You are Worthy of Rest: A Guide
I am honored share with you a concept and framework that is transformational on both the personal and the collective levels.
That is…rest as resistance.
This powerful framework is being articulated and demonstrated through the work of Tricia Hersey, her study of Black Liberation Theology, and the Nap Experience installations she co-creates. (Find and follow her work at @thenapministry).
Her revolutionary idea is that — drumroll please — you are worthy of rest.
No matter who you are or what is going on in your home or the world, you deserve to sleep, or simply rest.
In fact, taking the opportunity to slow down and connect back to yourself and your body is a human right, and is indeed a resistance to the capitalist expectation that we need to "be productive" in every moment.
Rest is a tool for overcoming exhaustion and trauma, and can be embraced as a form of reparations for people of color.
This work is for all — especially those people experiencing exhaustion and trauma. This work is for the Black, Latinx and Indigenous communities — give yourself permission to rest. (White people, we can rest too — we are all affected by the economic engine of capitalism and Grind Culture — but it's also time for us to step up so other communities can REST).
When we're not resting, we are not able to connect with spirit. Resting makes us all more human and more connected to the divine realms.
As Tricia says, "resting is going to allow you to WAKE UP."
You can learn more about rest as resistance, from Tricia's experience and in her own words, through the podcast by Nocturne, called Rest for Them. I invite you to listen, think about how this applies in your life, and consider:
In what ways have you come to value yourself based on what you produce?
Why and how have you denied yourself rest?
What parts of yourself might you connect with in your dream-space?
What will it take for you to reprogram your mindset and make more space for rest?
Ready to practice RESTING?
Here are a few pointers for how to get a quality night's sleep.
Begin winding down by 7 pm.
This the time when it is natural to slow your pace and prepare for sleep, to ensure a good night’s sleep. Winding down might look like reading, journaling, connecting with your partner, yoga nidra or doing yin yoga. Drink some herbal tea! Do your very best to never be working past 7 pm.
Turn off electronics by 9 pm.
The blue light can negatively impact your circadian rhythm and contribute to sleep challenges. Letting your eyes relax and your brain decompress before you get into bed will really support the quality of your rest. You can use electronics for doing yoga nidra or yin yoga.
Massage the soles of your feet with sunflower or sesame oil.
This helps to ground swirling energy that can keep you up at night. It doesn’t have to be so much oil that it ruins your sheets! Just a few drops in the palm of your hand, rubbed into each foot for about 30 seconds. You can even add a drop of lavender essential oil for deeper relaxation.
Practice legs up the wall for 10 minutes.
Lie on your back with your legs propped up the wall to ground your energy, calm your mind, and prepare for a good night’s sleep.
Get in to bed and turn out the lights before 10 pm.
This way, you can awaken with the sun at 6 am feeling rested and rejuvenated. If you still have trouble sleeping, consider taking 2 mg Melatonin.
At Least Once Per Week:
Practice Yoga Nidra and/or Yin Yoga. These are two of MY FAVORITE evening practices that support me to wind down and get a good night's sleep. I encourage you to try both and see what works for you. You can then incorporate them both, or alternate between them, as feels good throughout your week.
Sierra Brashear, MA is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, DONA-trained doula, herbal alchemist, wellness educator and founder of Vibrant Souls yoni steams. Inspired by the rhythms and elements of nature, Sierra weaves her knowledge of Ayurveda into the products and lifestyle design programs she offers. She invites you to join her 16-week program, The Art of Fertility | Journey to Conception — to clear toxins and nourish your mind and body in preparation for an easeful conception and healthy pregnancy. Sierra is also co-founder of Cultivate Balance and Moon Bath, and lives in Boulder, Colorado.