Deb Sofield

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The Blessing of Rest… A New Year’s Resolution

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Dear Reader – please note this show was produced in 2015 but I wanted to share it along with my other shows.

I don’t know about you, but I’m often asked about New Year’s Resolutions: Do I make them? Do I keep them? Or do I do nothing? And the answer is…a little bit of all of them.

I know this week’s show is a few days before the New Year, but I wanted to check in and see, if you don’t have a New Year’s resolution, if I could convince you to consider my resolution for the new year, and that is to take time and rest.

Really, that’s it—REST. The dictionary describes rest as: cease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength.

At my age I am probably halfway through my life, and I have just begun to re-order a lot of things; one of them for me is rest. Due to some minor health issues, I was forced to re-evaluate my sleep and resting times and then make some significant changes. My body now needs a few more hours of sleep than it did even a few years ago to recharge and recover so I can keep going.

If you had told me when I was younger that I’d be in bed before midnight, I never would have believed you, because I am one of those people who likes to stay up and work in the quiet of the evening. No phone calls, no traffic, no noise—just a quiet, peaceful time to do my work.

Since I am self-employed, I spend my days getting work and have to spend my nights getting my work done, so it is a combination that works for me.

So we’re heading into a new year. Since I am a curious person, I was interested about the numerical meaning of the number 15 in our upcoming year. I had a lot of other ideas for this New Year’s show, but then I got to wondering if the number 15 had meaning from either ancient text or current number studies, and I came across a few fun facts.

 The meaning of the number 15 in the Bible (historical ancient text) pictures rest, which comes after deliverance, represented by the number fourteen.

The 15th day of the first Hebrew month is the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread or Passover—a day of rest. The 15th day of the 7th Hebrew month begins the Feast of Tabernacles (or Sukkot), which is also a day of rest.

From ancient text to the Study of Numbers 15 (fifteen) represents a dissolution of difficult conditions i.e. your problems will soon disappear.

 Dissolution meaning – termination, ending, closing of a difficult time

 Condition – circumstance, situation, environment, setting or surroundings.

So, 15 (fifteen) represents a dissolution of difficult conditions

Fifteen is:

  • The number of days in each of the 24 cycles of the Chinese calendar.
  • The number of guns in a gun salute to Army, Marine Corps, and Air Force Lieutenant Generals, and Navy and Coast Guard Vice Admirals.
  • The number of letters in the words uncopyrightable, dermatoglyphics, misconjugatedly and hydropneumatics, which are the longest words in the English language that do not repeat a letter. (Can you tell I like the game, Scrabble?)
  • 15 is the Atomic number of Phosphorus
  • A crystal anniversary celebrates 15 years
  • Is a multiple of 3
  • Is a multiple of 5
  • Is composite number
  • Is a whole number
  • Is an integer
  • Is a real number
  • Is a natural number
  • Is an odd number

Ok enough with my fascination of the number 15! What I want to focus on is my first idea and that is of rest, which is not what I thought I’d talk about on the show, but it just kept coming back to me that I had to go with my impression that this is a needed idea.

We all know that we need to rest, but most of us don’t do it until our bodies demand it of us, thus the worldwide endemic issue of exhaustion, multiple diseases and sickness.

When I think about how hard 2014 has been in the world and in our collective conscience, I really do think we need to heed the idea of rest for our New Year’s resolution.

For myself I was thinking about making the year 2015 about finishing—finishing all the projects I’ve started, but didn’t get around to completing. I really thought that this might be the year, but as I stopped and looked around and did a recalibration of my time and my physical and mental energy, I was blocked to reconsider the issue of rest vs. finishing. Yes, I am all about getting my work done—finished, complete—but I also realize that in my world nothing is ever really done, because I keep adding to it.

The greatest lesson I learned years ago was the word No. No, I’m not able to be on your committee; No, I’m not able to lead another organization this year; No, I am not able to…you can fill in the blank. And you know what the most amazing part of that was? They found other good people to step up and do the work! I could not be happier to cheer them on.

A number of years ago I realized that if I don’t take some time to rest, I won’t be here to complete any more projects, because my body might give out on me.

