Internet Inspiration – July 17, 2015

7.17.2015

:: Image via October June ::

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Earlier this year I tried to fill out one of those yearly planning workshops and I answered every question: “Fuck you.” It was sickly gentle, and I needed a little more fierceness. But I remembered this clip Wednesday night, on the eve of my 30th birthday. Perhaps my word for my 30th year is TAWANDA!

And my song, now and forever, but especially for my 30th year, is “Natural Disaster” by Zac Brown Band.

The price of love.

I would love to kiss you.
The price of kissing is your life.

Now my loving is running toward my life, shouting,
What a bargain! Let’s buy it!

How to come to terms with your attraction to fat girls.

I always took these comments as them trying to do me a favor—like, I’ll call her curvy, not fat. But I don’t see fat as a bad word, and I don’t see the point in avoiding it.

I mentioned this to a guy recently, after he called me “curvy” in bed. “Just call me fat,” I said to him. “I don’t mind—it’s what I am.”

His response to this took me surprise. “Trust me, you’re not fat. I’m not attracted to fat girls.”

That’s when it all hit me: Oh, you’re not doing this for my sake. You’re doing it for yours. This guy, and probably a lot of the others, didn’t want to come to terms with his attraction to a fat woman.

The empathy trap, and how to avoid it.

Reining in overempathy requires emotional intelligence; its underlying skill is self-awareness. You need always to be prepared to explore and meet your own needs. Since you’re not used to thinking about them, you might not even be fully aware of what those needs are. Whenever your empathy is aroused, regard it as a signal to turn a spotlight on your own feelings. Pause (taking a deep breath helps) to check in with yourself: What am I feeling right now? What do I need now?

Once you know what you need, you can make a conscious decision about how much to give to another and how much to request for yourself. Of course, it helps to nurture relationships with people who are mindful of the needs of others.

The subtle art of not giving a fuck. An awesome analysis of what a lot of us want. As you might expect, the language is pretty profane.

What we don’t realize is that there is a fine art of non-fuck-giving. People aren’t just born not giving a fuck. In fact, we’re born giving way too many fucks. Ever watch a kid cry his eyes out because his hat is the wrong shade of blue? Exactly. Fuck that kid.

Developing the ability to control and manage the fucks you give is the essence of strength and integrity. We must craft and hone our lack of fuckery over the course of years and decades. Like a fine wine, our fucks must age into a fine vintage, only uncorked and given on the most special fucking occasions.

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Internet Inspiration – July 10, 2015

7.10.2015

:: Image via Advice from my Eighty-Year-Old Self ::

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Celebrity men shut down sexism: a story in gifs.

I’m turning 30 next week, and the best advice I have for people who are not yet 30 (or who are; this advice is eternal) is that 30 is not the new 20. Your full-time job, at any age, is working on yourself and getting some identity capital. Amazing TED talk.

Don’t be defined by what you didn’t know or didn’t do.

There Will Always Be More.

There will always be more opportunities, if you’re in the position to notice and take advantage of them.

And because there will always be more, what’s important is deciding which foods to eat, paychecks to work for, facets of your personality to emphasize, and ideas to make manifest.

A very important post about what your life would look like if Prince Harry were your boyfriend. I’m not sure it sounds quiiiite as appealing as having Stanley Tucci as a boyfriend, but I’m inclined to put it to the test.

If Prince Harry were your boyfriend, he would answer the door one day to the mail carrier who reads all your magazines and then delivers them late, with coffee stains. You would get them early every week hence.

If Prince Harry were your boyfriend, you’d be the last people to leave any party you attended, but he’d always give you a piggyback out to the car.

If Prince Harry were your boyfriend, he would tell you that you looked hot in whatever you were wearing and you would be able to tell that he sincerely meant it, which would both be gratifying and also make you wonder if maybe he had Outfit Blindness.

I’m kind of intrigued by Stan Lee’s comments on Peter Parker always being a white, heterosexual male. On one hand, I appreciate his comments about people creating new superheroes in their image, and on the other, I notice that nearly every movie being made is a remake or sequel, and perhaps minority superheroes may not receive any sort of distribution. Your thoughts?

It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that,” Lee said. “Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself.

This isn’t news, but it’s still worth a read. They way you lie depends on where you’re from and your culture’s body language customs.

Detecting a lie is much more complicated than noticing that someone won’t meet your eye. Many of the behavioral cues that we associate with lying are simply signs of stress: the actual difference in behavior associated with telling a lie is very small. That’s why, as Hartwig says, it’s not necessarily that we’re bad at detecting these shifts. It’s that they’re almost impossible to see.

