Category: Druidry Written by Nimue Brown
I talk a lot about Druidry in terms of what we do, and that runs the risk of making it sound like being a good Druid calls for lots of effort and busyness. It doesn’t have to. Too much trying to do stuff can result in a lot of noise and motion, but no substance.
Resting is a good and meaningful thing to do as a deliberate part of your Druid practice. Mammals are supposed to rest, and other mammals invest time in that. Resting is a really good way of connecting with and honouring your animal self. Working with nature as it manifests in your own body is an important part of how we connect with the rest of the natural world. Flopped out, being a mammal being natural and making space for that experience is really good stuff to be doing.
Resting is not just sustainable, it’s also restorative. You aren’t consuming resources or using much energy when you’re resting and it may support you in using less at other times. Being well rested might give you more options on other low-carbon activities that do call for effort (walking, cycling etc.). It’s also radical activism – self-care without consumption, not being economically active, and not being busy are all good ways of taking some respite from the relentlessness of capitalism.
You can mix rest and meditation, but don’t be too workish about the meditation side! Rest is best combined with softer and more contemplative approaches. Gaze out of the window for a while, hold a nice rock and let your mind wander around it. Reflect on things in a non-structured way. Emotional processing takes time and we benefit from having the chance to digest what’s going on in our lives. Restful time lets us gently get to grips with our own experiences and that’s good on many levels. Let the monkey brain chatter away freely and be with that part of your animal self, too.
Resting is the basis of being kind to yourself. If you can’t allow yourself the most basic and essential things, it’s hard to feel kind. Cultivating kindness and compassion is a good Druid thing to be doing, and it is entirely valid to practice this on yourself. The more you learn about what forms of kindness you need, the more you have to bring to other people who might well need your kindness. Slowing down and moving gently makes it a lot easier to be patient and compassionate. When we don’t feel threadbare and frantic ourselves, we’re much better placed to support the people around us.
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