Issue #46 — 4.4 minute read
👋 Hey phi-lazy-phers
If the last couple of years taught me anything - it's the importance of rest and how I define it. In a recent panel discussion with Nala Simone Toussaint, L'Oreal McCollum, and Jordan Budd, they spoke about resting not so we can 'do' more but heal. That seems like it makes sense, right? Until this moment, I realized I've been resting to support my productivity (often for other people/organizations), not because it's inherently essential to my being.
Think about the speed of information nowadays and how quickly the world changes around us. We live in conditions that prime us to constantly process, think, and do. The terms "grind culture" and "hustle mentality" come to mind, given their proximity to what some define as success. But do we grant ourselves the same permission to feel, experience, and be? To rest with no ulterior motive?
Often, I feel guilty when I want to rest or "do nothing." Maybe it's because for so long, I've attributed being active with being productive and therefore of value to others. But I'm starting to understand that rest is just as much part of the process - may be the most crucial part - as anything else.
When I think about my relationship with rest, I also consider how that intersects with being Black in the USA. According to a National Sleep Foundation study, Black and Latinx Americans spend 15% of their night in a deep sleep (considered the most restorative phase), compared with white Americans' 20%. This doesn't surprise me, unfortunately. From the hundreds of years of oppression/generational trauma that requires our constant attention and focus if we want it to change to the literal struggle to survive and fear for our safety. It's not shocking that some people don't have the luxury of rest.
Queue, The Nap Ministry! This is a collective focused on examining the liberating forces of naps - especially in the name of Black mental health and well-being. Everyone could learn a thing or two from tapping into their work, so check them out.
Curious as ever, I wanted to know what people have shared throughout time:
Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
Adeyemi Taiwo Eunice
As you work, rest.
Thich Nhat Hanh
It's very important that we re-learn the art of resting and relaxing. Not only does it help prevent the onset of many illnesses that develop through chronic tension and worrying; it allows us to clear our minds, focus, and find creative solutions to problems.
You flounder through life, struggling desperately so you won't drown, even though you would float if you'd just relax.
It's a good idea always to do something relaxing prior to making an important decision in your life.
Don't underestimate the power of resting. It builds you back unlike anything.
Margaret Mead & Rhonda Metraux
What we lack is not so much leisure to do as time to reflect and time to feel. What we seldom "take" is time to experience the things that have happened, the things that are happening, the things that are still ahead of us.
Leonardo Da Vinci
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
Sir John Lubbock
Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass on a summer day listening to the murmur of water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is hardly a waste of time.
All relaxation does is allow the truth to be felt. The mind is cleared, like a dirty window wiped clean, and the magnitude of what we might ordinarily take for granted inspires tears.
I considered sharing some tips or things to "do" to fuel our rest practices, but I decided against that. Rest is our nature, no matter how elusive it seems sometimes. Trust yourself to know what you need and when you need it.
Philosophy Phocus: Diogenes the Cynic
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