As women, how can we participate in creating a world where we feel safe enough and worthy enough to rest?
Through my research, my hope is that, together, we can begin creating a world where women feel safe enough and worthy enough to rest.Take part
I'm currently researching women’s relationship with rest and would love to speak with anyone (via email, Zoom or in-person) who would be happy have a chat to explore all things rest, relaxation, productivity, patriarchy, motherhood, multi-tasking, overworking, overwhelm, slowness, stillness, anxiety, awe – and anything else that might unfold!
This is heart-centred research. It matters deeply to me. And, whilst I am doing the research, I am also participating in the research with you. We are co-creators. Co-learners. Co-healers.
Part of my focus is on depatriarchalising research – researching in a way that honours our unique needs and worldviews as women. Research from this paradigm is less about knowledge and more about community – bringing women together in order to raise our level of consciousness, have deeper insights into our world and explore how we can participate in our cultural evolution.
In this women-centric research paradigm, research is no longer about extracting knowledge and collecting data. Rather, research becomes a life-changing ceremony. Through our conversations, we are quietly participating in the creation of a world where women feel safe enough to slow down, safe enough to leave their to-do lists unfinished, safe enough to relax and enjoy their lives.
Whilst the research methodology I'm using (feminist and immersive) has no fixed goal and no step-by-step process to follow, some of the questions we might explore include:
- What does being a 'relaxed woman' mean to you?
- What words/archetypes would you use to describe yourself and other women in your life? For example, the stressed woman, the busy woman, the exhausted woman, the superwoman.
- What causes stress in your life? How do you cope with it?
- What does rest mean to you? How do you feel about resting? How do you rest?
- Growing up, how did you see the women (mothers, grandmothers) in your life rest and relax?
- As women, what drives our collective anxiety and guilt around relaxing?
- What are the psychological and socioeconomic barriers to getting enough rest? This could range from gender inequality at work and at home to feeling like you should always be doing something productive.
- How do cultural messages and expectations influence our resistance to rest?
- What price are we paying, personally and collectively, by not resting?
- How would approaching the challenges in our lives – train delays, tantrums, arguments, failures, social injustice – from a more relaxed perspective, help us cope with them more effectively?
- How can we begin to rest and relax so we have the capacity to take care of ourselves, the people we love and the world around us?
- As women, how can we participate in creating a world we feel safe enough to rest?
Anything you share with me is confidential and, if the research is published, your identity will be disguised and any recognisable details will be removed whilst remaining true to the spirit of your story in order to serve the greater goal: To help women feel safe enough to rest.
As part of the immersive research process, I'll also be reviewing academic literature and drawing on material from autobiographies and poems, as well as exploring perspectives on social media and paying attention to the relationships, communities and places I already inhabit.
How to take part
1. Rest and reflect sessions
At the heart of my research is bringing women together in community. Rest and Reflect sessions offer a space to connect with other women who care about the same things you do. I run them online and in-person, each focussing on a specific topic such as work addiction, perfectionism and people-pleasing. Each session lasts between 60-90 minutes and is run as a sharing circle. If you'd like to find out more, take part or be kept up to date with dates and times of gatherings, please fill in the form below.
Our next Rest and Reflect session will be on Monday 18th September at 7.15pm BST. If you'd like to join us, please fill in the form below and I'll send you the Zoom details.
2. Drop me an email
If joining a Rest and Reflect session doesn't feel comfortable for you but you'd like to get involved, then please drop me an email. I'd love to hear your story, read your poetry, see your art and receive your insights on rest and relaxation in whatever way you choose to express yourself.
Meet your researcher
I’m Nicola – a feminist psychologist, integrative therapist, stress and rest researcher and founder of The Relaxed Woman. I'm passionate about compassionate living, deep healing, self-actualisation, high performance and how we can make the most of these precious breath we call life.
Over the last 10 years I've supported hundreds of people – from students, full time mums and creatives, to CEOs, Premiership footballers and veterans – on their unique journeys to self-acceptance, personal evolution and professional growth.
I live in Brighton and spend my free time painting, baking, reading, wild swimming, wandering by the ocean, growing my own vegetables and sitting in coffee shops with a good book and buttery croissant.