Our Western culture has created a focus on work and accomplishment — to the detriment of our physical, emotional, mental and spiritual well-being. Instead, we offer that each and every one of us need… deserve… or rather, should demand more rest and relaxation. In the words of the Nap Bishop herself, “rest requires a revolution.”
Dr. Trisha Hersey, known as the Nap Bishop, is spreading the good word about rest. Hersey’s movement on rest was inspired by studying slavery and realising that slaves working to exhaustion was part of the brutal origin of capitalism – and her own inheritance. Hersey says her rest work is not just about the treatment of Black and Indigenous people, but fundamentally how Black and indigenous people are treated is a bellwether for how society is functioning. She believes everyone benefits when we question our attitudes around the “grind culture” of work and productivity. Hersey’s message is literally about taking naps, but also about other kids of rest. Her ministry comes with four tenets:
- Resting pushes back on and disrupts on white supremacy and capitalism. We’ve been programmed to believe that the more we produce, the more worth we have, which has negatively impacted our well-being.
- Our bodies are a site of liberation.
- Naps provide a portal to imagine, invent and heal.
- Our dream space has been stolen and we want it back. We will reclaim it via rest.
Saundra Dalton-Smith is a medical doctor who was raised with the message that as a Black woman she would always have to work harder than others. As a physician, she listened to her patients talk about fatigue and realized that her patients were not resting, which she turned inward to address her own deep fatigue. Dalton-Smith, who wrote Sacred Rest – Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore your Sanity, focuses her work on the different kinds of rest we need – emotional, physical, social, spiritual, mental, social, sensory, and creative rest; and the gifts that come from that rest, such as boundaries, reflection, freedom, acceptance.
The message is rest, listeners, rest. It is good for all the parts of our human-ness.