Work vs Rest

How do you define work? What about rest? Are these activities, states of being? And how do you know when to move between them?

I’m not sure if you’ve hit the quarantine phase where you’re questioning, well, literally everything, but I sure have. In particular, I’m paying attention to my own personal rhythms and how I measure productivity.

Which is how I got on this work vs rest debate.

Here’s what I’ve got so far:

Work is… output, motion, acting on the known, and in service of others. It has some narrow, focused quality to it. It’s new creation.

Rest is…. input, stillness, surrender to the unknown, and in service of self. It is boundless and how we open ourselves up to what could be. It’s mindful consumption.

Work asks, “What can I do?”

Rest asks, “What can I enjoy?”

Both demand presence, compassion, and acceptance. Presence in this moment, compassion for where you find yourself, and acceptance of what is.

And both are needed, however you define them.

Inhale, exhale.

On, off.

Engage, disengage.

We live on a sine wave. We are not exempt from the rhythms of nature just because we’ve found ways to modify them.