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Living Menuha

Menuha: 

  1. To rest. 
  2. To remember everything that has been done. 
  3. To take delight in.  

6 months ago, when I was naming my business, I had no idea that this concept of menuha would be put into practice so intensely. The name came out of my desire for rhythmic rest; to no longer hustle or embrace the supposed grind that business demanded. After years of busyness and burning myself out for a paycheck, I knew the only way I could do it again was out of this jewish principle. 

Menuha rest isn’t just the ceasing of work. It isn’t “doing nothing”. It is an intentional dance of celebrating the work that has been done and actually doing the work. It is creative elation meeting the calm of remembering. And It is easier said than done. 

If I am honest, in the last six months I have done more hustling than resting, more pushing than celebrating. The principles are beautiful and the call of my soul, but it was not something I was intentional in practicing. I used keeping busy to hide from my pain and fear. I pushed and pushed and felt the same grind that was in every other job I held. I believed the lie that my only option was to work and stay busy- because that was my definition of success. 

It has been a month since this quarantine has been put in place. For most of this time, I fought the rest, keeping busy, stressing over the balance of kids and work, facing the fear of losing my business. Facin the fear of failing. I was brought to a point, where the only thing I could do in the rest was face everything I was hiding from. The concept of menuha demands honest vulnerability. So, I journeyed through remembering everything, good and bad. I allowed whatever needed to come up to come and sit with me. I felt hot anger and shame, deep grief and despair- then peaceful gladness. A quiet rejoicing. A sense that someone was glad to be with me. 

I am thankful for this demanding, difficult circumstance. I am thankful that this spiritual principle of menuha can equally hold the joy and the grief. Venturing into the journey of remembering allowed me to find the peace I had wanted for so long. I found acceptance and a deeper availability to be who I am.   

No matter what happens, I know I can trust the rhythmic rest that I was originally attracted to. Menuha is this rhythm that humanity can follow. The flow of work and rest. To remember and celebrate, to work and strategize.  

May your rest inform your work. May your productivity be easy. This is the reality I want to live in. I will take this with me beyond the days of quarantine and social distancing. Space to rest. Space to celebrate. Space to be human. It is what everyone needs in our community. 

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