As the tender husband and good friend my Beloved is, He is teaching me rest. He is guiding me, slowly, at a pace I can just barely understand. I am a slow learner when it comes to the slow, restful, peaceful things. My mind is too quick and eager, and my body too willing to follow suit. But He is my new Mind, my new Body. I am learning to choose Newness – to choose Him and choose Rest.
I have learned the practice of relaxing one breath at a time. Breathe: Relax my feet. Breath: Relax my legs. Breath…. on and on till my whole body has released the tension and hurry and striving. My Beloved has taught me that I am two things – inner man, outer man. My body belongs to the realm of outer man. If I rest only my body, I rest only half of myself. I must rest my inner man – my will, affections, and mind. And so, with each breath, I focus my mind on one word of the Shema:
Shema breathe, relax feet
Yisrael breathe, relax legs
Adonai breathe, relax body
Eloheinu breathe, relax arms
Adonai breathe, relax neck and shoulders
Echad breathe, relax face and head
Sometimes the day has been long, and I do it again, and sometimes again…
In this rest I choose focus over distraction, rest over rush, slow breathing over the quicker kind. My outer-man finds rest in the sweet letting-go, while my inner-man – mind, will, and affections…my soul finds it’s deep rest and refreshment in the words spoken first by our Beloved when He revealed His Glory to one who knew His heart:
Shema Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu. Adonai echad.
Hear, Oh Israel, the Lord your God. The Lord is One.
ps. I love You back.