August Personal Reflection—Leaning into Rest

How are you leaning into rest in your life?

It’s fitting that I’m publishing my August personal reflection on the last day of the month because this month hit me hard and forced me to rest. After three years, we finally got Covid and it knocked me out for two weeks and has been lingering (annoyingly) for another week, leaving me sounding like I’m about to make a speech any minute, lol.

I’m a fast-paced person with a lot of stamina for the many hobbies and interests I pursue. So to rest—fully rest—is tough for me.

This is the second time this year that I’ve been forced to rest—the first was when I finished my parents’ move from Phoenix to Seattle and was injured for a month. The universe is conspiring to make me sit in one spot and rest. So, I’m doing it!

During this sickness, I let myself do things that I never do: I watched the 6-hour BBC Pride & Prejudice with Colin Firth (it’s on Hulu!), I read three novels, and I slept during the day, so much. Turns out everything is fine—both with my team at work and my personal life to bow out for a week or two.

Not everything was peaches and cream, I had to cancel attending a dear friends’ wedding and missed seeing a great group of friends, which was a supreme bummer. After testing negative, I still had to push through sickness to teach a webinar for AFP Golden Gate (which was AWESOME!!) but also hard, and host our local AFP chapter’s summer social where I had half a beer and had to leave early with a coughing fit. I pushed too hard too fast (typical of me). So the next day, I leaned into rest.

It shouldn’t take Covid to give us an excuse to rest—but combatting a lifetime of harmful capitalist messages is hard. Even for me, who teaches this very thing! The act of unlearning these toxic messages is lifelong. It takes daily personal reflection, analysis, and reframing.

I’m not going to wait another 10 years to give myself six hours to watch Colin Firth pine for Elizabeth Bennet. What are you going to allow yourself to do to lean into rest?


Shannon Bowen, Founder + CEO of Monsoon Leadership is a career advancement coach, job search expert, salary whisperer, nonprofit executive, and a lifelong straight-talker. She's dedicated to helping nonprofit professionals land their dream job and dream salary!


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