Fashion is the way I introduce myself to the world, every day, without saying anything.

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It’s amazing how much we fit into one day. Finding the empty corners to fill, the vacant shadows to brighten, the deep breaths to cover over with words, and texts, and scrolling. It almost seems necessary – in order to move forward, we feel we need to keep moving.

I am always compelled by pioneer stories of perseverance and tenacity and the ten-year-overnight-success. Those people, digging in the trenches at all hours when everyone else had closed up shop or thrown in the ragged towel, inspire me to breathe a lot of life into a lot of dreams. But there is this dark underbelly that we have got to get realistic about:

We need to rest.

It seems luxurious, right? Taking a nap. Taking a walk. Taking a minute. Even that word – taking – makes rest seem gratuitous. Like it’s an extra, or something that doesn’t already exist in us, but something we will pick up along the way if we’re lucky or worthy.

restRecently at work, I’ve been talking with my beautiful, driven, badass co-workers about getting up early to teach on those dark, misty mornings and, even though we know our bodies need it, how it’s so hard to just take a nap later on in the day. Why is this such a struggle?

We have this idea in our heads that if we are not in constant motion, physical or mental, we are somehow letting our light die. We convince ourselves that if we are taking some time away to just slow down, we are giving up or quitting or not being there for the people who need us. In other words: we are failing. I think Danielle LaPorte wrote something along the lines of “we think we need to hustle our worthiness.” If we don’t show up every time, everywhere, for everyone, well… we just don’t deserve success.

restaI struggle constantly with this. You know I’m a Yes Woman. I hate disappointing or letting down or backing off. I often believe that my grit, my dogged determinism to just not stop, is the only reason I have ever accomplished anything. But recently, a vision of an alternative reality came flooding through my mind’s windows and doors. It was a place where slowing down meant digging in. Taking a nap meant being a better wife. Stepping away from obligation meant stepping into my enthusiasm. And then: the phone started ringing. The difficult financial problems started to solve themselves. The laughter got louder. And, maybe most surprisingly, the world did not end.

So many times we think that trudging through our to-do lists, and obligations, and responsibilities makes us a hero. It just makes us tired. And don’t get it twisted, there will be a time when you need to get down in that dirty trench and pull an all-nighter, or an 18-hour day, or a productivity binge that leaves everything else in it’s dust. But if you don’t rest at the right times, you’ll never be able to call on those energy reserves. You will have used them up before they were really necessary. You will feel empty, depleted, and angry. Or at least, that’s what happened to me.

restaaaI am all for making it happen. Putting your name out there and defying “reality.” Deciding what you want and creating that life with your whole heart. But when you get sucked into the vortex of busy, you stop knowing what you want. And when you stop knowing what you want, there’s no way to create a life you love.

What if you took five minutes to just sit still without a screen in front of you? What if you created a Pinterest board about things that lit you up, you know, just for fun? What if you called an old friend? What if you said no to something so you could have a real day off? Or (don’t be nervous) two days off?

Let’s put it this way:

What could you accomplish with a clear mind?

What could you dream of doing if you had nothing holding you back?

How would you feel if you just let go and trusted it would be okay?

Who would you be if you honestly believed that your implicit energy (not the manufactured kind) added value to this world?

restaaBecause rest, my dear friends, gives you time to answer the important questions. It takes you out of scarcity and brings you to more than enough. It gives you a little extra grace, a ton more drive, and a whole boatload of wonder. And if we’re to accomplish anything big, dreamy, and epicly magical in this life, that’s exactly what it’s going to take.

When do you rest?

All images via Pinterest
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