My mom keeps saying that she’s forgetting important things. She’s 71. For someone who is a “senior”, I can imagine how scary that must feel. I have been in a stage now for several months, if not a full year, where I’ve been forgetting things that I never did before – important events, reminders, discussions, birthdays.
It’s not like me to do that, however, I’m 38. Although I know memory loss and Alzheimer’s hits people my age, too, I doubt it’s that.
What it was, I believe, is that I wasn’t allowing much space in my life. I went from working full-time and teaching yoga many times a week, to completing yet another 15-month yoga training while working full-time, to working overtime and filling the small amounts of extra time I had with reading, learning, friends – with absolutely no free time to sit and breathe.
I’ve always been one to fill up my free time with stuff: mostly art projects, home projects, and education. And that’s been OK for a long time; my body adapted just fine to the push-push-push of my life.
Then the forgetful aspect came full-on, and I started noticing the people around me getting irritated: I might have been with them, technically, but I was worlds away, trying to enact some sort of mental escape.
It wasn’t until these last few weeks that I have purposely put down the studying, the learning, the grasping, and got back on my mat, regularly, that got me back to space where my mind can rest. I didn’t think I needed it, but clearly, I did. This small step allowed space in my entire day: the 20 minutes that I set aside each morning to practice a little bit of active yoga and to meditate turned into a mini-Sabbath. That mini-Sabbath led to so much more relief: making easier dinners, and not feeling stressed that my recipes won’t be incredible, giving myself more time to sit and relax without a book in my hand, adding more peace by involving myself in less email/computer/phone interaction during the day.
If we go-go-go and allow no time for our minds to chill – and for those of you who think (like I did) that sleep was enough rest – you’re dead wrong. Sleep is sleep. Rest is rest, and rest is essential.
For many years, I provided rest: I taught restorative yoga, I taught yin, I taught slow flows, and then I crazily taught hot, power yoga – what I was thinking, I have no idea. So I provided release, however I didn’t grasp hold of the release. And I didn’t realize that was a problem until it was pointed out – over and over and over again – that I was forgetting things.
I’ve said many times on this blog how awesome it is to be an entrepreneur – and it is. I hope with all of me that I can always keep this up. And keeping this up takes an enormous amount of mental capacity. The hours I spend working – I have honestly never, ever spent this much time working before, in all my life. And I rarely worked only a 40-hour week in the past.
Working like this is how we build businesses, and it’s how we grow, and it’s how we survive. We have to support ourselves somehow, as cute as it is to be an artist or a side hustler, you have to make money, that’s simply all there is to it. And when making money takes up every bit of your life, you have to allow for rest.
Or you might start forgetting things.
Or you might get sick. You might lose an important relationship. You might lose your job, too.
Rest is essential. I added that daily, by incorporating the essence of Sabbath into my life.
Our closest friends – the ones who know us best – they’ll give us little hints, too, even if they don’t know they are doing it. My friend Sue suggested a book at our book club session last month called Sabbath. Holla! That was a book I most definitely needed to hear about, and to read. It came into my life at the perfect time: the time when I was already consciously adding this time to my day and to my week, and now I had a word for it.
Sabbath, my time of peace every day, and for these past several weeks, I’ve incorporated this for an entire weekend day, too. I’m seeing friends less. I’m working less. I’m getting off the computer, and working my way off all screens; without social media, for a full day.
The act of Sabbath: an essential, awakening, life-giving aspect that we all can add – for free – to our lives.
What’s also essential is peanut butter. A few of my friends are gluten free (hey Sue, this is for you!) so this is: gluten free, vegan, and check that small amount of sugar – not too bad! You can whip them up and cook them in less than 20 minutes. What’s not to love?
Enjoy your rest.
Vegan, Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies + Time for Sabbath
- 1 tbsp. flax, ground
- 1/2 c. almonds
- 1/2 c. oats
- 1 c. peanut butter
- 1/3 c. natural cane sugar
- 1/3 c. brown sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- coarse sea salt, as needed
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- In a small bowl, combine the flax with 3 tbsp. warm water, whisk with a fork, and set aside.
- In a food processor, process the almonds into a fine meal. Add the oats, sugars, peanut butter, vanilla, and flax, and process until combined, about a minute.
- Prepare 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Spoon the batter onto the paper, in about 1" balls.
- Flatten with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Top each cookie with coarse sea salt.
- Bake for 10 minutes, let cool, and enjoy!