What people can detect, though, is when a person they’re talking to acts differently than they might expect. And people who live in different places do act differently, in some ways. One study, for instance, showed that Japanese students smiled more frequently to express “social appropriateness” than actual pleasure. Another showed that people from the Middle East were more likely to touch each other and talk loudly. People from Suriname tilt their heads more than Dutch people, another study found. If you’re trying to judge whether a person’s lying, and they’re acting strangely, you might assume it’s because they’re lying.

This is an incredible essay on racism. It’s important to read.

Here’s what I want to say to you: Racism is so deeply embedded in this country not because of the racist right-wing radicals who practice it openly, it exists because of the silence and hurt feelings of liberal America.

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Wishing for a Million Parasites

wishing for a million parasites

:: Image via Bloom ::

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Last week I wrote out some of my weekly goals wishes. I try to do this after I’ve already done some morning pages so that I am in the flow of writing and being in my intuition. The wishes tend to flow more easily. It’s a practice I blatantly stole from Havi, and here is an example of my favorite template, although she’s changed it many times over the years.

Out of nowhere, my pen wrote:

Wish 3 – So Many Parasites

I’m not kidding. That’s what I wrote.

Actually, here’s the rest:

:: Here’s What I Want ::
  • I want a clear, explainable explanation for all my health issues and a clear, easy-to-follow plan of action, preferably one that permits coffee.
  • I want a plan to follow that will get me where I want to go.
  • But that’s problematic thinking; because there’s no Eden. There’s no place that’s free from suffering and work. I can’t achieve perfection by naming and then killing my parasites.
→ Kathryn, Show Me Your Yearning. I’ll tell you who you are.
  • I want to be enthusiastic and energetic, not like I’m trying to avoid all my work. I don’t even want to joke about avoiding work anymore. It’s like how people make all these self-deprecating jokes about their bodies and I get that people bond over semi-serious, mutual self-hate, but I also see the desperation underneath. I want to bless my work and my energy levels and my work ethic.
  • I want to feel light and look vibrant.
  • I don’t want to have compulsive sugar cravings. I don’t want to eat food that doesn’t make me feel great. I want some parasites to blame for this impulse.
:: My Commitment ::
  • My body is a good body.
  • I love that I incarnated as myself in this lifetime.
  • If it doesn’t enhance me, it can leave, but my choices and my compulsions are mine.

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I was glad to catch myself in the middle of wishing for a silver bullet.

This is how I become desperate: thinking there’s some magic pill or solution that’s going to save me and make all my wishes come true; I just have to find the right one.

My teacher used to call this INSERT NAME HERE, where humans chase re-entry into Eden after being kicked out for their humanity. We think if we’re perfect, or if we find the perfect diet, have the perfect body, find the perfect relationship, we’ll be allowed to come home to a life of ease and paradise.

I want to blame all the health problems I’ve had over the years, all the dental trouble, the lack of energy, the extra weight, on something else, something definite and fixable.

Something I can cut out and kill.

Something that is Not Me.

It’s easier.

And that’s the nice thing about having desires and naming them: I can come into relationship with them and figure out what I’m really craving, what I’m truly reaching for.

In this case, I do want some ease. I’m feeling like I need to fight against my true nature a lot.

I want to bless myself and my choices. After all, my actions are always authentic, even if I’m taking no action. It’s ok to not give a shit.

I’m in the midst of creating the vocations I want, and I’m needing to create a paradigm that’s not comprised of busyness = importance. It’s a hard one to untangle.

I also do think I have parasites, and I’m really glad to have a doctor that believes me. I think there are a lot of physical symptoms that will be helped by getting treatment for this issue and healing my gut, and it’s also important that I not give all my power and agency to this parasite treatment. My body is still (thankfully) mine to care for and heal.

The point is, I don’t need to get overly attached to this diagnosis. I don’t need it to mean more than it does or be a symbolic substitute for stuff I’d rather not own.

My work is still mine. My energy levels are still mine. The foods I choose are still my choices. I don’t need to give my doctor power over all that, and I must not come out of relationship with myself.

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Let’s Talk About Stress

let's talk about stress

Let’s go back to basics and talk about the fight-or-flight stress response. Imagine: you’re a caveperson, and you’re out foraging for blackberries, and then you see a bear! He’s also foraging for berries!

