Juneteenth may be something you have always known about, or, like me, you might have only learned about it in the last five years.
This page from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture breaks down “
“Juneteenth marks our country’s (the U.S.’s) second independence day. Although it has long been celebrated in the African American community, this monumental event remains largely unknown to most Americans.”
Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom for Black Americans…a goal we are clearly we are still working to achieve. “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free,” said Freedom Summer activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
Over the last week, I have been savoring Rest Is Resistance: A Manifesto, by Tricia Hersey, an artist, theologian, community organizer, and the creator of the Nap Ministry, which uplifts the liberatory power of rest through collective napping experiences.
Rest is Resistance reads like a sermon–and it centers the experience of Black people, for whom rest can be seen as reparations for their ancestors, enslaved people whose labor, bodies, and sleep were stolen. The manifesto makes a case for the revolution that is resting. Hersey makes it clear that the call to rest is for everyone.
Many of my clients struggle to rest. I do too.
I have been getting better at pacing myself, taking more breaks in the middle of the day for(or ). Dance breaks to a song from are the best–they keep my life force going! Of course, there are always middle-of-the-day fifteen-minute !
It took me longer than I wanted to write this newsletter. The desire to work tempts me–to be productive, to do more, express and connect more often. But there is always so much to do, and as I get older, I don’t want to work in the evenings or on weekends. I want to rest!
If taking breaks and turning off your mind is a struggle for you too, I heartily recommendOpening up a page at random helps me to rest more with a feeling of solidarity about its importance.
Here is a passage I found at random just now: “All of culture is working in collaboration for us not to rest, and when we do listen to our bodies and take rest, many feel extreme guilt and shame. Embrace knowing that you have been manipulated and scammed by a violent system as powerful evidence. Now with this knowledge you can grieve, repair, rest, and heal.”
And…”Resting is ancient, slow, and connected work that will take hold of you in ways that may be surprising. Let your entire being slowly begin to shift. Get lost in rest. Pull up the blankets, search for softness and be open to the ways rest will surprise and calm you.”
Yours in honoring Juneteenth, and valuing rest and freedom,
P.S. I am reading Rest as Resistance in preparation for August, our month dedicated to the theme of rest in Turned-On Living. I’ll let you know how we expand our capacity to turn off from work and tune into doing nothing, wandering, and daydreaming after we live the experience!
P.P.S. This blog post went out in my newsletter the Sasha Cagen Weeklyish. It’s not social media or even a Substack. It’s simple. If you want to get the newsletter and never miss news from me, please go ahead and enter your email address here!