Observations from my month-long Sabbath



Starting on November 1, 2019, I started a month-long Sabbath. I announced for 3 months that I would be off all social media, no events, no email, no discussing Nap Ministry work details, no bookings, and no traveling. I essentially hoped for a totally off-grid experience that included sleeping in, silence, napping daily, lots of detox salt baths, reading books, not speaking about anything related to work/career/NapMinistry, writing a little, spending time with friends and family and total nesting at the house. Most of these things happened for me and there were so many moments of deep calm and connection. It was also a beautiful battle.

I learned so many things, but the most important was that people truly do not want you to rest, know what true rest looks like and even folks who claim to be followers of The Nap Ministry, invaded my Sabbath time and boundaries. I had to remind 90% of the people who I interacted with during my Sabbath, that I was indeed on an intentional break numerous times. Folks would hear me verbally say it and then continue speaking about work and requesting things from me. I gained so much insider knowledge that will be critical for my role as The Nap Bishop. I feel like a new person with extreme clarity and intuition from my Sabbath.

Things I confirmed on my 30 day Sabbath:

  1. Our entire culture is addicted to social media and technology. This is leading us down the path to exhaustion. If you are not very intentional about detoxing regularly from it, I believe deep and connected rest will be impossible.
  2. Truly practicing rest is a battle and liberation practice. No one wants you to deeply rest, because the majority of people have never had the opportunity to practice it consistently, so there is no model for how to embody it.
  3. There is a trend right now happening in speaking and writing about rest. Most of the culture is not actually resting. The trend of talking and writing about it is rooted in capitalism, toxic group think and opportunity – both connected to grind culture and the way media consumes things alive.
  4. Dreaming and the dreamspace that The Nap Ministry uplifts as key to deprogramming from toxic grind culture is the real space of healing and liberation. My dreams while detoxing technology were vivid and detailed every single night. I felt like I was in an alternate reality nightly. My intuition was heightened and my ideas flowed. During a 5 day period, I handwrote 17 pages of thoughts and ideas. I researched the science of scrolling on devices and the effects of hours of screen time and learned that our brains are changed by it over time. Early designers on social media platforms intentionally created scrolling pages as opposed to pages that have a stop at the end and gives an arrow that you must press to get more content. In essence, this design function is allowing us to scroll for hours daily in an almost zombie-like state. It’s so much to be written about this and I will be digging deeper into the science of sleep and sharing it in future The Nap Ministry programming. Here is a short article that I found interesting. Screen Time and the Brain
  5. Every day that I was resting and not rushing I felt another layer of intuition and connectedness pour over me.
  6. The everyday pace of our culture is not healthy, sustainable, nor liberative. We are living and participating in violence via a machine-level pace of functioning. This toxic space has been accepted as the norm.
  7. Anyone who goes against this pace is living as an outlier and a risk-taker. It is warrior style resistance to push back and disrupt this reality. I actually received more work-related emails, texts and requests on this Sabbath than when I’m available and working. I found this to be fascinating.
  8. This break was a restorative ritual that transformed my body and soul. I feel like it gave my cells a chance to do their work and transmit to a higher power.
  9. I did not miss being on social media the entire time I was away. It was beautiful to be in solitude and not attacked with the thoughts, ideas, and commentary of thousands of people that you read online daily. My own thoughts had a chance to spread out and develop. I felt better, spent so much time face to face with people, spoke on the phone for hours with people I love and people I hope to get to know better. I felt more human and like I was floating. I will be integrating 30 Day Sabbath moments throughout 2020 and will carry it over as a regular practice.
  10. I love interacting with people in the flesh. This work is special and powerful because of this. I will always center it and use it as a foundation for The Nap Ministry.

I hope many of you created opportunities to rest and nap during my Sabbath and that you will see the remainder of 2019 as an anointed time to get off social media for a few days, to nap and to have silence daily. I send all the power and energy it will take to resist.

In love and solidarity. Rest Now.

Tricia Hersey