Monthly Archives: July 2017

Something Good

Pink Queen Anne’s Lace, which I didn’t even know existed

1. Botanical light-filled loft from SF Girl by Bay. I want to spend the next week on that smushy green couch.

2. Sun salutations, sizeism, sexism and scumbaggery. “By the end of this horrible, un-yogic apology you will be lying in savasana on your floor.”

3. Let’s stop telling the lie that weight loss is our life’s work, wisdom from Melissa Toler. Because this,

My exploration into the ways that diet culture disregards our humanity has forced me to see things very differently. I have awakened to the fact that diet culture demands perfection, ignores body diversity, overrides our bodies’ natural wisdom, and as a result, undermines our autonomy. The more I explore the layers of diet culture, the more I see how we’re socialized to accept that our bodies are not our own and are intended for the consumption of others. At times it feels like simply existing is an invitation for unsolicited commentary and unwanted touch. The message that comes across to me is loud and clear: Other people’s experience of my body is more important than my own.

4. The Secret to Interpersonal Happiness from Zen Habits.

5. Think Again: ‘There is no obesity crisis’, explained by Professor Traci Mann. (video)

6. The August Break, 2017 hosted by Susannah Conway. Take one picture a day using Susannah’s prompts. A fun way to wrap up the season.

7. Why It’s No Coincidence That So Many INFJs and INFPs Are Writers.

8. Please Help Us Save Diesel!

9. Ear Hustle, the first podcast produced in prison. (video)

10. Why Mainstream Yoga is a Part of Diet Culture with Dianne Bondy. (podcast)

11. Philly’s Real-Life Superhero. Ariell Johnson is one of the first black women in the country to own a comic book shop and she’s just getting started. (video)

12. Recipes I want to try: Southwestern Sweet Potato Noodle Salad, and Avocado Desserts 4 Ways (I’d like to try these, but I’m not sure how I feel about them), and Crispy Honey-Glazed Fried Chicken (this seems like it would work really well with tofu instead of chicken), and Chocolate Crazy Cake: No Eggs, Milk or Butter.

13. I Don’t Get Weighed at the Doctor’s Office—and You Don’t Have to, Either.

14. When Ellie told her mom and dad she was a girl, they responded with nothing but love and support. (video)

15. To the cis person angrily sharing news of the Trump transgender military ban.

16. This Photographer Shoots Pet Brothers From Other Mothers And It’s Too Adorable.

17. Libraries Are the Real Punk Rock.

18. I Don’t Want to Watch Slavery Fan Fiction by Roxane Gay on The New York Times.

19. The Radical Importance Of Issa Rae’s ‘Insecure.’

20. Summer Interns: Democrat & Republican, a powerful set of contrasting images.

21. Did Rupi Kaur plagiarize parts of ‘Milk & Honey’ from this Tumblr poet?

22. A Little of Everything (When Everything Is Everything) from Jena Schwartz.

23. Women are flocking to wellness because modern medicine still doesn’t take them seriously. In related news, Mother died after paramedics accused her of faking symptoms ‘for attention.’

24. Broken Heart or Just Monday?, another sweet cartoon from Connie Sun.

25. Charismatic guru Michael Stone popularized ancient ideas, an obituary.

26. This floating farm is helping feed New York City’s poor. (video)

27. At This Point, I Don’t Care Why You Still Support This President, wisdom from John Pavlovitz.

28. This 13-year-old boy and 78-year-old man are openly gay, but their coming out stories are worlds apart. (video) “Neighbors in the world.”

29. Bangladesh’s Biggest Brothel. (video) “We go inside Bangladesh’s biggest brothel, a town where 1,500 women work as prostitutes, some as young as 10 years old.”

Day of (un)Rest

I posted this picture to Instagram yesterday, with the caption “Feeling stuck.” There is so much to do, to say, to consider, to resist. Sometimes I feel completely frozen.

I know that part of it is the overwhelm of our current political situation, and in particular a leader who is amplifying the oppression of anyone who isn’t white, cisgender, or male in a culture that already leaned that way. This past week was especially disturbing — the speech he gave at the Boy Scout Jamboree, inciting violence against people of color during a speech to a group of police, and banning transgender individuals from serving “in any capacity” in the US armed forces for the same sort of reasons that used to be used to keep women out of the military.

And it’s not just that. People I love are suffering. People I hardly know but love anyway are having a tough time. We all suffer, and in our hurt and confusion, we lash out, in ways large and small. We can get so caught up in the confusion of trying to feel okay, clinging to what we want and rejecting what we don’t, that we don’t even see the suffering we are generating all the time.

Yesterday morning, I walked past a women’s clothing store in Old Town Fort Collins with a chalkboard outside that read, “A dress should be tight enough to show you are a woman, loose enough to show you are a lady.” One might think that’s completely innocent or even cute, but if you look at it closely, it’s so harmful, oppressive, and ugly. And this from women trying to sell other women clothing! Internalized oppression is tragic — not only does the harm come from external sources, but lives inside us too.

I tried to start this morning without the noise of the news. I took Austin Kleon and Susannah Conway‘s advice and didn’t check Facebook first thing when I got up. I meditated and wrote instead. It helped a little, but the world manages to creep in anyway.

