is the conversation between what we love to do and how we love to be. Rest is the essence of giving and receiving; an act of remembering, imaginatively and intellectually but also physiologically and physically. To rest is to give up on the already exhausted will as the prime motivator of endeavor, with its endless outward need to reward itself through established goals. To rest is to give up on worrying and fretting and the sense that there is something wrong with the world unless we are there to put it right; to rest is to fall back literally or figuratively from outer targets and shift the goal not to an inner static bull’s eye, an imagined state of perfect stillness, but to an inner state of natural exchange."
The moment I finally said a full YES to rest: I was sitting in my mini-van, a mommy mess, at the end of my tether, in a thunder & lightning downpour. There were lots of tears and an intense desire to "Eat, Pray, Love" it out of my life. Then I remembered - oh right, I used to practice yoga nidra REST meditation and I loved it. It felt like an intravenous drip of DEEP REST. So right there in the minivan I decided to commit to this beautiful gift of REST - every day for a year.
Yes, this was crazy. My boys were 8 and 10. But I was enthusiastic, and hung a "Mom's Napping" sign on the door to my bedroom every time I took my yoga nidra nap. For the first week, each time before napping I coached the boys through what to do in order NOT to disturb me from my 20 minutes of yoga nidra. Only in an emergency were they to disturb me. "Is LeBron James coming to the front door an emergency?" my 10-year-old asked. NO. If LeBron James is at the front door he will have to wait outside. REST COMES FIRST.
I lasted 40 DAYS of my 1 year plan to practice yoga nidra. And those 40 DAYS of yoga nidra napping changed my life. I couldn't believe the transformation. I could THINK CLEARLY again. I forgot how angry I was at the school system that was failing my dyslexic son's life. I also had the motivation to take on the school district (and WIN) to get my son into a life-changing school. I forgave the kids who were bullying him. I SMILED a lot. And WHISTLED while I cooked dinner. 40 DAYS in my rest cave did all this. I would not have believed it, but I lived it so knew it was true.
Eventually I said to myself, what if every woman took 40-days to REST DEEPLY? What if, like some cultures do after a woman has a baby, a woman gave herself permission to pause and restore her energy at any time in her life? Women push so many "babies" out. We need 40-day rest periods for ourselves and our sanity.
Believe me, I felt so insane before yoga nidra. Like a crazy loser mom who could not juggle one more fucking ball. I had too many balls. And then, BOOM, I laid down for 40 DAYS and suddenly I didn't feel the balls. Oh yes, all my "to dos" were still there, but the heaviness had lifted. I realized what mattered. I felt ridiculously rested in my body for the first time, perhaps ever.
And so I said: that's it...I gotta tell other women about this. I've got to introduce them to the 40-days. So we can all feel WELL-RESTED. Amen, right?
That's why I wrote the book Daring to Rest. So women now everywhere can now free their well-rested woman. 40 DAYS. That's all it takes. Think of it as a REBOOT. A juice cleanse. Or whatever way you need to frame it. Once a year you give yourself 40 DAYS OF REST. Or twice. Or whatever YOU want.
The point is: it's time to FREE YOUR WELL-RESTED WOMAN.
Women are great leaders, but too often we're leading by chugging sleep meds or not sleeping at all.
40 DAYS of REST can help you change that unsustainable paradigm.
You can pre-order the book now. Please do. My friend just told me that she bought 5 for her girlfriends as holiday presents. YES! She even bought one for her brother-in-law who technically this book isn't written for because it's geared to women, but he hasn't slept well in YEARS and she knows he'll benefit too. He will. Promise. You will too. So please, pre-order the book.
And please share this blog post. So we can help women around the world dare to rest.
The DARING TO REST movement time is now. Right now. It's OVERtime.
Our world, community, and personal health depend on it.