Rest as self-love:

A month of learning 

to say NO

Say NO to overwork for an entire month, letting go of the burnout mindsets that propels you to always ‘power through.’ 

Say YES to self-love and deep rest and relaxation in August.

Prioritizing rest for yourself is an act of self-love, but it sure comes with a lot of complicated emotions. We often feel guilty about saying yes to rest when we could be helping so many other people. We might feel like a failure for turning down extra work that might help us get ahead. We might feel shamed by family and friends who done understand your need to choose yourself.

🎉 That’s why we are coming together to celebrate the act of saying no in August! 🎉

I will empower you to show yourself some love in August with 31 simple, actionable tips in your inbox to help you resist overworking while offering you practices in the place of those exhausting habits that will help you rest, relax, relieve stress, and – most importantly – recover from burnout.

During this month you’ll get:

  • Daily inspiring emails with tips on how to say no to some things in order to say yes to self love.
  • Early access to “Loving yourself enough to take a nap” group napping experience on Sunday, Aug. 27 (sliding scale registration fee)
  • A private registration link to Nicole’s weekly yoga restorative classes on Wednesday, 8:30 a.m. ET, Aug. 9-20. (These Zoom yoga classes are usually available to Defy the Trend members only!)

😴 Rest is NOT a luxury. ⚙️ Our bodies are NOT machines. 🏝️ Take time for rest and relaxation. 

Saying No is a difficult step in learning

to love yourself

You may be getting excited 🤩 as you read this description and then immediately start feeling guilty 😳 for even thinking about rest and relaxation, especially when there are so many demands on your time and energy.

😴 Rest is NOT a luxury. ⚙️ Our bodies are NOT machines. 🏝️ They need time for rest and relaxation. 

Taking time for rest is not only necessary for well-being, but an act of resistance against patriarchal and toxic capitalist culture that pressures us to constantly be productive.

🏔️ Overcome the guilt of choosing rest and relaxation by setting some boundaries in August that set you up to practice self-love by getting more rest and relaxation.

In my Birthday Month of “Loving Yourself Enough to Say No,” you will get a quick, inspiring daily email with tips and resources on how to say no. PLUS, you’ll get exclusive access to restorative yoga classes and a group napping event designed to give you LOTS of deep rest – all for a sliding scale fee because ALL ARE WORTHY OF REST!

August events to empower you to love yourself enough to say no

Nicole teaching a yoga class and looking emphatic saying, "You are worthy of rest."

Love yourself enough to say no … to overwork

Feeling exhausted, stressed and burned out? Experience the power of restorative yoga online Wednesdays, Aug. 9 – 30.

Restorative Yoga Classes

Wednesdays, Aug. 9-30, 8:30 a.m. ET

Via Zoom

If you’re feeling burnt out and stressed, you may not yet have any practices for helping your body truly relax. Try restorative yoga with me – your experienced yoga teacher, Nicole Havelka – during my birthday month and learn firsthand how this gentle form of yoga calms the mind and eases tension in the body. I spent a lot of time resisting rest, but after nearly 20 years of practice, I have learned that the self-loving act of yoga is life-affirming and even life-saving.

Focusing on the theme of self-love in August, I will introduce you to the basics of a self-loving, restoring yoga practice including:

  • Body-affirming gentle movement (asana) and breath (pranayama)
  • Journaling prompts on self love
  • Loving guided meditation for even the jumpiest minds
  • Simple supported yoga postures made accessible to all bodies

This class takes place on Zoom, so you can explore self-love while wearing your most comfortable clothes, finding the quietest space in your house with a yoga mat, two blankets, two pillows, and a journal and something to write with. I love and welcome all bodies to my classes, so I always offer alternatives to the movement and meditation that can be done in a chair, in bed or other piece of furniture, or in any other way you feel most at ease.

I encourage both beginners and experienced yoga practitioners alike to make this practice fit their needs in the moment..

A Black woman resting her head on a white pillow, eyes closed in deep sleep and covered in a soft, blue blanket. Saying like "rest is self-loe" surrounds her.

Love yourself enough to take a nap

Resting is the ultimate act of self-love. Enjoy restorative yoga, meditation, Reiki and a guided group napping experience online Sunday, Aug. 29.

Group napping experience

Sunday, Aug. 27, 3:30 – 5 p.m. ET

Via Zoom

In today’s hectic world, it’s easy to feel guilty for taking a break to rest and nap. However, deep rest and good sleep are essential parts of self-love and community care, which benefit you and everyone around you. 

How about you show yourself some love with a really deep, relaxing nap? In the care of this loving community, you will be able to set aside your to-do list for 90 minutes and allow yourself to really, truly rest. Perhaps for the first time in a long time.

In the “Loving yourself enough to take a nap” event, you will enjoy a combination of restorative yoga, meditation, Reiki and a guided group napping experience as an ultimate act of self-love. This event takes place online so that you can be in your own home with your own bed, pillows and blankies. Are there little ones or other people in your home who might interrupt? Consider inviting yourself to a friend’s quieter house and have them join you for the napping experience, too!

The first few moments our gathering of self-love and community care will include:

  • An affirmation of your worthiness to rest
  • Settling into rest with VERY simple movement
  • A short guided meditation

You will then continue with 60+ minutes of uninterrupted napping supported by soothing music and the support of Nicole and her team sending Reiki (healing energy) to support your deep relaxation and sleep. We will help you let go of the constant pressures to perform and produce and simply revel in your divine right to rest.

