Hello, it’s Friday. First, thank you all for the kind words about my reflective post from Monday. It was definitely vulnerable, so it was cool to see that people could relate. It’s becoming more and more important to me to share stories of overcoming life stuff with other people. Empathy been a major player in getting me through a really tough past year and a half. So, thank you. <3
Anyway, on to brighter things. It’s been a long, busy, and somewhat emotional few weeks, but also, simultaneously, a time of positive growth and changes. I am holding a lot of heaviness and also a lot of resolve. I feel like I am a good complement to this time of end of winter/early spring.
And now, the Friday Five!
Julie Holland is a psychiatrist and author of the provocatively titled, Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, The Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having and What’s Really Making You Crazy. She also wrote an article this week for the New York Times called “Medicating Women’s Feelings.” The short version of Holland’s thesis is that the reason that 1 in 4 women are on prescription drugs for mental illness and only 1 in 8 men are is not because women are “crazier,” but rather because women process emotions in ways that our society has deemed crazy. I appreciate the acknowledgment of the historically sexist trope of the “hysterical woman,” but Holland is also relying on a biologically determined gender binary. (She also is far too comfortable with the use of the word “normal.”) It’s a valuable conversation, and one that was discussed at length on On Point (linked above), and I’d be curious to know what others think!
(First, right away, before you click on the link–trigger warning re: abuse, violence, poverty). This article is intense for a lot of reasons, but is absolutely worth reading (for those same reasons, really). It’s a discussion of the difference between presence and acceptance and self-harm. It’s about mindful actions. It’s about the weight of our histories. And it’s an article about Buddhism and new age self-helpy skills written by a working-class person of color, which is not a perspective we get very often (because of the racist and exclusionary culture of contemporary self-help). So if any of those things sound intriguing, I’d definitely recommend giving it a read.
This essay tackles a topic close to my heart: labor. It’s a discussion of the sort of mainstream message that you should find fulfilling work. But how that’s not an option for everyone. I think I’ve written before how I struggle with this—I do do what I love (teaching college classes, teaching yoga, and research/writing), but I am still a part of a university machine that is no different from any other alienating workplace system. Keohane writes, “…we should embrace not the meaningfulness of work, but its meaninglessness. The cold, unromantic transaction. The part that keeps food in our bellies and a roof over our heads. The part that, theoretically, gives us our nights and weekends. Let’s demand that recompense, first and foremost, and deal with the rest later. With unemployment falling to pre-recession levels, employees are hopefully gaining the leverage to say enough. The prayer is that the line will be drawn, and managers will then see that the way forward is actually very simple: Hire good people. Treat them well. Help them succeed. Compensate them fairly. Let them go home. ” What do you think?
In an effort to conjure spring more fully, I like the idea of this fresh green salad from Simply Quinoa. The dressing is cashew-based and uses cilantro as the herb. Pour that on top of sprouts and quinoa and top it off with avocado? Yes please!
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
yoga; teaching sculpt; review day in my Social Change class when students got to feel stoked about how much awesome stuff they’ve learned so far; friend phone calls; processing & growth; grapefruit; melting snow & the smell of spring; life alive with a true friend; gifted bouquet of tulips blooming on my tiny little dining room table; kitten snuggles; MLH and I recording our first podcast episode tonight!; finding out that i will be a coach for yoga sculpt training (yay!); this pretty-cheesey-(and problematic)-but-had-me-in-happy-tears-anyway-in-the-coffee-shop-video; letter from my prison pen pal (& collecting a bunch of yoga info to send to them, per their request); tara brach videos; health; carrot turmeric ginger soup; and G.L.O.S.S. (thanks Lacy!).
What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xo