a nook or a closet, or even outdoors. The bathroom should be your last option (but I know the struggle is real for many surrounded by children either in the home or in the classroom).
Just determine ahead of time where your S.O.Y.O or S.O.S. will be located—you can designate several places.
~ Admit to yourself and others you need a short (or extended) break to collect your thoughts to readjust, rethink, and reset.
Weekly Withdrawal Idea
Rest looks like taking one recurring day of the week to pause, trust, heal, replenish, and celebrate (any day of the week will work). Of course, Friday sunset to Saturday sunset is the "Sabbath holy day". I'm not overlooking its significance, but there's liberty in Messiah to honor the "spirit" of the law, as well, especially when you consider your personal calendar.
A Little About How I Do This
For years, I have secured Thursday as my weekly withdrawal. It's when I also take my digital Sabbath. On this day, I take a rest from emails, texts, and social media. I notify friends and family that if they have "real" emergencies, they can call me — interestingly, no one ever does. Everything and everyone can wait.
Having said that, there are moments within this day where I do invite my community in this healing space: taking a walk together, playing board games with my children or we'll cook the meal together, sometimes, I may met up with a friend at a park or retreat center to walk, pray, lament and laugh. It's about the freedom I have to make it about what I need to be refreshed and refueled.
I am not one to practice enabling notifications on my phone or computer (there's lots of scientific research on why this is a healing practice), but the few notifications I do allow are suspended every Thursday.
Typically, I have a start and end time to make the boundaries clear to all. It takes lots of rehearsal time to honor this personal discipline — patience is key. Beware of romanticizing all of this. It's messy, oftentimes.
The purpose is to open up your humanity even the more to the awareness and acknowledgement of the deep connection you already have with the LORD of the Sabbath.
And lastly, the healing of the Sabbath is about communion, which is an expression of God's generous love. He has even built Sabbath into creation for us to have many witnesses and examples from which we can draw. Begin to look at many ordinary, every day practices you already enjoy and let them expand for a longer period once a week.
Weekly Withdrawal Rest Suggestions
~ Ask the Spirit to reveal what this weekly sabbatical looks like for you.
~ Worship with a local congregation online or in person.
~ Enjoy a social connection with family & friends (take a departure from social media).
~ Take a stroll.
~ Watch a movie/listen to a podcast.
~ Study Scripture or learn something new.
~ Speak a blessing over yourself.
~ Prepare & savor a meal with others.
~ Light candles and or incense.
~ Take a nap.
~ Spend time making appointments, or handling personal matters with boundaries in view.
~ Find a nearby park, or if near the beach, go there, if near the mountains, go there! Go to nature—meet God there.
~ Take a weekly bath with your favorite salt and essential oils in order to detox and heal.
~ Have a meeting-free day.
~ Practice silence for 5 minutes while you doodle or daydream. Initially, it's daunting, your imagination goes on hyperactivity and negative thoughts can begin to abound, but that's normal.
Think of silence as a weekly detoxing experience, all of the impurities begin to come up and out in the early stage of detoxing. I believe it's worth it to gain the valuable insight that awaits and to trust Jesus to reveal to you things about your worth, character, longings and your heart.
~ Download GPS For The Soul.
~ Make sure you consider one day of the week that will be a "no errand" day. You need margin to just be and not do.
Monthly Moment Idea
It's significant to know where you are in your monthly/moon phase.
Monthly Moment Rest Suggestions
~ Take 30-min or more each month to examine your previous month with our Monthly Moment Review SOULution Worksheet.
~ Partake in seed cycling and moon bathing for cyclical wellbeing. According to renowned American herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, "Our inner balance comes to us from our relationship to the moon." SOULjourner taking a moon bath, if nothing else, can be a gentle reminder to slow down and take care of yourself. With each new or full moon, consider taking it as an opportunity to center yourself, reflect, and restore a sense of calm.
Below, I share a few glorious images from my moon bathing date with my husband, Keith.
~ Use the Lectio Divina practice to go through a Psalms or any preferred Scriptural passage for focused prayer (speaking + listening).
~ Clean out your car, fridge, purse, a room or closet in your home (you may have to do a room in phases if it's been neglected, or get in a weekly rhythm to organize/clean in phases). Sis, delegation is your friend - you can always pay someone else to tackle bigger organizational/cleaning needs.
~ Donate excess toys and outgrown clothes to a friend or to an organization.
~ Have a girls' night out or friends' night out. Maybe you can't do it monthly but perhaps every other month or even quarterly.
~ Get a service rendered through a vocational school (cosmetology and massage students are very affordable).
~ Journal once a month (or as often as you choose). Journaling can take on many forms: digital journaling, photography, scrapbooking, writing the old school way, blogging, using your voice recording app, songwriting, you get the idea. Preserving a memory is at the heart of journaling.
~ Visit a local park and take photographs.
~ Go shopping for something you need or want.
~ Spend time at a library or bookstore.
~ Take in a museum, a play or a movie.
~ Say "no" to something or someone you'd typically say "yes" to in order to create more margin once a month.
~ Go to a local monastery (if there's one close enough).
~ Go to a local retreat spot, many provide free guest passes.
Annual Abandonment Idea
At least once a year, rest can look like pushing an extended pause button on your normal day-to-day to just get away. This will require some advanced planning to put it on the calendar, as you would a vacation. It can provide you with the much-needed realignment to reset your vision and your personal appraisal of your life. This can be done individually or with friends.
Annual Abandonment Rest Suggestions
~ Take an annual personal inventory to look at the highlights of the year's milestones (a guide is provided in the Sabbathing Rhythms planner).
~ Have fun! Whether you go for several hours, a day, or a weekend, this doesn’t have to cost lots of money, you just need to be imaginative, intentional, and a bit resourceful.
~ House sit for a friend or family member.
Remember, every moment can be a God moment to root us into deep rest in every activity—it's already ours.
Grace awaits us as we actively + intuitively connect with our holy inner wisdom and holy temples.
Also remember, grace is never in a hurry for us to get it right. It is enough for Love to nurture and reveal to us our belonging + belovedness in view of the greatest aim—to let Love and to love. Love is upward (Divine), inward (self), and outward (others).
From my heart to yours, as I have taken many years to heal + resolve for myself the disconnect with my body, I invite you to join me in this better, gentler way to live + optimize giving to yourself over grinding yourself.
Compassion says: You. are. not. a machine.
You. are. a. cyclical. HUMAN.
Sacred scribbler + speaker + wombman, let's rhythmically reimagine.
Until next time,
Scribble. Speak. From your soul.
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LEAVE A COMMENT: What are some of the rhythms you are noticing—personally + collectively? What else stood out to you?