Rest as Resistance, Not Resistant to Rest

Silhouette of a person wearing glasses and a head covering standing in front of an orange sunset. Text: Rest as Resistance. Not Resistant to Rest. September 5, 2022. By VISIONS Staff.

Rest as Resistance, Not Resistant to Rest
by Vision Staff

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.”

— Audre Lorde (1988) A Burst of Light

In a business marketplace full of rumination and hand-wringing about “quiet quitting,”  there’s a real opportunity for companies and organizations to assess ways that prioritizing the wellbeing of team members can create frameworks that support (not threaten) sustainable and liberation-informed productivity.

Leadership at VISIONS took time to do some of that assessing, trying on various methods of intentional, organization-wide moments to pause and encourage a focus on restoration. Recently, VISIONS began implementing quarterly week-long breaks where the central office is closed, and rest is emphasized across the community. Nikki Glass, VISIONS’ VP of Administration, sees these pauses as a meaningful approach that activates and models our core values.

“As nonprofit employees, the mission-driven work we do is noble work” Nikki says. “In doing our jobs, we sometimes work for less, work longer hours, go beyond our job descriptions in support of the mission–AND these things can tax our giving spirits. It’s important to offset some of the weight that comes along with this work by knowing you have time to recharge and come back refreshed to “keep on keeping on.’”

VISIONS’ Executive Director, Elika Dadsetan-Foley agrees. “I see it as an act of freedom and willful resistance. Rest is reparations, and it helps reconnect us to ourselves – our minds, our bodies, our purpose,” Elika says. “For some, it is a way to begin restoring from generational exhaustion and (racial) trauma.”

For Nikki, who herself has been engaged in nonprofit work for more than 24 years, the intentional nature of the breaks is as important as the breaks themselves. “It’s necessary to push back against the notion that we must work, work, work. My recent work trip to Italy really opened my eyes to the concept of “riposo” or afternoon pause/breaks. As I walked around trying to get what I needed done, everyone else had ‘taken the afternoon’ off. While It was frustrating at first, I soon realized it was one reason why everyone I encountered was so calm and centered in their approaches. Rest as resistance is how we can sustain ourselves AND continue to push to fulfill our mission.”

Note: The VISIONS office will be closed the week of September 5th. This dedication to self-care enables us to refuel and provide the VISIONS community with better service. We look forward to resuming normal business hours on Monday, September 12.