For the women in my life, and for most of the men I know, I can think of no greater gift than time and space for deep rest.
I’m not talking about getting more sleep, although I’m guessing most of us need it.
I’m talking about deliberate and daily, middle-of-the-day, middle-of-the-week, yoga nidra naps.
And when I talk about yoga nidra, I mean Karen Brody’s work, which speaks to the overwhelmed and exhausting lives of 21st century women. Specifically, I recommend the forty-day program she outlines in her new book, Daring to Rest.
Here are a few inviting passages from the first chapter:
- Imagine just a few minutes each day when your mind powers down and does nothing — no thoughts, just open space, pure freedom.
- In yoga nidra, the purpose is for you to rediscover the truth of who you are, your true nature.
- Yoga Nidra is like hopping on a cruise ship to wholeness.
This is Heroine’s Journey work: reclaiming your true purpose, i.e. your creative calling, by putting aside time for silence, to go within and listen.
I confess I’m only about a third of the way through Karen’s book. I’m taking my time, lingering over areas I want to explore more deeply. But I can tell you, it has already had a huge impact on the direction of my life.
When you buy the book, you gain access to three of Karen’s guided yoga nidra recordings. At the end of the first session, which you repeat for the first fifteen days of the program, she asks you to listen for a soul whisper–words, images, ideas that come from deep within. After several days, you look at your soul whispers and see how they add up.
My words have included rest, letting go, surrender and SABBATICAL.
Yes, my yoga nidra naps have led me to plan a sabbatical for at least part of 2018.
Within a few days after returning from MIddleboro, it was clear I could not jump back into my old way of doing business. Some cellular changes took place while I was living on the bog and I haven’t had time to process and integrate. I wondered if I should quit altogether, and then this idea of sabbatical emerged.
Sabbatical has its roots in the Sabbath.
The late great, Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote that the Jewish Sabbath was a sanctuary in time. I have been thinking so much about Creative Sanctuary and wanting to rebrand my business around that idea, it only now occurs to be I need to build my own sanctuary first, and that I need to create it with time.
That doesn’t mean I will disappear. I’m not going into full hibernation.
- I will continue to hold space for Continuous Practice. Next week I’ll send guidelines for this 365-day, wildly imperfect practice period. My own 365-day commitment will be daily yoga nidra naps. Not that I need coaxing. It is a relief to sink into to Karen’s recordings every day.
- I will also host a few meditation and writing practice sessions at Sol Healing and Wellness Center. No long courses yet or retreats, but short periods of dipping in our toes and getting back to foundational work. Details forthcoming.
- And I will be sharing the Sabbatical Creative Sanctuary journey, suggesting practices and processes that help create space for deep, creative work.
Do you dare to let go and rest regularly? What would it take for you to surrender to sanity of daily yoga nidra naps?