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Rest Is Resistance

A Manifesto

Regular Price $27

Regular Price $34 CAD

Regular Price $27

Regular Price $34 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 11, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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Disrupt and push back against capitalism and white supremacy by connecting to the liberating power of rest, daydreaming, and naps as a foundation for healing and justice. Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop, encourages us to elevate rest as a form of resistance and a divine human right.

What would it be like to live in a well-rested world? Far too many of us have claimed productivity as the cornerstone of success. Brainwashed by capitalism, we subject our bodies and minds to work at an unrealistic, damaging, and machine‑level pace –– feeding into the same engine that enslaved millions into brutal labor for its own relentless benefit.

In Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey, aka the Nap Bishop, casts an illuminating light on our troubled relationship with rest and how to imagine and dream our way to a future where rest is exalted. Our worth does not reside in how much we produce, especially not for a system that exploits and dehumanizes us. Rest, in its simplest form, becomes an act of resistance and a reclaiming of power because it asserts our most basic humanity. We are enough. The systems cannot have us.

Rest Is Resistance is rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism. With captivating storytelling and practical advice, all delivered in Hersey’s lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, Rest Is Resistance is a call to action, a battle cry, a field guide, and a manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.

What's Inside



Rest saved my life. This is my truth. I don’t need anyone else to verify this nor do I need complicated theories to support what I know to be true in my heart, my body, and my Spirit. My pilgrimage with rest as a form of resistance and liberation practice is a deeply personal one. It is one that started way before anyone heard of The Nap Ministry on social media. Resting was my attempt to solve a problem in my life and like most Black women before me, I worked within the realms of my own life and history to create a way.

While in a brutally busy graduate program, with financial issues, family illness, and the threat of racial violence always swirling around, I started to experiment with rest. My commitment to rest as a form of resistance came from my everyday experiences of being a part of the machine-level pace of our culture and surviving the trauma of the terror of poverty, exhaustion, white supremacy, and capitalism. I took to napping all over campus while in seminary and when I was home. I believed deeply that I would rest because I was exhausted physically and spiritually, and I saw no other way to make it. I was beyond rational thought about whether I would be able to thrive from this and simply leaped without a net.

I was fueled by the deep history I was studying cultural trauma while in seminary. I was reading slave narratives while studying Jim Crow terrorism and falling asleep with the book on my chest. I was guided by Harriet Tubman, proclaiming after waking up from a prophetic dream: “My people are free.” The audacity to proclaim freedom via rest in the now. Rest has been revolutionary for my soul.

This book is a testimony and testament of my refusal to donate my body to a system that still owes a debt to my ancestors for the theft of their labor and DreamSpace. I refuse to push my body to the brink of exhaustion and destruction. Let the chips fall where they may. I trust myself more than capitalism. Our refusal will make space for abundance. We will have to leap and trust rest. May the ground underneath hold us, and if we must collapse, may a soft pillow be there. This book is a scream on a bullhorn for the collective to join me in disrupting and pushing back. The Nap Ministry is a warm blanket swaddling us all back to our deepest selves. A more human place. A resting place.

It is never easy to explain why I started The Nap Ministry. It is so layered, nuanced, and organic. I have been asked the question of its origin thousands of times by strangers, journalists, and social media followers. Everyone is thirsty for the quick details of why I would dream up a project about napping. I am elated the story has not been an easy and direct answer, because like decolonizing, it will take enormous effort in the form of radical healing, change, redemption, and collective care.

Everything always starts with the personal. The origins of The Nap Ministry begin with the story of my family in fragmented parts. The micro-histories and small details of our lives hold the keys to our redemption. My rest resurrection begins with my desperation to find relief from my own exhaustion via curiosity, experimentation, and self-preservation.

I come from a legacy of exhaustion. My maternal grandmother, Ora, the muse of this work, a refugee from Jim Crow terrorism, rested her eyes every day for thirty minutes to an hour in an attempt to connect and find peace. My great- grandmother Rhodie, I am told, stayed up late nightly on her farm in deep Mississippi with a pistol in her apron pocket to creatively solve any problems from the Ku Klux Klan. The reality of our survival from white supremacy and capitalism is deeply shocking to me. I am in awe at what our bodies can hold. We must lighten our loads. Survival is not the end goal for liberation. We must thrive. We must rest.

