Internet Inspiration – July 31, 2015

7.31.2015

:: Image via The Great Fitness Experiment ::

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Over the weekend I took myself on a little Artist’s Date (as part of the Artist’s Way protocol, which I highly recommend to everyone) to see Amy and Trainwreck. Polar opposite Amys! Or maybe Amy Squared.

Anyway, this is a good overview of the “postfeminist” stuff going on in the movie Trainwreck. I don’t know. I read this article before I saw the movie and really liked what I was reading but I didn’t really get any of that in the movie. I didn’t get the sense that Amy’s reform in the movie was conscious in any way. I didn’t get that she realized how she was numbing out from life and disposed of those behaviors. I still read it a lot as, “I want to be with this guy and I’ll do whatever it takes, including giving up my vices.” So perhaps it’s an unconscious growth, but I prefer consciousness. In fact, Amy’s sister is the real heroine for me: she is whole and sovereign in her life, doesn’t allow Amy to speak to her in a condescending way, and delivers the most wonderful line in support of the outfit her son chose one day, “That’s what the inside of his heart looks like today. Be nice.”

Regarding the Amy Winehouse documentary, it was heartbreaking, to be honest. I hadn’t listened to a lot of Amy’s earlier albums, so it was nice to see those. Russell Brand, who has always written eloquently about Amy and addiction, posted this amazing thing on facebook.

We’re told that everybody’s special but not everybody’s specialness can be mined and sold. My hope is that the wound we collectively feel may be our salvation. That we share this pain and that will be our redemption.

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The Holy Yes.

Our Holy Yes summons our intelligence to learn new skills, our creative genius to lead the way. It calls on our willingness to live true stories and abandon hollow tales. Our deep devotion feeds our determination to do the work, to build that boat, to cross that sea, to give ourselves, body and soul, to the task at hand.

If you get dumped, it is safe and necessary to be honest about how you’re feeling. Grieve. Get help.

… so many aspects of all the things that I tried helped, but the most signifigant plan to start me on the road to recovery was honesty. It was free, not sold at any new age book store, no registration fee, never once featured on “Super Soul Sunday” and it did not have its own Instagram account.

Why was this so helpful? Well I had been living a lie for such a long time about the misery of my relationship that I suddenly couldn’t lie anymore once it ended. Many people would consider this to be a union made in codependent heaven, but I felt like somehow my agreement to my boyfriend was to never say anything negative about him no matter what he did because the facade of our happy life would be over. Everyone would have seen that there was no Wizard of OZ. There were just two unhappy people not talking to each other at night while “Law and Order” played in the background. Gross, right?

I decided this week that I need to spend less time on social media. I’m not sure yet what that will look like, but it was a hard week for news. The newest stressor for me was the crucifixion of the man who shot Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe. There’s a lot going on there, and I’m not trying to excuse the killing, but the international public shaming is hard to watch. I just don’t see how it’s a constructive way to create a better society. So I offer this eloquent talk on the price of shame from Monica Lewinsky.

We talk a lot about our right to freedom of expression, but we need to talk more about our responsibility to freedom of expression. We all want to be heard, but let’s acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention.

I love these suggestions from Amy Poehler about how to respond to rude people.

This is the part where you apologize to me. You guys screwed up and this is where you make me feel better about it.

Lavender is my favorite flower to eat. And this tart makes me want to bake.

Loved this list of sexiest works of art. I don’t think I realized classic art could be so erotic.

Today is a blue moon and my mom’s birthday! Here’s some notes on the energy of this blue moon.

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You Aren’t Stupid Enough for This

you aren't stupid enough for this

:: Image via ManRepeller ::

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I want to introduce a small turnaround.

All those things you’ve been doing wrong? All the ways you’re a failure, you’re stupid, you’re a willpower weakling, you should be able to do something but you can’t.

It might not be that you’re stupid.

In fact, you might not be stupid enough.

I said this to someone else a few weeks ago when she was in the throes of frustration, but it’s turned into a true gift to me.

It’s pretty much the exact opposite of what my brain might come up with on its own (especially when Bitch Boss is in charge).

Actually, when I say this sort of thing to myself, my brain is kind of flabbergasted and can’t figure out a counterargument quickly. That delay, that little space, gives me some time to extricate myself from the sneaky hate spiral.

My value is not determined by the stuff I can control.

In fact, it’s possible that everything in the entire world might not be my fault.

Not only mine, anyway.

It’s possible I need to be a little more of what I don’t want to be (or what I’m not supposed to want to be).

Maybe I need to be a little more stupid. Maybe I need to be a little bit more inconsiderate, or whiny, or childlike. Maybe I need to make demands on people the way they make demands on me.

What if? What if?

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Here’s a conversation I had during Morning Pages:

So I’m feeling disappointed, I’m feeling vulnerable because [X] will see what I’m doing, I feel stupid for not anticipating this. And I feel like I’m back at square 1.

Oof. Oof. Oof.

What do you need, baby girl?

I want to eat. Bigtime. I hate having to rely on people. I feel really defensive about my tiny, sweet thing. I’m afraid this whole thing won’t work and it’ll mean something about me. That I don’t work. That I’ll never work or be successful.

I need unconditional love and positive regard. I need to have space to not have answers yet. I need space for my tiny sweet project. I need a safe space for all the hopes and dreams I have associated with this dream.

You have it, baby girl. Show me your desires. I’ll hold you open.

I want to be legitimate. I want to make money. I want respect and for people to not roll their eyes at me and how quirky I am.

I want to not exaggerate these qualities in defense.

What will it take for me to regard myself this way? Why can’t I give this to myself? Why do I take things so personally?

Baby girl, there are a lot of good reasons. Your body and mind are so smart. They adapted so well. You’re not stupid enough, as you wrote today :) You remember what happened when you put yourself out there before. Your safety is the most important thing, and your body is so sophisticated at protecting you. Real change happens at the level of the gesture. It’s you doing one single thing different than you did before. Maybe that’s you trusting that [X] really respects you and holds you in high regard because you’re the yin to his yang, and not in spite of it. Maybe that’s you getting back into the dieting world by auditing [Y]’s experience and keeping yourself outside of all those safety issues about check-ins and diets and measurements and shoulds. Perhaps [Y] can be the bridge for you.

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I want to offer this to you, because if you’re coming here with an emotional eating issue, it’s not about food. It was never about food. So when your unwanted food habits keep showing up, it’s not about the food. It’s about your safety and your emotional needs.

There was a really good reason you turned to food in the first place. It was a smart coping mechanism.

And you’re not stupid enough to forget that.

You’re not stupid enough to forget all the times you got in trouble for making a mistake, all the ways you received love for doing things perfectly.

You’re not stupid enough to think that making big life decisions isn’t a big deal, that you can proceed casually from one thing to the next, as though there are no consequences to your actions.

You aren’t stupid enough to forget that sometimes silence is safety.

You aren’t stupid enough to make a complete turnaround on your first time, because we’re unraveling years and years of patterns, many of which you’re not even aware of until you start doing the work.

So if you mess up and start berating yourself, your highest priority is to stop that sneaky hate spiral.

Give yourself the legitimacy of being a smart person who did the best they could. The reason you’re wanting to change these patterns is because they’re no longer you, but they’re still ingrained enough to be automatic.

Changing them is slow, patient work. It happens one gesture at a time.

xo

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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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