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✨The Creative MOMent: May 2023
Creativity Prompt for Journaling: What is Rest?
✨ The Creative MOMent
The Creative MOMent is a section of the Emily Lupita ❤️🔥 Creativity Series offering a quick way to fit in a creative moment - written especially for my fellow busy Moms. I share a prompt for journaling + my own creative journal as an example.
Creativity Prompt: What is Rest?
I’ve been on a new journey of self-care for a few years now. One of the biggest reminders I need to make for myself is to rest. I need to be full in order to give to others. I’ve been on a dedicated mission to see my own self-care as part of my devotion to motherhood. That by caring for the most important person in my sons’ lives, I am also caring for my sons. It hasn’t been a smooth road for me.
It has not been easy to learn to rest after a lifetime of hustle and bustle. I didn’t really even understand what rest was or what rest felt like.
I think true rest will be different for each individual person. There’s the medical rest - sleep - which, of course, we all need in abundance. But what is something we do while awake that helps our minds to rest? What can we do that helps our hearts rest?
What does rest mean to you?
When writing about the concept of rest, I naturally think of meditation and calming music. But you might think of exercise or being in nature. Or perhaps rest is being snuggled up on the sofa for an evening of Netflix. Or all of the above.
I like this article from the Derbyshire Writing School, “Here’s Why It’s Absolutely Essential for Writers to Rest.” It’s aimed specifically at writers, but I think we could definitely substitute the word Writers for the word Mothers.
Here’s a few journaling prompts I created using some of the info from the article:
Read or listen to Mary Oliver’s poem, “Wild Geese.” I like this reading by Andrea Gibson. (You don’t need TikTok to listen, just x out of the login.)
Reflect on the words in the poem and explore your thoughts in relation to rest. Especially the first few lines, “You do not need to be good. / You do not have to walk on your knees / for a hundred miles through the desert repenting.”
Doing nothing can be difficult. But including moments of “nothingness” in your day can help increase productivity. Set an alarm for 5 minutes. Or even begin with just 2 minutes. Then sit in a lovely place and have the intention to do nothing for that time frame.
Consider these questions: What does rest means to you? How do you feel rested? What makes you feel restored? How can you find time for these restful periods in your day?
My Creativity Journal
✨ Writing About Rest:
I remember retreating to my room as a kid growing up in rural Iowa to read. Reading was the ultimate escape for me and now, looking back, I realize it was my greatest form of rest. Once I went to college, I started traveling and began reading books about the places I found myself. I immersed my imagination in the storytelling of Mexico, Spain, and Wales. This is how I rested during an overwhelmingly intense chapter of my life.
I especially felt a unique joy when visiting the places where my favorite writers existed in a time before I arrived. My Grandma Rosella was Welsh, and she taught me about Dylan Thomas and read me his poetry. Grandma died when I was 17, and I remember standing in the Dylan Thomas Boathouse in Laugharne, Wales, a few years later…feeling Grandma’s distinct presence. I walked up alone to the writing shed above, thinking about how this is where Dylan Thomas lived and wrote, and how much Grandma Rosella would’ve loved to be there with me. How it seemed she was there with me in spirit, somehow.
That connection between place and story - it made my relationship with his masterpiece, “Do not go gentle into that good night” that was so important to my young life - even more real and intimate.
The Boathouse - that’s where Dylan Thomas went to rest and to write. And to read. I haven’t finished a book for years. This is a shameful confession for me, a writer & artist who is all in on literacy. I’ve started books. And I’ve read pages, chapters. I seek out a few poems at a time. But as far as sitting down and reading…really getting into the feel and story of a book. Gosh, it’s been years.
How does this happen? How do I find myself not able to find the time to read for half an hour each night? My boys are asleep and what am I doing? I’m cleaning. I’m organizing clothes for the morning rush. I’m checking emails (yikes!) or contemplating brushing my teeth.
Well, I’m a mother now, I tell myself. But mothers still read, right? Motherhood doesn’t prevent one from reading, does it? It has for me. My motherhood journey has been full of intense joy. And also steep challenges, the smallest of which is that I haven’t read a book in years. But perhaps it’s not the smallest, tiniest issue. Perhaps it does matter that I haven’t found the time to read. It feels like it matters. It feels like I’ve missed the rest that reading brings.
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