This event and practice is inspired by Tricia Hersey’s Nap Ministry, which “create[s] sacred spaces where the liberatory, restorative, and disruptive power of rest can take hold. Our work is seeded within the soils of Black radical thought, somatics, Afrofuturism, womanism, and liberation theology, and is a guide for how to collectively deprogram, decolonize, and unravel ourselves from the wreckage of capitalism and white supremacy.” Please read her book, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto and buy her new Rest Deck to deepen your ongoing practice of rest.

Make no more excuses because you are worthy of rest!

You can register for all the August self-love and community care and get an invitation to this event or register separately.

Who am I and why do I care about self-love?

I am Rev. Nicole Havelka, and I want to smash our patriarchal and toxic capitalist system by building a vibrant community of people who defy the trends of burnout, exhaustion and aimlessness by saying YES to loving themselves and what matters most to them. I have practiced yoga and meditation for nearly 20 years and am a 500-hour Registered Yoga Instructor who delights in introducing people to the deep relaxation that’s possible with restoratives and guided meditation. I have a background in trauma-sensitive yoga and yoga for youth, and am a Reiki master and an ordained clergy person in the United Church of Christ. I am the founder, owner and lead coach, trainer and facilitator at Defy the Trend coaching community. Every day, I’m doing my own work so that I can make my corner of the world less racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic and ableist, and more just, equitable and joyful. Learn more about me and my values.

Smiling Nicole Havelka with long purple hair, black sweater and gold necklace.

Frequently asked questions about

“Loving Yourself Enough to Say NO” birthday month events

How do I sign up for this month of self-love?

Just register for free through Eventbrite and you will get a welcome email to start. The daily emails will begin on Aug. 1. Registration for Nicole’s restorative yoga classes will come in an email to you separately and you must register for each class that you plan to attend.

How do I sign up for the “Loving Yourself Enough to Take a Nap” event?

Sign up here on Eventbrite and you’ll receive an electronic ticket and reminders and instructions to join the online event 3 days, 24 hours and 1 hour before the event.

How much do the “Loving yourself enough to say no” Birthday Month events cost?

Signing up for the daily emails to inspire self-love are totally free. Your signup also gives you access to early registration for the “Loving yourself enough to take a nap” group nap experience on Aug. 29 and Nicole’s weekly restorative yoga classes on Wednesdays, Aug. 9-30, for only a sliding scale fee. Pay only as little or as much as you are able. These birthday month events are Nicole’s gift to you.

What is your refund policy?

You can get a refund or credit for a future class or event with Nicole in the amount of your ticket fee if you cancel 24 hours or more. If you cancel 24 hours or less before an event no refunds are given. Eventbrite fees are not refundable.

Why does Nicole care about self love so much anyway?

Ahem … it’s Nicole here. Let me take this question. About 10 years into what is now a nearly 20-year practice of yoga and meditation, I realized that I was overworking and overproducing in an attempt to earn my worth and value. But as a yoga teacher and a reverend ordained in the United Church of Christ I knew (but hadn’t yet internalized) that my worthiness and value is divinely given, never earned. My yoga practice, especially once I experienced restorative yoga and meditation, teaches me daily to return to revel in my divine right to rest. As an added bonus, I am thoroughly convinced that a self-loving rest practice in communities of care will dismantle the structures of racist patriarchy and toxic capitalism that tell us we are unworthy in the first place.

Will mindfulness help me recover from burnout?

Burnout is a common problem in today’s fast-paced world, and it can have serious consequences for our physical and mental health. By prioritizing time to slow down, breathe deeply, and listen and respond to what our bodies and minds truly need, we can reduce stress and begin to choose regular rest practices that help us recover from and prevent burnout from happening again.

What is restorative yoga?

Restorative yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on relaxation and rest. Its self-loving physical practice involves holding gentle poses for extended periods of time, and using props like blankets, pillows, bolsters and blocks to support the body and promote deep relaxation. In Nicole’s restorative yoga classes, she also uses gentle movement to help you settle into rest, journaling prompts to deepen your self-love, and guided meditation to help you deeply heal and restore. It’s a great practice for anyone looking to reduce stress, improve sleep and feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Will restorative yoga help me recover from stress, burnout and exhaustion?

The short answer is yes. The ancient wisdom contained in yoga has known for centuries what Western science is just beginning to affirm: deeply relaxing practices like restorative yoga help the body heal from the toxic effects of our overworked and frenzied modern world.

Do I have to keep my camera on while practicing restorative yoga online?

No. You can choose whether you’d like to keep your camera on or off as you are comfortable. You do have the option to turn it off while we are doing yoga and meditation and then turning it on when we chat at the beginning and end of class.

What is Reiki, and how does it help with stress and burnout?

Reiki is a form of alternative therapy that originated in Japan. It involves the practitioner placing their hands on or near the patient’s body or sending energy over distances to channel energy and promote healing. Nicole is a Reiki master, has learned from experienced energy workers, and considers this mysteriously loving practice to help balance the body’s energy and promote relaxation, which can in turn reduce stress, improve overall well-being, and promote healing. While the scientific evidence for Reiki is limited, she knows from years of experience that many people feel more rested, relaxed and less stressed after receiving Reiki. Nicole uses Reiki during her restorative yoga classes, in group and individual coaching and during other events.

I have physical, mental and/or emotional challenges, is restorative yoga for me?

Yes. Nicole believes strongly in welcoming all bodies and minds to the practice. She offers many alternatives to the physical practice (asana) and to meditations or breath practices (pranayama). She also strongly encourages you to change the practice to meet your own needs at the moment.