It’s been an exhausting week/400 years for us as black people in the United States. We need a rest. Rest from injustice. Rest from being afraid. Rest from having to explain. Rest from having to witness. Rest from having to fight. Rest from having to code-switch. Rest from having to pretend that we’re okay.
In my work as a life and wealth coach, I teach women pleasure as a path to profit and rest as a revolutionary against the racist patriarchy.
The racist patriarchy does not want black people to rest.
It thrives off making us work harder for less and then when we haven’t succeeded, remarks that we should try harder.
Our nation itself has been in a state of great unrest for a week since George Floyd’s murder and I’m contemplating how tired I am. Tired of the emotional tax of his death and all the others that came before him. Tired of the past week, month, year, and entire lifetime injustices I’ve experienced in my beautiful brown body. Tired because there’s a revolution going on and I’m apart of it.
Every day, I’m sharing what I know and understand with my audience and circle. I’m keeping informed about what’s going on all around the country. I’m watching and re-watching black leaders address and assess the current situation. I’m having difficult conversations with people of every race and class. I’m informing them of how they can take action. I’m letting some know how they’re failing to show up. I’m holding people accountable. I’m holding myself accountable to showing up every day in the ways that I can and insisting that I do more, every day.
And I’m exhausted. And I need rest.
I’ve had to give some thought to how I could find rest in the midst of this revolution. I’m not willing to back down and I’m not willing to quit, but I’m also unwilling to lose my humanity in the fight. Black bodies need rest because black bodies are human bodies.
I’m making rest a priority each day because I know the way I rest is the way I rise. My energy, clarity, and consciousness are needed now more than ever.
After some contemplation, this is what I came up with. It’s simple and intuitive, but still as powerful as sorcery.
Rest Your Mind: Take a few minutes each day to turn the volume down. Let yourself be a channel for sacred wisdom. In the silence, gift yourself the time, space, and quiet required for your ancestors, your intuition, or your God to speak to you about your purpose and power in the movement.
Rest Your Body: Yes please, get enough sleep and eat what nourishes you. Drink enough water. But also, I want you to release the trauma we have collected for decades and that we are adding heavily to each day (as we watch protesters be abused by the police and see the images of past violence towards black bodies). Rest your body by releasing the trauma that has been stored in the DNA of every cell of your body. Move in ways that are healing. Stretch. Take a hot bath. Walk. Run. Dance. Cry. Pound. Scream. Hug. Kiss. Reprogram the beautiful container of your soul with this kind of rest so that you can continue to press. So you can continue to scream and pound. So you can continue to hug and kiss.
Rest Your Soul: Be in the sacred community. Avoid having to be okay when you’re not. Limit the people and places that require you to show up in any other way than what is true for you. Let yourself be angry and in pain without a filter for the comfort of others. Let yourself be comforted and supported. Give yourself permission to want what you want and need what you need. And receive it. Because the more you have, the more you can give to your brothers and sisters and to the revolution.
To my anti-racist readers who are not black. I want to be clear here that I’m not asking you to rest. Not because you’re not human but because you have rested on the issue of racial injustice for too long. Right now we need you to rise.