I tried to determine if I felt depressed or sad, and remembered the quote from Gloria Steinem that Susan Piver has shared before, “When you are depressed, nothing matters. When you are sad, everything does.” So, sad it is. I once heard someone suggest that if you want to know who you are here to serve, just notice what breaks your heart and you will find your purpose — but what if all of it breaks your heart? And what if you want to help everyone, fix all of it, where do you even begin?

Meghan Tonjes posted a picture on Facebook earlier today, and the caption gave me some insight into another approach, “Instead of focusing on the things and people I can’t fix, help, save, love through or give any more to, I’ve filled the entirety of my days with what I can control.” This reframe seems helpful — when I feel stuck, overwhelmed, helpless, I can ask myself “what can I control?” I tend to take too much responsibility for whatever might be happening, even though I know intellectually that there are layers and layers of conditions and circumstances working together in ways that I can’t know, can’t understand, and most certainly can’t control.

And if these strategies fail, I’m going to stare at this picture Janelle Hanchett just posted of George, because George is one of the reasons to never give up.

Gratitude Friday

1. My Golden Raintree is blooming. I planted her when we moved into this house almost 17 years ago. She was just a tiny twig. Now she is almost three times as tall as our house and has spawned multiple children.

2. Morning walks with Eric and the dogs. I’m on restriction right now cause my right knee is hurting me, but hopefully for only a few more days.

3. Pie season. Eric has mad skills, even cooks them on the grill so it doesn’t heat up the house too much.

4. Flowers in the bathroom. Bonus joy is these are from my favorite stall at the farmer’s market, Joan Kinney’s booth.

5. Ringo and Sam got baths, which also makes me grateful for Eric, who is so good at all the grooming and maintenance things.

Post bath: fluffy and tired

Bonus joy: Palisade Peach Noosa yogurt, aqua aerobics, getting a new furnace and our ducts cleaned (so much dog hair), yoga, how good Ringo did at his last nose work class, everyone healthy and mostly well, last minute plans to see a movie with a friend, said movie being just as good as I’d expected (The Big Sick, I highly recommend it), laughing with Eric, talking on the phone with my mom, texting, fresh peaches, cucumbers and basil from our garden, a cold glass of clean water.

 

Three Truths and One Wish

1. I have very little motivation right now. That’s not exactly true — I’m motivated to walk the dogs, go to yoga and aqua aerobics and Pilates, read books, watch TV, take naps, and hang out with Eric, write and meditate a little, and see friends, but that’s about it.

2. I’m not getting as much done as I’d hoped. I had big PLANS for all I was going to accomplish while I was on a break from work this summer, and even though I’ve gotten a few things done, it’s nowhere near what I’d imagined.

3. I needed a break. At some point when I’m not moving as fast as I want, when things aren’t happening at the speed I want, I have to accept that maybe I actually need to slow down, take a break, get some rest — and that it’s totally okay to do so.

One wish: May we allow ourselves to slow down, trust ourselves to set the rhythm of our days, and know that our value isn’t measured only by what we accomplish.

Something Good

From my garden

1. Hummingbirds gather to take a bath in the morning. (video)

2. McClure Twins funniest moments. Seriously these two are so cute. (video)

3. “If you don’t yet know who Tiffany Haddish is, your life is about to change for the hilarious.” Girls Trip’s Tiffany Haddish is a comedic genius. This interview proves it. And in related news, Girls Trip Star Tiffany Haddish Is the Funniest Person Alive Right Now.

4. How Noosa founder creates unusual flavors.

5. Philadelphia Woman Turns Home Into Museum Honoring Black Women.

6. 43 Problems Every Curvy Girl Has Faced At Least Once In Their Life.

7. A new exhibit is Amy Krouse Rosenthal’s moving, elaborate farewell.

8. 100 Artists Were Invited to Paint an Entire School Before Its Renovation.

9. As Workouts Intensify, a Harmful Side Effect Grows More Common from The New York Times.

10. Issa Rae Masterfully Sums Up ‘Insecure’ In 4 Words: ‘It’s Very, Very Black.’ And so very, very good.

11. Recipes I want to try: Cheesy Garlic Bread, and Honey Mustard Chicken Salad.

12. Q&A with Camille T. Dungy. “Camille T. Dungy is the author of the new essay collection Guidebook to Relative Strangers: Journeys into Race, Motherhood, and History. Her other books include Trophic Cascade and Smith Blue. She is a professor of creative writing at Colorado State University, and she lives in Fort Collins, Colorado.”

13. Cancer Doesn’t Choose Who Survives Based On How Hard Someone Fights.

14. 23 Times “The Office,” “Friends,” And “Parks And Rec” Actors Broke Character. Bloopers and Gag Reels are some of my most favorite things.

15. 10 Big, Divorce-Proofing Talks To Have Before Getting Married.

16. Fat Myths: Shutting Down BS with yoga sensation Jessamyn Stanley. This is from last year, but worth a listen. (video) In related news, this video.

