Friday Five

Dear friends, happy Friday. My heart has been as full as my week. It was Social Justice Week at school, and I spent most of my free time staying on campus to help facilitate screenings, discussions, and performances to encourage my little college community to think about issues related to oppression and liberation. We had some really powerful events, including a performance by  And Still We Rise, “a collaborative theater project dedicated to healing, public awareness, and social change through empowering the voices of formerly incarcerated people and their loved ones.” I was humbled and grateful to share space with these defiantly vulnerable human beings.

And Still We Rise

And Still We Rise

Despite a lot of things in my life urging me to feel blue and stuck, it’s been hard to indulge either of those feelings after this week’s events. Instead, I am feeling so glad to be alive and to have an opportunity to share in the struggle to create a better world….

and to, you know, make the Friday Five. So here we go!  : )

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Mexican Farm Workers on Strike

It is so easy to forget where our food comes from. It doesn’t just fly from the earth to our plate, it is a process of intense labor, provided to us largely by immigrant workers. The conditions these workers endure are often grueling—-“subpar housing, inadequate sanitation, poverty wages, and often, labor arrangements that approach slavery;” currently in Baja California, Mexican farmworkers are taking a stand against this exploitation by going on strike. The strike’s organizers also plan to launch a boycott, so stay tuned for how you can stand in solidarity by not purchasing the food from companies who refuse to treat their workers like human beings.

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Zen and the Art of Social Movement Maintenance

This article is everything to me right now. The deeper I get into Buddhism and the more I incorporate yoga into my life outside the studio, the more I am challenged to confront how these spiritual practices support or complicate my radical politics. In this thoughtful essay, James K. Rowe analyses the Occupy movement to suggest how a commitment to dismantling systems of oppression does not necessarily conflict with practices of mindfulness and  lovingkindness. One activist notes, “If you look at the general mechanics of anti-oppression discourse and training, it is observing how socialization and social structure speak through us, and then finding points of intervention so that we can make deliberate decisions about our agency rather than just moving through racist, patriarchal, colonial inertia. It is a form of meditation.” If you’re at all interested in these questions, I highly recommend reading the whole piece.

How to Sleep Better

With all the self-care I’ve been working on lately, something I still struggle with is getting to bed at an early hour. A lot of these tips from Kris Carr are things most of us have heard a lot (no screens before bed, exercise, etc.), but, for me, it’s still good to see them written out to help me stay accountable to best practices. I also know good sleep is a problem for a lot of other people I know (hi mom!), so I hope it can be a helpful reminder for some of you too! Relatedly, I also recommend checking out Rande Moss’s ideas on “Detoxing Your Evening Routine: 29 Things To Do Instead of Watching TV.”

 Mung Bean Cakes with Cilantro Cream Sauce

This recipe from Ashley Neese looks and sounds so delicious. I don’t actually eat mung beans a lot, but this seems like a great excuse to give them a try. And it’s definitely very springy, right?

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Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy

yoga; sculpt teacher training; kitten; phone calls, emails, and texts from dear friends; laughing; Social Justice Week and the inspiring conversations it nurtured; warmer weather; sticking to my meditation practice; empathy; compiling care packages; planning ladies’ weekend; my students; fresh arugula; femmey bow-collar blouses; and green tea.

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

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One thought on “Friday Five

  1. lysette says:

    Great links this week, Raechel. A lot to think about. I really need to re-examine what organics I buy during the winter! I’m still reading the article on mindfulness as I’ve been derailed by the link to Slavoj Žižek and the theatre company And Still We Rise, has me so excited! Thank you for drawing my attention to their work -theatre that focuses on transformation through storytelling -and- takes the time for talk backs after each show makes my theatre arts worker heart swell :)

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