Truly being at rest. Tried it lately?I’ve heard that a huge segment of the population is sleep-deprived. I’m not surprised. When you consider all the complexities of life, it’s a wonder we sleep at all, or even take time for a day off now and then.

Considering musical notation, I was struck by the symbols for rest, those moments of silence, however long they last, in musical notation.

Who knew there could be so many symbols for resting? There’s even a symbol for a 1/64th note rest—a heartbeat takes longer than that! Sometimes I feel like I should have these symbols tattooed to my forehead as a reminder of their potency and power.

Perhaps for you, that feeling of rest comes in the moment before you fall asleep, when your body drops all its defenses and you fall oh-so-sweetly into the land of slumber…

But then you jolt awake. After all, there are the kids to care for, the bills to pay, the projects to be completed, the websites to be updated: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and of course, those precious blog entries. It’s a challenge to be a parent, partner, provider, blogger, journalist, teacher, chef, designer, caretaker, maid, chauffeur…the list goes on. And that’s just in your personal life. Then we have to tack on citizen, accountant, activist, volunteer, manager, leader…you get the picture.

Rest? I’m in favor of it, but who’s got the time?

I return to the musical symbol for “whole rest.” Depending on the music’s time signature, the rest can last anywhere from one to eight beats, maybe even more. Silence. The space between the notes. A sequence of moments in time when all you hear is the sound of your own heartbeat.

Today I’m listening for my own personal rests, and as I write the score for my life, I’m going to be sure to include a few whole rests. In the time signature of my creation, that would be four full breaths of resting. Quiet and peace, available to me now.

What about you?

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