Here is what happens in your body:

  • Heart Rate goes up
  • Blood Pressure goes up
  • Blood goes to your arms for fighting
  • Blood goes to your legs for fleeing
  • Blood goes to your brain for quick thinking

What that means is, blood goes away from your digestive system.

Here is your gut in a fight or flight response:

  • 4x less blood to the gut
  • Dramatic decrease in oxygen to the gut
  • Enzymatic activity down 20,000fold
  • Gut bacteria killed off
  • Body excretes nutrients
    • Water-soluble vitamins (like B and C) excreted through urine and sweat
    • Fat-soluble vitamins (like A, D, and E) malabsorbed at best, shed through bowel movements at worst
    • Calcium and other minerals leeched from the bones
  • Decreased production of thyroid hormones and growth hormones (which are responsible for revving up the metabolic rate of every cell in the body)
  • Increased inflammation in almost every bodily tissue (leads to chronic disease)
  • Increased production of cortisol and insulin
    • Cortisol changes your perception of time, makes you think time is running out, which it is if you’re being chased by a bear
    • When cortisol and insulin are artificially elevated it signals your body to store weight, store fat, and not build muscle

Sounds like an appropriate response to a bear chasing you, right?

And none of this is new material, you can find study after study documenting the stress response, or sympathetic nervous system dominance. A switch flips in your body that triggers this response to ensure your survival.

You may say to me or to yourself, yes, Kathryn, this is excellent information, but I’m not being chased by a bear.

True. You’re not. If you’re reading this internet blog, it means that your life is probably not hanging in the balance in this exact moment.

But you do have other stress: work, school, relationships, deadlines, traffic jams, money, car trouble, roof leaking, pet peed inside the house, child is screaming, flight delays, people are stupid, negative news stories, no wifi connection, overslept, my ear hurts weirdly, what am I going to eat for dinner?, etc.

If you think that you might react differently to those stressors compared to a bear chasing you, I’m here to tell you that your body reacts the exact same way.

Whenever you are in a stress response, your body switches to sympathetic nervous system dominance and reacts the way I outlined above.

So imagine you’re in a stress response, even a low-level response, and you decide to eat food. What do you think your body is going to do with that meal?

Store it or get rid of it. That’s what’s going to happen.

It will not digest effectively, it won’t assimilate the nutrients of the meal, it won’t burn calories, it won’t build new muscle. Your body is focused on your survival; it does not care about your digestion.

You can eat the healthiest meal in the entire world, chockablock full of superfoods, vitamins, and minerals, and if you eat it in a state of stress, it doesn’t matter. You won’t digest it or assimilate the nutrients.

This is where I start with clients when they come to work with me: stress and its impact on your digestion. I’m hoping to appeal to your logic and get you to buy in to the intelligence of a stress-free food experience.

But what I’m really interested in are the deeper, more unconscious sources of stress. That’s the stuff I write about: all these patterns that are stressing you out and changing the way you live your life.

Food is useful because it’s a place you come back to, many times per day. It’s a place to declare a cease-fire on your body and your choices, if for no other reason than to optimize your digestion. It gives you a home base for this practice of self-love and nourishment, and affords you some opportunity to explore what comes up when you’re explicitly pro-yourself and an advocate for your own choices.

And in the meantime, you can start to explore all the other stuff, once your body knows that all the emotions have a safe place to land.

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Internet Inspiration – June 26, 2015

6.26.2015

:: Image via Daily Dose of del Signore ::

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Heart-opening post from Amanda Palmer on the death of her friend.

i had my forehead on his chest, with neil’s hands around the baby, holding me from behind.

goodnight moon.

goodnight room.

goodbye, my friend, my best, best friend.

What reluctance feels like.

This font gives you a small idea of what it feels like to read with dyslexia. Oof.

Loved these summer homework assignments from an Italian teacher.

12 tips to french kiss your travel.

An important post from Hiro about staying in communication with yourself and how that radiates to all your other relationships.

Communication is an energy, a quality of soul. Like all energy, its effects that can be healing and transformative, or disruptive and fragmenting. Communication can expand your world and your sense of possibility, bring you into deeper relationship, wholeness and belonging, or it can divide and isolate.

This is why communication can sometimes seem so loaded.

We communicate information about who we are and what our lives are about, in a multitude of ways, many of them non-verbal. Your presence — which includes the entire sum of your thoughts, feelings and actions-transmits information constantly. So you are always communicating, whether you realize it or not.

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