I have done many S.N. Goenka retreats in my day. (For those of you unfamiliar, S.N. Goenka was a Burmese businessman who went to learn meditation from Sayagyi U Ba Khin because he was plagued by migraines. He ended up as a profound force of Dharma and an incredible master of meditation. Many of his centers teach meditation to laity beginning with 10 day silent intensives.) While I began my journey with Transcendental Meditation, it was learning Vipassana through Goenka that created a profound change in my life.
Those retreats are some of the toughest I have experienced. The long days of silent meditation would end with him telling us "Take rest, take rest." in the most gentle and kindly of Grandfatherly ways, such deep care in his voice.
What if we were to speak with such gentleness to ourselves when in pain, or fatigued? How do we speak to ourselves at the very end of a long day of work, of social media, of emails and navigating a pandemic? Do we hold ourselves in complete kindness knowing our struggles, and do we give ourselves permission to let go and take rest at the end of our day?
As you wind down tonight, consider taking S.N. Goenka as your inspiration: with the utmost gentleness regardless of the conditions of how your day went: give yourself the kindest, warmest goodnight, full of unconditional care and tell yourself to "Take rest, take rest."