Friday Five!

Well, somehow it’s Friday again, and it’s yet another week when I haven’t posted anything since the last FF. Apologies! Some week I’ll manage to post a recipe or a WIAW or some musings on the latest buzz. This, however, is not that week. Instead I was busy with work, busy with self-care/healing/growth, busy getting tattooed (it’s a multiple-session kind of deal), etc. It’s been okay.

Here’s some cool art by Sayaka Maruyama:


And now, the Friday Five!


“It Ain’t All Good, and That Sucks, and It’s Okay”

I think a lot about this conflict between the New Agey Woo World of positive affirmations and visualizations and universe-trusting mantras, compared to the reality of the material world of systemic oppression and concrete struggle. Author Toni Bell, a self-described “recovering New Ageaholic,” describes how some of the workshops she’s attended have described racism and genocide as “bad vibrations.” Understandably, she became disillusioned. Bell goes on to make a case against always trying to feel positive and defends the importance of feeling anger and grief. My reaction to that (and something Bell gives a nod to) is that Buddhism provides the best of both worlds—(feel all your feelings, but also trust that the universe/your buddha nature can provide you the tools and space to heal)—but I see her point all the same. There is a fine line between the practice of positive thinking and the practice of ignoring problems in the world that can’t be mantra’d or affirmed away.

Taboo LGBT Sex-Education

Speaking of feeling angry, I just can’t with the reality of sex-ed in our schools, especially this: “Only 22 states plus the District of Columbia requires sex education in schools. Twelve of those states require sex education teachers to discuss sexual orientation. Three of those 12 states require teachers to impart only negative information on sexual orientation to students. Yes, three states in the United States make LGBTQ youth listen to discriminatory information directed at them by their own teachers. Take Alabama, whose sex education instructors are required to teach that homosexuality ‘is an unacceptable, criminal lifestyle.'” Currently, the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, which would ameliorate some of this, is just sitting around Congress, not getting addressed. All young people deserve comprehensive sex ed, and our LGBT youth especially deserve something better than being either invisible or villainized. Ugh.

America’s White Fragility Complex

This interview with Robin DiAngelo is so important. DiAngelo discusses what she terms as “white fragility” that is the foundation for our current climate surrounding race in the US. DiAngelo states, “For white people, their identities rest on the idea of racism as about good or bad people, about moral or immoral singular acts, and if we’re good, moral people we can’t be racist – we don’t engage in those acts. This is one of the most effective adaptations of racism over time—that we can think of racism as only something that individuals either are or are not “doing.” In large part, white fragility—the defensiveness, the fear of conflict—is rooted in this good/bad binary. If you call someone out, they think to themselves, “What you just said was that I am a bad person, and that is intolerable to me.” It’s a deep challenge to the core of our identity as good, moral people.” And that defensiveness leaves us at a stand-still. I experience this a lot when I’m teaching (white) students about race, and we see it all the time in the media when white people talk about things like Ferguson, Oklahoma, etc. Hey, white people, let’s stop making everything about us, and start acknowledging the very real systemic violence experienced by people of color, yeah?

Lemony Lentil Chickpea Salad with Radish and Herbs

Oh em gee, you guys, look at how springy this salad from Cookie + Kate looks! I love everything about this—protein? good. lemon? good. herbs and radishes? good good. It is not actually spring weather yet here on the east coast, but I’m committed to making more spring-like meals in an effort to manifest some warm weather quicker, and this looks like just the dish!


Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy

beginnings of new tattoo; kitten snuggles; yoga; Sculpt Teacher Training starting tonight!; sunshine; hosting a st. patrick’s day party for two (with theme-appropriate food & drink, obvi); my students; boxing! (srsly, such an amazing and fun workout); friend phone calls; feeling the evidence of growth and change in my bones; sticking with my meditation practice; this song (and the dreams of summer it inspires); also, new best coast (for the same reason); seeing local boston pop-punk bands at new-to-me venus; reading (this book, still, because i don’t want it to end); first run outside since september; therapy (#realtalk); cat island!; coordinating some pretty femme-tastic teaching outfits; showers; & the scent of the impending spring persistently fighting its way through the cold winter air….


What made you happy this week? Have a great weekend! xoxo

2 thoughts on “Friday Five!

  1. lysette says:

    That’s a nice full happy list. Being busy with self care is a very good busy indeed! The deepest my atheist raised wiccan leaning toes dip into new age woowoo is Shakti Gawain. I read her when I was young and every time I go back to her I think ‘hey this is pretty solid’ simple enough to assimilate when I’m scattered. I still stand by the saying ‘Anger is a gift’, like in Toni Bell’s article I can’t delve too deep into endless positivity circles.
    Oh god Alabama please stop! I can’t even read that article, your synopsis of it already has by blood on boil! – but I will read it ;) Thanks for sharing these links – good luck with the epic tattoo sessions!

    • raechel says:

      Yeah I think having something to go to whilst scattered is really important, whether or not you label it spiritual or whatever. Hope you have a great week, Lysette! : )

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