As a child, I would watch my grandmother Ora as she sat on her plastic-covered yellow couch and meditated for thirty minutes every single day. She #ed her home in Mississippi with thousands of other African-Americans during the Great Migration of the 1950s. Ora floated up North on a spaceship built from uncertainty and hope as she landed in Chicago. She magically raised eight children, while dodging poverty, racism, and the invisibility of being a Black woman in America. Her commitment to “resting her eyes” every day for thirty minutes was radical. Her ability to demand space to “ just be” was a form of resistance.

While my grandmother rested her eyes, I would tiptoe around her home trying not to wake her up. I always thought she was sleeping while sitting up. I was curious about her rest practice and thought she was so eccentric. Whenever I would inquire if she was sleeping, her response was always the same: “Every shut eye ain’t sleep. I am resting my eyes and listening for what God wants to tell me.” While all the world around her was attempting to crush her Spirit, she rested and resisted the beast of grind culture. She taught my mother to rest, she taught me to rest. I am humbled to be a vessel to guide thousands on their own rest journey as we embrace rest as a way to make us all more human.

My inspiration to rest is deep and expansive. I’m inspired by invention and the opportunity to craft something new from scratch. I’m inspired by remixing and being subversive. I am inspired by disruption and tenderness. I am inspired by imagination. I am inspired by grief, mourning, and lament. I believe deeply in vulnerable, generative spaces for healing. I am inspired by rest, daydreaming, and sleep.

Our collective rest will not be easy. All of culture is collaborating for us not to rest. I understand this deeply. We are sleep-deprived because the systems view us as machines, but bodies are not machines. Our bodies are a site of liberation. We are divine and our rest is divine. There is synergy, inter-connectedness, and deep communal healing within our rest movement. I believe rest, sleep, naps, daydreaming, and slowing down can help us all wake up to see the truth of ourselves. Rest is a healing portal to our deepest selves. Rest is care. Rest is radical.

We must stand and lay firmly in the space of creating a life filled with rest and radical care, even amid oppression. Rest Is Resistance is our tagline and mantra. Our call. Rest is a form of resistance because it disrupts and pushes back against capitalism and white supremacy. Both these toxic systems refuse to see the inherent divinity in human beings and have used bodies as a tool for production, evil, and destruction for centuries. Grind culture has made us all human machines, willing and ready to donate our lives to a capitalist system that thrives by placing profits over people. The Rest Is Resistance movement is a connection and a path back to our true nature. We are stripped down to who we really were before the terror of capitalism and white supremacy. We are enough. We are divine.

If we are not resting, we will not make it. I need us to make it. We must thrive. I know our collective rest will liberate us and shift consciousness. A rest movement. A spiritual movement. A political movement rooted in care and justice. The deprogramming from our brainwashing will take intention and time. Rest is a meticulous love practice, and we will be unraveling from our sleep deprivation and socialization around rest for the remainder of our days. This is a blessing. Rest is radical because it disrupts the lie that we are not doing enough. It shouts: “No, that is a lie. I am enough. I am worthy now and always because I am here.” The Rest Is Resistance movement is a connection and a path back to our true nature. We are stripped down to who we really were before the terror of capitalism and white supremacy. We are enough. We are divine. Our bodies don’t belong to these toxic systems. We know better. Our spirits know better.

The legacy of exhaustion stops with me. I invite you into the portal rest provides. Capitalism cannot have me. White supremacy cannot have me. Join me in reclaiming our DreamSpace. The time to rest is now.