17. The Shocking Ways Large Women Are Mistreated by Health-Care Providers. This has happened to every woman I know, regardless of size.

18. Q&A with Roxane Gay. In related news, Roxane Gay on the Traumas of the Body on The New York Times.

19. Scaredy cats. (video)

20. The Incredible Jessica James | Official Trailer | Netflix (video) Can’t wait for this. Looks so good. Here’s an interview with her about the film from The Root. (video)

21. A Wrinkle In Time Official US Teaser Trailer. (video) Something you might not know about me: my favorite story, plot, narrative is one where a young coming of age girl must save her family and/or the world. “A Wrinkle in Time” was one of my favorite books as a kid. Also Ava DuVernay is my favorite director.

22. Time to kill? These are the absolute best movies on Netflix. I don’t know if they are actually the best, but the list is worth a look.

23. Part 2: Plump with love from Andrea Scher.

24. This Twitter Account Is Renaming Everyday Objects And They’re More Accurate Than The Real Ones.

25. Eating Clean is Useless.

26. 4 Ways INFJs Can Create More Meaning in Their Lives.

27. Dumb Beauty, wisdom from Laurie Wagner. “It’s all so much dumb beauty.”

28. Stop Forcing Introverts to Speak in Class. There Are Better Ways.

29. Don’t Teach Kids How to Survive Police Encounters, Train Cops to Deescalate.

30. You don’t have to love your body.

31. Dear Rachel: Competing Hungers, wisdom from Rachel Cole.

32. Poetry, Politics, and Privilege, wisdom from Jena Schwartz.

33. Burg’s Place is fully funded! “Tomorrow I might not be so brave. But today? Today we celebrate.”

34. Wisdom from Jena Schwartz’s latest newsletter, (you really should sign up for it),

My point is this: You don’t have to be amazing. You don’t have to be anything but what you are. Your life is as full as a middle-aged woman after eating half a pint of Ben & Jerry’s (just a random example, I swear). Your ability to write for 10 minutes is as real and available to you as your toothbrush. You don’t have to have a point all planned out in advance. Take a snapshot of what’s right in front of you and tell us about it. Respond to a text or a early-morning message from a friend — with line breaks. PLAY. When you’re cooked and can’t handle one. more. thing… excuse yourself for an hour. Do what you need to do to come back to the fact that there is nothing wrong with you or your life. You are not too late.

35. What can help when you have lost a pet and are overwhelmed with grief?, wisdom from Susan Piver on her Ask Susan podcast.

36. White Fragility Leads to White Violence: Why Conversations About Race With White People Fall Apart.

Gratitude Friday

1. Sunflowers. In my bathroom, and in my garden.

2. Flowers that attract bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. We have some in our garden, and the other morning on our walk, we saw a hummingbird by some flowers we don’t have, but will be getting, because, hummingbirds!

3. Peach season. It’s very short, actually, and I can never manage to eat enough of them, but there is pie.

Can you believe Eric made this on our barbecue?! He also makes the crust from scratch. #marriedagoodone

4. Joyful movement. Yoga, Pilates, aqua aerobics, walking with the dogs, stretching, riding a bike, even being still napping or meditating or staring at my toes.

5. My tiny family. I’m having such a wonderful time just hanging out with them this summer.

Bonus joy: good books (just finished Sherman Alexie’s new one), good tv (started watching Queen Sugar, so dramatic, so beautifully shot, such good acting), good movies (I can’t wait to see The Big Sick), clean laundry, getting chores done, tart cherry juice, clean sheets, long naps, rain, strawberries from my garden, the memory of the raspberry sorbet my cousin made, peaches (because they are so good they are worth mentioning twice), Wild Writing, air conditioning, Fridays (even when you are on vacation).

Three Truths and One Wish

1. How I look has WAY more to do with how I feel than anything else. It’s a purposeful shift I’ve been making for the past four years. When I make choices about what to eat, I eat what I want, what my body is hungry for, not what I “should” or what I will beat myself up for later because I “shouldn’t.” When I choose how to move, it’s about joy, what feels good, not what will burn the most calories or something I can use to punish myself with for “being bad.” I am constantly checking in with myself to see what I want — a nap? some attention? a long walk with the dogs? yoga? meditation? to finish a chore that’s been nagging at me? to make some space? And you know what’s happened because of that shift in attention? I look like someone who is taking care of herself. I can look in the mirror and see myself, no matter what meets me there, with love and gratitude and even a little bit of joy in my heart.

2. I can’t please everyone. As the joke goes, “what do you think you are, pizza?” No matter how hard I try, there’s always going to be more suffering, more people who need help, more things that need fixed, someone who isn’t happy with how things are, as well as someone who’s going to judge my approach. They will say I’m not giving enough or doing it right or am putting my effort in the wrong place.

3. I am the only one who knows what enough looks like. Only I know how much water I need to drink and if I’ve had enough. Only I know how much sleep I need and if I’ve had enough. Only I know the limits of my body and the level of my pain. Only I know how I feel, what I need and what I want — what I’m hungry for.

One wish: May we trust ourselves and others to know what we need, to know what enough looks like, and allow space for each other to discover those things for ourselves.