The Nap Ministry’s Rest as Resistance

By Kristy Gomez

One of the movements we’ve been following for some time is activist and teaching artist Tricia Hersey’s The Nap Ministry. The Atlanta-based organizations’ mantra is “rest as resistance” and they are proudly spreading the gospel of rest. The Nap Ministry began in 2016 as an examination of the liberating power of naps and works to directly disrupt capitalism and promote anti-racism. Between her one-woman and group performances, organizing community napping experiences through Resurrect Rest School, and creating content for the must-follow Instagram, Tricia is creating real and virtual safe spaces for us all to unapologetically rest together, even while we’re apart.

“I have noticed this tendency in our culture to skip steps during trauma. We jump right to getting over it immediately, leaving no space for the precious ritual of grief, rest and lament. ”

– Tricia Hersey, The Nap Bishop

The self-titled “Nap Bishop” recently hosted an IG Live with Wanderlust, where she discussed using quarantine as an opportunity to lean into rest and take time to grieve what’s been lost.

During her IG Live with Wanderlust, Tricia shared a tip for acknowledging her grief – the Grief Jar. Consisting of a regular Mason jar and strips of paper, the Jar becomes a vessel to hold your grief and honor your lament without weighing you down mentally and physically.

The Nap Bishop

Tricia Hersey, founder of the Nap Ministry, an interactive project focused on rest as resistance.

Photo: healthyish

Here, The Nap Bishop describes her own Grief Jar:

“Find a small/medium-sized jar or container around your home that can serve as your “Grief Jar.” Place in a prominent area of your living space so that it can become a symbol for the beauty of grief, lament, and mourning. I have a small mason jar on my desk in my home office. Next, cut up pieces of paper large enough to write text and small enough to fold up. Throughout your day and week, take a few moments to notice and allow for moments of grief.

After making space to notice these feelings of missing, write them down on a slip of paper and add it to the jar. Do this as many times as you need to. Skip some days if that feels right. Let the grief jar serve as a container for the particulars, for the now and remembrance of your grief journey. Take a nap or daydream for a few minutes each day that you add to the Grief Jar.

Photo: The Nap Ministry

“Be Still”

This call to inaction speaks to the intentionality of being still, an integral part of Tricia’s mission to get us all to slow down long enough to see, acknowledge and study the principles of the Nap Ministry. In a recent article on the Nap Ministry blog, Tricia talks about the dream space as a portal to creativity in Octavia Butler is Our Muse. Learn more about the Nap Ministry through the Rest As Resistance blog.

Like this article? Then head over and read Kristy’s monthly periodical The Porchlight here.


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