On this Labor Day 2022, I hope you take a moment to reflect on the balance of rest and work in your life. Our society would have it that we work ourselves to death producing all the time. However, as Tricia Hersey of The Nap Ministry says, “You are not a machine. Stop grinding.” Hersey’s philosophy of rest as resistance came out of lived experiences of exhaustion. She was in seminary barely able to keep up. She began napping in libraries, in between classes, anytime and anywhere she could. She said it revolutionized her life. As a Black woman, she realized her ancestors had not been able to rest. She began setting up napping spaces for others, creating altars with slave narratives and bouquets of cotton stems to symbolize their labor. Others were transformed by these spaces and times set aside to rest and recover.
What would belong on an altar to honor your own rest? Maybe old bed linens as a tablecloth? Perhaps photos of your own ancestors? Lavender or chamomile. What speaks to you and your experience of rest or lack of rest? Ritual helps us set aside time and space for healing.
You may or may not feel overworked. However, I wanted to keep this blog short on principle. I would be honored to talk to any of you about your spiritual practice of rest. It is critical to our survival and not to be left as an afterthought. Rest is revolutionary. Enjoy it.