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Rest Is Resistance left me feeling elated. This book reminds us that we are in charge of our restoration. In these pages, Tricia has offered us an invitation to take our power back.” —Alexandra Elle, author of After the Rain and How We Heal
“Sometimes the window is open and a breeze comes through singing a sweet song:  it is nap time.  Grandmother sits on the front porch; grandpapa cuts the grass.  It is a song.  You nap.  I nap. The angels hug us.  A book settles beside us.  Rest Is Resistance.  It is a war we will win.”—Nikki Giovanni, Poet
“With Rest Is Resistance, Tricia Hersey helps us understand that rest is how we can sustain ourselves as we awaken to the truth of the toxic systems of our times. She is not ahead of or above us in this journey, but right here in the midst of social media addiction and overwork and systemic frustration, shouting that she can see an opening. She offers us rest not instead of the incredible work we are doing, but as a way to undergird all our efforts against capitalism and white supremacy. She shows us that our dream space is sacred, and rest is how we reclaim access to the wisdom there. Naps and all kinds of rest are portals through which we return to ourselves. Tricia, sounding like an ancestor who is DONE seeing us suffer, is inviting us to join her and step on through.”—adrienne maree brown, author of Emergent Strategy and Pleasure Activism
“If the rude stillness of rest is a sermon, Tricia Hersey is its underground prophet. Tricia's fierce insistence that rest is resistance is more than a plea for us to take occasional vacations, and nothing less than a spell masterfully crafted to evacuate us from the settlement politics of capture. Read this book. Then sleep, irreverently, knowing you shake worlds as you do.” —Báyò Akómoláfé, Ph.D., author of These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home
"Vivid, deeply researched and moving… Hersey’s manifesto towards radical restoration is lifegiving"—Glory Edim, author of On Girlhood and Well-Read Black Girl
“Tricia Hersey’s Nap Ministry changed my life. Rest Is Resistance is more than a book — it is one of the most vital interventions of our time.”—Casey Gerald, author of There Will Be No Miracles Here
“Lay your ass down and read this book right now! Rest Is Resistance is an inspiring, affirming and revolutionary balm. Tricia and the Nap Ministry’s ethos have changed my life, and work, for the better and this manifesto is no different. With compassionate inquiry and actionable offerings, Tricia divinely guides us further into rest, ourselves, and our collective liberation.”—Rachel Ricketts, spiritual activist and author of Do Better
“This book will save lives and transform the world. Tricia Hersey speaks the truth about rest, a truth that begins our unraveling from the lies of white supremacy and capitalism. Gradually we refuse to live at a machine pace. We surrender to the beautiful experiment of being human. We return to our truest selves. This is a book to read again and again, slowly, savoring it sentence by sentence. I'll be giving copies to everyone I work with and everyone I love.”—Emily Nagoski Ph.D., Bestselling author of Come As You Are and Burnout
“Over the span of several days, I read Rest Is Resistance as a meditative practice to alter my pace and ground my soul in this frenzied grind culture.  Unlike other texts that list a litany of strategies to stave off exhaustion, Hersey presents a lullaby of liberation that frames rest as a portal for healing and imagination available to all. Once you open this book prepare to breathe more deeply and come to see the world more clearly.  In the words of the Nap Bishop,  ‘The Doors of the Nap Temple are open.  Won’t you come?’”—Gregory C. Ellison II, Ph.D., Founder of Fearless Dialogues and Associate Professor at Emory University’s Candler School of Theology
“Tricia Hersey whispers ‘rest is a form of resistance’ to me, to you, to those who think resistance is always movement. Her message is essential: Sit. Lay down. Slow down. Rest is a necessary step in reclaiming our power to resist systemic oppression.”—Ibram X. Kendi, author of How to Be an Antiracist and Stamped from the Beginning
Rest Is Resistance” is a clarion call for our generation. In this pioneering book, Tricia Hersey invites us all to opt out of “grind culture” and embrace our basic and sacred human right to self-care, relaxation, and rest. As Hersey makes clear, this revolutionary praxis is especially important for Black people who have historically and contemporarily been primarily valued for our labor. Ultimately, Hersey reminds us that leisure is not only a way to restore and rejuvenate, but it is also an act of resistance as we hurtle towards end-stage capitalism.”—Bryant Terry, James Beard and NAACP Image award-winning author of Black Food and Editor-in-Chief of 4 Color Books
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