Here we are, #Firestarters: the second half of 2022. How can that be possible, right? Crossing the midpoint of the year always feels like a milestone. It can prompt us to think of all the things we need or want to do before January 1 rolls around again.

But today I want you to put aside thoughts of your goals and obligations for the moment and consider another way to mark the middle of the year and the middle of this long, hot (very hot, if you’re a Texan like me) summer. I want you to take a rest. What would happen if you just pressed “pause,” even for 24 hours? Well, I can tell you firsthand that it will nourish both your spirit and the movements you are working to build. But I’m getting ahead of myself …

The Gift of Rest

Like many of you, I headed into the middle of the year with my energy running low. Because of work travel, I’m rarely at home in Austin more than five business days in a row. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being in different places and meeting different people. But I was also exhausted from being on the road.

So the timing could not have been more perfect to get some good news. Like, really good news. That news came from Getaway, a company that makes it easy to escape to nature with cozy little cabins called Outposts. Getaway partnered with author and activist Rachel Cargle and Mailchimp to create a program called Year of Rest. This program is providing 365 nights of rest to those fighting for change for the Black community. And I was selected! (THANK YOU, Kara Factor, for the nomination.)


Recover, Renew, Realign

I excitedly packed my bags — melatonin, satin pillowcase, movies, inspirational reading, healthy food, a whole lot of water and a little bit of wine. And then my sweet pup Fitz and I headed for my stay at a Getaway Outpost in Wimberley, about an hour outside of Austin. Fitz and I both give the experience five stars.

To make the most of my time away, I used the principles of The Great Me-Set to recover, renew and realign with joy. I did a breathing exercise and visualized how I would feel after my night away. I journaled, hydrated and slept — oh, did I sleep! — for 10 amazing hours.

After my night of rest, I felt recharged and inspired. I felt some ideas starting to percolate for a couple of upcoming keynotes I’m delivering. And I just felt more me. I was sad when my trip ended, but I also resolved to take more pauses like this one. It’s easy to tell ourselves that the work we do is so important we can never slow down. But sometimes slowing down is the most powerful thing we can do to support our work.

I’m sharing all of this with you because I want to normalize the idea that we all need to rest, recharge and care for ourselves. I’m hoping that reading this gave you some ideas for the kind of pause you need. I’d also like to ask you to share your own stories of rest and renewal. You never know how you could inspire someone else. And stay tuned. I’ll be share more soon about how we can really lean into the Great Me-Set to keep ourselves fueled as #Firestarters.

As always, you can find me on Linked In, Instagram or Facebook. Here’s to starting fires, but making time to rest!

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