Monthly Archives: July 2016

A Little R & R & R (Rest, Relaxation, Reiki)

Healing is an essential part of life, but one that we frequently overlook unless we are faced with an illness that won’t allow us to look away.

We hear lots of terms about preventative medicine. Get cardio three times a week, eat a veggie shake for breakfast, and skip desert, right? We neglect that every day, every moment we are creators of our own reality, our own lives, our own bodies. That may sound grandiose, but it’s really not. We know when things are unhealthy for us, when we are not getting the exercise we should, when we should be resting, but let other priorities get in the way. We do a few things on occasion and argue with ourselves that we’re really doing the best we can given our limitations of time, money, and the fact that Stranger Things just became available on Netflix and we really need to binge watch the entire season to stay current with our friends on Facebook. We lie.

Not even a real lie, we tell ourselves, but we’re tired and really wanted that piece of blueberry crumble because we’ve had a rough day. There’s really nothing wrong with that, we tell ourselves. And maybe there isn’t, but what it does is create a reserve inside of us, a space that needs healing and health. We store that place with all the thoughts of tomorrows and next weeks and how many miles we used to run instead of doing it today and now.

So, sometimes, we need to catch up on healing. Some days are there for us to entirely immerse in a safe, comfortable space of emotional, spiritual, and physical healing. As a new mother and an introvert, I have a hard time acquiring the space and time for these days myself. I end up relegating my quiet healing time to a few hours or a few minutes here or there and the result is feeling scattered and disjointed most days, feeling like I’ve never gotten enough sleep most days, and feeling like I need to escape most days.

There are absolutely wonderful moments in between these times and I wouldn’t want to give them up to run and hide somewhere, but the need to cocoon is strong. Especially as I’ve been genuinely ill this past week like I haven’t been since I did touring theatre productions to elementary schools. You haven’t known sickness until you’ve been nearly knocked over by a hug from thirty-five elementary school girls at once- all who presumably had different strains of colds and flus. It was a glorious time of life.

My personal journey into the land of healing today involves a lot of Reiki, tea, and cuddling watching My Little Pony. It is a glorious life and we plan to do a food tasting workshop later and then yoga on the beach. Well, I plan to yoga- she most likely plans to nap.

The point is; take those times, take those days. Make healing a priority in everything that you do. A simple reminder to ourselves to breathe and relax on that simple Sunday afternoon, and also, every afternoon- even just a little.Photo on 05-08-2014 at 14.56.jpg

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Sexism is like totally still a thing, lol

So, the other day my father was saying some nasty things about the news anchor on CNN mostly about how no one wants to listen to anyone with that ugly face and then switched to another unnamed news channel and proceeded to tell me to shut up so he could listen to a man who… was not pleasing to the eye. When I asked why the woman’s face invalidates what she says, but the man here is not invalidated by his looks, he cursed me out and raised to volume to a preposterous level even using profanity. I let it go, but then just now he brought it back up shouting reams of more profanity and storming out of the room when I had asked him about something entirely unrelated. Maybe I hit a nerve the other night. Maybe systemic sexism is actually a thing. Maybe we all have to be aware of it.

Then this happened. This whole Melania Trump debacle. I have no words about the scandal itself except it seems designed to create controversy, but the type of controversy it creates doesn’t have to be in the hands of it’s creators. Simply put, I have seen so many people say such horrible things about a woman and assume it’s okay because their friends are mostly anti-Trump. This is never okay.

I rarely go onto my mother’s Facebook, but there I was sharing baby pictures and I stumbled upon something she had posted. My mother is an avid Hillary supporter. She comes from a time where the idea of a woman president was nearly unthinkable, indeed she couldn’t even wear pants or shorts to school in her day. She thinks the Republicans are funny and that they mock themselves- which, let’s not get into the whole rick rolling conspiracy of Melania’s speech. There is that cleverly cut video mashup of Melania and Michelle both giving the same speech side by side and my mother happened to have reposted it. I mean, of course she did- what Democrat isn’t up for the giggle of seeing another Trump camp fail, but then I read the comments. There were numerous snickers and giggles on there, lots of name calling and words like “mail order whore” Don’t think the Trump supporters didn’t get in there with their own barbs because the internet is nothing if not balanced in crazy irrational emotion led comments, but the overall sentiment was a snickering cascade of defamation at this woman who did nothing more than look beautiful and go out and deliver a speech. She was not bitchy, she was not slutty looking, she was not committing any sexual acts or receiving payment for them. I could not fathom why everyone was suddenly so comfortable denouncing her.

On the whole, the past few days has given me pause. We hear many young girls talking about how we no longer need feminism these days and how discrimination no longer exists, but perhaps the narrative needs to change. Perhaps the idea of what sexism is in the media is lost on most people because it is so subtle and because they feel so demonized for being called out on it these days. I am not a perfect person who has never said something petty about another girl as an easy slur, but I strive to be better than that. It is easy to attack a woman because it is something universally understood. It is much harder to attack an ideology because it is a complex and nuanced philosophy that requires understanding and analytical skills. Sometimes we are tired, sometimes we haven’t yet fully grasped what is upsetting us about something, sometimes we don’t even know what is upsetting us just that something is and cheap shots are there for that purpose, but they are just that cheap, meaningless, empty. Cheap shots do not really count because they don’t matter. They don’t illustrate the underlying issue at hand and we hide behind them because sometimes we are afraid to look at those dark parts of ourselves.

We cannot afford to hide the darkness anymore. It is only through confronting the actuality of what we feel, think, and believe that we can transform any of that into useful energy.

It seems grandiose to say we are creators of worlds, but it is true. What we think, feel, and believe is how we approach the world. It is how others interact with our own ideologies. Every word is important.

I will not be calling Melania a bitch, a bimbo, or a whore- or any other word- because she made a speech. I will not be calling any other woman whose ideology I am not in line with terrible names. I won’t even be calling those girls who were nasty to me at karaoke last week dumb sluts. I won’t be doing it because it gives them an out. Being a female and being called derogatory sexual names is par for the course. If you do something that makes you not a nice human being, then you are not a nice human being- you don’t get to write off that criticism as easily as you would just being called the array of terms generally thrown against women as applicable because of our possession of a vaginal cavity. It also doesn’t apply as a blanket term the way slurs do. I am actually required to figure out why I am upset with you first.

Stop being so lazy people, stop using slurs.

Subversion

I have learned.

I have learned to be wary.

I have learned to be cautious with my enthusiasm.

I have learned to stand alone.

I have learned.

Let no one in.

Stand alone.

Keep closed.

Show no weakness.

Smile.

I have learned…

I have learned to always smile.

Abide disrespect.

challenge nothing.

do not tip the boat.

be afraid.

I have learned…

but I do not abide.