So I’m taking to heart the concept of 2015 from the biblical view and the picture of rest and the numerical representation of a dissolution of difficult conditions, i.e. your problems will soon disappear. I’m taking it seriously.

Since I have stopped and literally taken a turn in my thinking from finishing (which no doubt I will do, but will probably not start any new projects this year) to resting, which will be hard but needed to maintain my health and wellbeing, I think it is a wise study of what is needed in my life and perhaps yours.

The idea of rest at first doesn’t seem hard to do, until you have to stay up late and finish a project or clean the house or stay up with a sick child or be with a friend in the Emergency Room. Then our noble idea of rest comes to an abrupt end, and we’re sliding back to exhaustion again.

I can recite to you study after study after study that will tell you in scientific terms and health terms and physical terms that your body, mind, soul and spirit need rest, but until you commit to doing something about it, I’m not going to make inroads to changing your thinking. I simply trust that you would consider my offer to take a 3, 6, 9 or 12 month sabbatical for you, whatever that means, to help you rest.

One of the reasons that the idea of rest is weighing on me is that in the last year I have seen the most unsettling things in the world that have no doubt scarred the minds and souls of most of us.

Can you remember a time in your life when you saw on TV the beheading of innocent people, the destruction of ancient and famous places, the unsettling of home and nations due to war, famine, disease, starvation, lack of water… and I could go and on.

There is no way that our mind’s eye can see and absorb this damage without some equal response of the body. They say that everything has an equal response.

And since this past year has shown all of us the unspeakable dreadfulness of wars, displacement and pain, I have to stop and wonder just how much we can take without it affecting us in a negative way. We’re seeing the idea of fear scrolling to the top of every list that groups are putting out. If you remember my show from a few weeks ago, walking alone at night is the new #1 fear in America. That is shocking, that we can’t be free to walk alone without someone purposely choosing to cause innocent strangers harm. I could go and on, but you know the numbers and statistics and you hear the bad news 24/7 from every talking head using shocking language and pictures to instill fear and unrest, unsettlement and unease in all of us. It’s taking its toll and you see that in the acting out of so many people. Think about it. Have you ever seen or heard such anger and fury and rage from random people who you know personally or on Facebook or in the news? Friends, our world has changed and I’m not sure it is for the better, so you need to take care of yourself and your family in these unsettling times. Trust me, kids feel it even when they can’t explain it—it’s a pressure that weighs heavy on them.

So how do we change the channel, so to speak, without putting our head in the sand and refusing to see the world for what it is? Well, one thing is that you can limit your TV watching and bad news listening and restrict the violent apps on your kids’ iPad or computer gaming systems.

  • Do you know the number of murders seen on TV by the time an average child finishes elementary school? 8,000
  • The number of violent acts seen on TV by age 18? 200,000
  • Also, 79% of Americans believe TV violence helps precipitate real life mayhem.

(Source Dr. Norman Herr, Professor of Science Education at CA State University at Northridge)

Knowing that all this is pulsating through the atmosphere, what can you do to protect yourself and your family? You can create an atmosphere of rest and quiet, peace and calm. That is the best way to combat the outside noise and settle your heart and mind.

Resting will not come easy—it is a real life change, and it is hard to do—but the year is 2015 and that number is calling you to think about taking charge of yourself, your life and your rest.

You know, we all joke that we have to come home from vacation to rest. Makes you wonder if it was a vacation or just another day at another office, working to get it all in, in case we miss something.

This year I’m going to be about resting when appropriate—sitting quietly doing nothing—letting my heart rate slow down, and my evenings come early and my morning come late.

I have no intention of running myself into the ground and then the grave. I’ll go one day, but I’ll mark the year 2015 as the year I took it slower and can still remember all the fun I had being healthy, wealthy and a little wiser. May this year be the time you set boundaries for the rest for your life.

Deb Sofield

Deb Sofield is a Keynote Speaker, Author of the book, Speak without Fear – Rock Star Presentation Skills to get People to Hear What You Say and Encouragement For Your Life ~ Tough Love Memos to Help You Fight Your Battles and Change the World, Radio Talk Show Host in the Salem Network, Podcaster and President of her own Executive Speech Coaching Co., which trains women and men for success in speaking, crisis communications, presentation skills, media and message development in the U.S. and abroad.

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