Happy International Women’s Day! What a JOY to wake up this morning and read a New York Times piece on a few of the accomplished women in history that they never wrote an obituary on. In fact, even today more obituaries are written about white men than women. Kind of unbelievable that only now someone thought: oh, maybe we should profile a few more women who have made a difference.
Today I want to give a shout out to my “rest” shero, Charlotte Perkins Gilman (swipe left on the photo to see her), another woman who made a difference but had no prestigious obituary. Charlotte wrote “The Yellow Wallpaper” as a fictional piece, but really this story of a woman prescribed the rest cure by her doctor, resting in a room for days on end, hallucinating in the room, and generally going mad, was a social commentary at the time on how rest was used to shut women up. Make us good girls. In the house and in bed.
YES, there were a lot of Women having mental breakdowns and even becoming invalids in the 1800s (sound familiar to today? Chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, high rates of anxiety). ..but back then Charlotte knew that resting in a bed for days on end was not the answer. Why? Well, Charlotte may not have said it this way, but while our souls may need the “being,” they also need the “becoming.”
Nobody is one side of a coin. Charlotte knew this and fought for this, got the hell out of bed because of this, and even eventually gave up her daughter for this. Today I honor her. For standing up to rest and saying YES to all of her.
Today I declare that Charlotte ‘s bargain with rest, to get OUT of bed, was a good bargain back then. But the pendulum has now swung too far. Women today are on becoming/striving overload. Today not resting is a bad bargain. Today we must dare TO rest. So that we too, like Charlotte, can embrace our WHOLE selves. The being and the becoming.
This is SO yoga nidra. You think it's just the "being" - the rest - but actually it's also the "becoming" - the rising up. That's why it's daring to rest.