Today’s #AestheticAdventure theme on Twitter is #Rest.
But when I think about my character’s resting, it’s not about where they lay their heads or the few hours of sleep they accumulate every couple of days. For me, rest means a downshift, a moment where the tension of the story is ever-so-slightly relieved.
In real life, downshifts can be frustrating. Without the external pressure of gods or monsters or the Collapse, most of us find ourselves trapped in our daily cycles, internally stuck. We live in a time of opportunity and yet we end up trampled (and paralyzed) beneath the weight of opportunity cost. There are things we wish we could do, but cannot for loss of pay, benefits, or social status.
In my experience, being stuck is a good thing. Those moments when we notice the monotony are the times when we realize we were made for something greater. Usually, the issue is with having not made moves already. We lament the time wasted, the fear of change, and begin to resent the lives we’ve built. This can absolutely be a catalyst for change, but the other, less out-there option is to simply start planting seeds.
In Taoism, the masculine Yang is rooted, structured, and physical. The feminine Yin is its opposing force–chaotic, and creative. In life, we are pulled to the center. When things become to structured, when we feel stuck, that’s when we seek opportunities to create something new. The road in the center of the Yin Yang is not straight; it’s in a state of constant push and pull.
We see this time and time again throughout mythology. Loki, the Norse god of Mischief, existed for the Vikings not as a force of evil, but as an invitation for change. He threw the proverbial wrench in the plans, loosening the nuts and bolts of the structure. He served as a reminder of the winding road, of looking for new opportunities in a different direction.
So for anyone who may find themselves in a downshift, take this moment to rest. Look around you. Appreciate the life you are living. If there’s construction on the road ahead, take a detour. You don’t have to abandon ship or live out some wild mid-life crisis to feel like you’re moving forward; you just need to start laying the foundation for the life of your dreams.
Sign up for a class. Borrow the tools. Have coffee with a mentor. Buy tickets for your next adventure. Start researching your next career. Whatever it is, start planting the seeds. Sometimes, we have to take advantage of our life forcing us to rest in order for something new to take off.