July 4, 2016

If You Need Permission to Rest, Here it is. {Poem}

girl letting go sad alone forgive

Sometimes, I just need someone to look at me and say “You’re f*cking exhausted. Go rest!”

Usually, it’s my best friend who gorgeously reminds me that I don’t need to be productive every moment of every day, that I don’t need to work myself into the ground, that I can’t help anyone else if I’m running on empty, that I am allowed to rest and breathe deeply and smile and enjoy this life.

And after taking that downtime (often a bit begrudgingly)—I always come back to all I need to do, feeling like a completely new person—feeling, in truth, like my real Self.

So, in this moment, if you are needing that reminder, if you’re weary and worn-out, if you’re worn down and miles past exhausted, but feel terribly guilty for taking a lick of time for yourself, I hope these words find their way into your heart—into the exact spaces that are thirsty and tired.

If you need permission to rest, here it is.

And I hope these words remind you that you don’t just have permission to rest, to feed your own heart—but that it’s an absolute requirement. An unshakeable demand. A divine, daily need. So, no excuses. We’re all busy. But we can all find time for ourselves. Because to take tender care of our Selves, to truly honor our Selves—it’s the most deliciously radical thing we could ever do. It’s pure empowerment.


Stop it.

Stop running around like that, you beautiful soul.

Stop pushing yourself past the point of utter exhaustion.

Stop blatantly ignoring what your body is telling you.

Stop being everything to everyone else; but no one to yourself.

Stop trying to do it all. And have it all. And be it all.


Get off the hamster wheel of to-do lists and events you “should” attend, people you “should” call, things you “should” do, and achievements and expectations and worries.

Oh, sweet soul—when is the last time you took a full breath, a break?

Aren’t your lungs just dying for the sweet, spacious nectar of oxygen?

Aren’t your muscles weary, sore, tense—begging for silent release?

You can rest. You can set it all down.

Yes, you sweet soul—you do so much, you do too much—and I promise the world can go on without you for a moment, an hour, a day, a weekend.

It will have to.

Set it all down. Set everything down.

That load you’ve been carrying is heavy, the crushing weight you bare on your shoulders alone. You’re so strong to carry it so bravely. But you can’t carry it all the time. And you need not carry it all on your own.

Let go all the brittle pieces of everything you’ve been holding tightly together—

I know it hurts.

So let it go.

Let those exhausting pieces fly to the breeze, to the grass, to the trees, let them spread into the air like seeds.

You heart needs you. Your soul cries out for you.

Reach inside.

Hear the ruby whispers from deep within. Meet yourself in the misty places that speak softly.

Set it all down. Set everything down.

You can rest.

You have complete and utter permission to rest—oh, you always do—

To savor.

To lick the sapphire blue sky.

To climb an invisible rope to the stars.

To close your eyes and weep rivers, if you need to.

To daydream.

To create.

To expand and grow.

To do absolutely nothing.

To laugh and play.

To be alone.

You have permission—but hell, it’s more than permission—it’s about fiercely meeting your needs.

It’s about giving yourself what you give to everyone else all the time—

Love. Gentleness. Healing. The tender space to blossom.

So, give yourself what you give to everyone else.

Oh sweet soul, unwrap a thousand flower petal drops of softness and hand it to your own heart.

You can rest.

So stop it.

Stop trying to be everything to everyone.

Be everything to yourself instead.

Be all you ever needed.

Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

Replenish that pulsating well of great thirst inside you, melt into the warm arms of this moment like golden honey

And just be.

You don’t need to do more or be more.

Doing more isn’t always helpful or necessary—doing less is sometimes the golden ticket we’d never consider.

Set it all down. Set everything down.

And just be.

You are not lazy, you are wise.

Be extraordinarily gentle with yourself.

And see how that gentleness feeds you.

Exist sweetly in the wild palms of silence, like a sunbeam, shining in the divine dappled beauty of all you are.

Unfold whimsically into simplicity, into the glistening truth of it all—the glistening truth of who you really are.

Rest. Replenish.

Surrender, sweet soul, surrender.

Claim this moment, just for you.

It’s just for you.

Perch here.

Close your eyes.

There is nothing you need to do.

Just breathe.




Author: Sarah Harvey

Photo: .tafo./Flickr

Editors: Caitlin Oriel; Emily Bartran

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