2. This might be your most important flu shot ever. “We don’t need people with the (largely preventable) flu flooding our hospitals in a pandemic.”
3. This Gay Man Surprised His Husband With a ‘Stupid Love’ Wedding Dance. “So a gay couple got married over the weekend, and while the two were walking down the aisle for the first time as husband and husband after confirming their vows to each other, one of them decides to bust out their choreography skills and goes into full-on popstar mode with a routine to none other than Lady Gaga’s 2020 bop ‘Stupid Love.'”
4. Unlearning the shame we feel about being out of breath. “Being out of breath during exertion is normal. Yet many people of all shapes and sizes have told me they avoid physical activity because they don’t want to feel shame for being out of breath.”
“Extreme wealth concentration is an ugly phenomenon from a moral perspective, but it’s also economically and socially destructive,” Luke Hilyard, the executive director of the High Pay Center, a think tank that focuses on excessive executive pay, told The Guardian. “Anyone accumulating riches on this scale could easily afford to raise the pay of the employees who generate their wealth, or contribute a great deal more in taxes to support vital public services, while remaining very well rewarded for whatever successes they’ve achieved. The findings from the UBS report showing that the super-rich are getting even richer are a sign that capitalism isn’t working as it should.”
6. Why the Cameron Peak Fire is unlikely to reach Fort Collins or Loveland. I live in Fort Collins, and as of Sunday (when we thankfully got the tiniest bit of rain and the wind died down), The Cameron Peak Fire was 203,253 acres and 62% contained, growing by nearly 3,900 acres on Saturday. While wild fires in the summer and early fall are “normal” here, the rate at which things burn is new — thanks, climate change!
7. Nathan Apodaca: Everyone’s new cousin. “Nathan Apodaca, Northern Arapaho, talks to Indian Country Today about his newfound fame and message to Indigenous communities.”
8. Trump Attack on Diversity Training Has a Quick and Chilling Effect, on The New York Times. “A presidential executive order banning the ‘malign ideology’ of racial sensitivity training has rippled through government into academia and corporate America.” In related news, from Dr. Justin P. Cowan, an Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at Western Connecticut State University, who said, “In case you missed the White House’s Proclamation on Columbus Day, 2020. I fixed it.” 9. Cover of Let Go by Frou Frou from Audrey Assad. Gorgeous.
11. Author Laila Lalami shows us her bookshelf. (video) From the “Show us your shelf” series by Soul Pancake.
12. The Keep Going Song (Live from Our Home at the End of the World) by The Bengsons. (video) In related news, “The Bengsons made this song and we’ve been listening to it on repeat… Trav and I have been life long dancer/singers (respectively) so there hasn’t been a lot of opportunity to crossover collaborate, this is somewhere in the middle of our two worlds.” (video)
14. They don’t want you to vote because they are afraid, wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert.
They are afraid because they know that if everyone in this country could easily and fairly vote, they would ALWAYS lose elections. They are afraid because the country is getting younger and more diverse and more progressive, and their “values” are more out of touch than ever. They are afraid because it’s getting stupider and crazier by the day to keep pretending that climate change isn’t real, or that Black lives don’t matter, or that tax breaks for the rich will “lift everyone up.” They’re afraid because their bullshit story doesn’t hold up anymore. They’re afraid because the unholy alliance that they have forged over the last decades between religious fundamentalists, the greedy, the racist, and the furious STILL does not constitute a majority of Americans — no matter how hard they try to make it so. They are afraid because they sold their souls and their country to a sociopathic con artist who is bankrupt in every single way that a human being can be bankrupt — and while he has trashed all decency the way a drunk rock star trashes a hotel room, they either rallied behind him, or stayed quiet in order to protect their jobs, their investments, or their privileges. They are afraid, because there are more of us than there are of them. There’s still more decency then there is depravity, and that’s why they can’t win a fair fight. THEY ARE AFRAID OF YOU, and that’s why they’re making it as difficult as possible for you to vote. They are cowards. They will always cowards. Shame on them.
15. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: Why Mindfulness Isn’t Enough (“Scholar Sarah Shaw explains why mindfulness must work together with ethics, compassion, and wisdom — in Buddhism and in life”) and Welcoming the Life That’s Yours (“In this excerpt from their new book, Opening to Grief, Claire B. Willis and Marnie Crawford Samuelson share how when you allow and accept all of life’s experiences, you can fully open to the life that’s yours to live”).
16. This Kind of Hard Work, a recent newsletter from Gapingvoid Culture Design Group. “It’s good to want to be successful, and do whatever it takes. But even better, is to be a complete human being.”
The existential dread of a global pandemic is pervasive. I find myself often caught in a state of hopelessness and helplessness, unable to celebrate newborn babies, birthdays, graduations, and marriages. Unable to properly grieve losses or sit with a close friend undergoing chemo. Worried about the chefs and restaurant workers who rely on our collective ability to go out to eat. News is bleak and we are all feeling physically and socially isolated. But every day, there is also Thelonious, a chipmunk who sits down to eat in a world without a doomful election and a deadly virus. This is how I am coping, laying out a picnic, watching tiny hands hold my tiny food. It’s silly, yes, but sometimes silliness is needed.
In this podcast, Tami Simon speaks with Elizabeth Stanley about her 8-session online course, Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness Training: A Trauma-Sensitive Online Course to Build Resilience and Thrive During Stress. They also discuss why MMFT is a practice we can all benefit from; the value of expanding our “window of tolerance”; the relationship between personal agency and trauma; the “thinking” brain versus the “survival” brain; when stress becomes trauma; the importance of recovery from stressful situations; and more.
19. God’s Promise by Elana Miller. This post is about Dr. Miller’s cancer journey, but what she says at the end applies to all of us:
Every action I’ve ever taken, and ever will take, and every action that has been taken for me, creates an energy that expands out into the entire universe. And energy can never be destroyed, but only transformed, so even after I die, the energy of every good thing I’ve done and every good thing done for me will continue to ripple out forever, into eternity. There it will exist for everyone, always.
20. Recipe: Simple Cauliflower Tacos.
21. Do I Need To Tell You To Vote? Vote. Vote! on Terrible Minds, a compelling argument for why you should vote and for whom from Chuck Wendig, who consistently makes me laugh about even the worst of things.
As a collective, we are living in unprecedented times. The triple pandemic of COVID-19, white supremacy, and capitalist-driven climate crisis has intensified survival fears and made the structural oppression we are living under more palpable and unbearable. We are coming face to face with the fact of our interdependence, and the stakes are high. Either we as a species learn to live well with each other and the earth now, or die trying.
24. Unlocking Us Podcast: Brené with Emily and Amelia Nagoski on Burnout and How to Complete the Stress Cycle. Their book is one of the best I’ve read about burnout, and when I started listening to this podcast the other day, I realized I needed to stop and listen when I had my notebook and could write stuff down.
25. We love because we care from Austin Kleon.
28. How Do You Survive A Pandemic? These Women Have Lessons For Us All. “Over the span of three weeks in September and October, NPR photographed and interviewed 19 women around the world. They shared their challenges and fears — and how they are overcoming them.”