Month 5: Taking Up Rest

Rest because you’re an introvert. Rest because it’s the middle of winter. Rest because you’ve been creating a lot since the new year kicked off. Rest because you’re tired. Rest to slow down. Rest because you just had a bunch of sex and you’re worn out. Rest to daydream. Rest as a political act. Rest to radicalize self care. Rest to savor that delicious food you had earlier in the day. Rest because it’s fun. Rest for softness. Rest for your loved ones who weren’t able to. Rest to better show up for others. Rest to better show up for yourself. Rest to make space for the cry that’s been bottled up. Rest to focus on your breath. Rest because your day’s been hectic. Rest to let the feelings surface. Rest to understand your internal experience. Rest to honor your depression and anxiety. Rest to celebrate your growth. Rest to enjoy a moment of sunlight. Rest to listen to your body. Rest to learn your inherent worth. Rest as a gift to yourself. Rest to cuddle with your fur baby. Rest to confront your fear. Rest so that, even if it feels like it doesn’t matter to anyone else, you know your truth. Rest because you’ve survived. Rest to survive. Rest because even though you’ve been slowing down lately, you need to slow down even more. Rest because you deserve it. Rest as a part of taking up space.

Usually I’m all about being bold, confident, and taking up space. This is because as feminized people we are often taught to be submissive, obedient, polite, respectable, and that our worth comes from being in service to others. Part of being femme is reclaiming femininity on your own terms. Femme identity is about you embodying the boldness of your essence.

This looks different for each person, just like femme identity means something different for each of us. While taking up space is certainly about living out loud, it can also look more quiet, more subtle. For some it’s about being the best friend you can be. For others it’s about feeling good about yourself alone in front of the mirror. You get to define what taking up space means for you.

With taking up space comes taking up rest. The two aren’t mutually exclusive and for some, they are one in the same. Rest can be simply enjoyable or truly radical. Often it’s truly radical because it’s simply enjoyable. We are taught that our pleasure doesn’t matter, that we don’t matter, and that our worth is based on what we produce. Because of this rest can trigger tremendous guilt and enjoying it can be challenging.

If you’re used to being busy, slowing down can be really hard. It can trigger anxiety. You may feel like you need to be doing something, checking on something, preparing for something. You may feel like what’s the point, you just worried the whole time you “should” have been resting, anyway. You may have an existential crisis.

Sometimes staying busy helps us to avoid deeper feelings. When you slow down it may make space for the entirety of your depression to surface. It can be very overwhelming when rest allows our pain to emerge. You may jump up because it feels too heavy to bare. If you do, that’s ok. Everyone has the right to move at their own pace. Slowing down because you feel it’s what you should do rather than because it’s right for you may just create further resistance as you work towards healing. Ultimately it’s compassion and acceptance that will help shift your pain.

Rest allows for your truth to be heard, even if you’re the only one to hear it. Eventually your truth wants to be heard. It’s courageous to slow down enough for it. It can be downright defiant. It’s vulnerable. It’s the strength of femme softness. It is a message to your body that you matter. That’s why it is directly related to taking up space. Taking up space starts with us expanding within ourselves to the point in which it emanates outward and how we move through our lives changes. Rest allows for movement. It starts with you.


Stay tuned @mopheadfemme_therapy for more on Taking Up Rest throughout the month of February

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Image credit: “They Create Their Own Change,” Mophead Femme Collage