I recently listened to a Glennon Doyle podcast with guest Tricia Hersey, and it BLEW MY MIND WIDE OPEN. Give Ms. Hersey a MacArthur Genius Grant. Her views on rest are radical, and necessary, and world-changing.
I deeply value rest. But she is presenting a whole new take on rest. She founded The Nap Ministry and released her book, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto, in October 2022. Ms. Hersey’s tells us that our bodies are sites for liberation. She also says (from her blog):
This is about more than naps. It is not about fluffy pillows, expensive sheets, silk sleep masks or any other external, frivolous, consumerist gimmick. It is about a deep unraveling from white supremacy and capitalism. These two systems are violent and evil. History tells us this and our present living shows this. Rest pushes back and disrupts a system that views human bodies as a tool for production and labor. It is a counter narrative. We know that we are not machines. We are divine. It is not a joke nor anything to make light of. Black people are dying from sleep deprivation and our resistance to rest is a social justice and public health issue. Capitalism was created on plantations during chattel slavery and is the same system that is driving the entire globe to exhaustion and a deep disconnection with our bodies and minds today. We are no longer divine human beings in this system and instead machines. This is metaphysical, spiritual and political work and anyone who uplifts a message of rest as a form of resistance without tapping into the history of Black liberation and the evils of capitalism is nothing but agent of grind culture. Do not listen.
In my personal and professional life, I’m deeply committed to wellness. As a self-employed person for 18+ years, I have always made room for rest during my work day. As a Jewish person, I have set aside time on the Jewish sabbath (sundown Friday to sundown Saturday) to rest, and I do not undertake tasks for my business during that time. All that said… I still feel guilty sometimes for resting when I think I should be working, completing chores, or doing something “productive.” The productivity programming, the grind culture, runs DEEP.
I am looking forward to learning more about Ms. Hersey’s work, determining how to integrate these principles more fully into my life, figuring out how I fit into this rest movement as a white woman, and spreading the word.
Seriously, y’all. Listen to this podcast, or go to https://thenapministry.com to learn more. This is worldview-shifting stuff.
And I invite you to join the conversation about wellness for nonprofit professionals in the LinkedIn group that I started, Be Well, Do Good: Wellness and Self-Care for Nonprofit Fundraising Professionals. Even if you are not a professional fundraiser, there are some great ideas, inspirational quotes, and conversation starters in the group. Join us!
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