How lovely that this week coincides with Sabbath – I would like for you to think the Velvet Ashes team is so with it, we planned this. But the truth is God really wants us to get the theme of Sabbath and He is the one who lined this week up.
For me, that makes this chapter and week more meaningful. It’s not something orchestrated by VA, instead God is taking an eternal truth and practice and helping us unpack it in our time and contexts. Today we’re looking at Guidepost #7–Cultivating Play and Rest: Letting Go of Exhaustion as a Status Symbol and Productivity as Self-Worth
A few years ago my boss got tired of us in the Beijing office, on staff for our company, sprinkling the word “busy” into conversations. It had becoming our defining attribute and combined into an amalgamation, part badge of honor and part greatest frustration. We even spent time at a staff retreat talking about how we weren’t going to talk about being busy J.
How easy as cross-cultural workers to, as Brene said, “base our worthiness on our level of productivity.”
Throw into the pot:
- Supporters – and the sacrifices we know some make on our behalf
- The voice in our heads that asks, “what do you have to show for today?”
- Blurry lines between what is work and what is play. Is having local friends over for a meal work or play? Is playing basketball work or play? I didn’t have these kinds of conversations when I had a more clearly defined job as a junior high math teacher.
When Jesus said we are to come to him like little children, I think we often focus on their innocence. What if part of the reason Jesus wanted us to be like children is because of their ease with play?
Dr. Stuart Brown “explains that play shapes our brain, helps us foster empathy, helps us navigate complex social groups, and is at the core of creativity and innovation.” Wow. Shapes. Helps. Is at the core.
It saddened me to again be reminded how the enemy has hijacked the idea of “Adult play” to be the opposite of true God ordained adult play. The current idea around adult play is anything but playful as it can rewire the brain in unhelpful ways and fosters distance, hiding and shame. It robs and destroys.
I am thankful I grew up in a family that took both work and play seriously. When it would start to rain –and in Colorado the rain storms would come in for a few minutes and then often move on – most other moms called the kids to get out of the rain. My mom hollered for us to all get an umbrella and the four of us, my mom and sisters and I, would dance and kick water in the gutters.
Even with this solid foundation and modeling, I have had to keep reorienting myself to VALUE play and not see it as a “waste of time.” Though I see and experience the benefits when I do play, those messages from our culture and the enemy of our soul are loud, are they not?
How about you, what stood out in this chapter? How are you with incorporating play and rest into your normal everyday life? What are the challenges of letting go of the status symbol of being busy? What subtle ways does our line of work impact your understanding and relationship with play and rest?
See you in the comments,
P.S. Here are the posts related to The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown:
- Introductory chapters (doesn’t that seem a while ago?)
- The things that get in the way and Guidepost #1 –Cultivating Authenticity
- Guidepost #2 –Cultivating Self-Compassion
- Guidepost #3-– Cultivating a Resilient Spirit: Letting go of numbing and powerlessness
- Guidepost #4 — Cultivating Gratitude and Joy
- Guidepost #5 — Cultivating Intuition and Trusting Faith
- Guidepost #6 –Cultivating Creativity
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