Mobility and communication confession

Confession: I’ve deleted Facebook from my phone. I’ve also deleted Skype, email, news and games.  And with it, went the mindless checking, the endless ads, the depressing news, the dramatic updates, and the baiting trolls.

I feel unleashed, un-tethered, and physically lighter like I am walking in space.

untethered space walk

It is as if my phone magically lost the “freshman 15” and isn’t such a heavy burden to carry around.  I’m slowly moving backwards with my personal tech.  Nostalgic for the days of a flip phone – something used only to make phone calls and receive limited texts.

With the limit on input, I feel my internal monologue is quieting down, being-ness becoming more centered, and my wellness improving. Being able to have the mental space to cultivate self-directed compassion, kindness, humor and ridiculous ideas has once again started to flourish.

It has only been 2 days since I unplugged.

By creating the boundaries around myself and my connected-ness to the world, it has allowed me to have my time of loneliness without feeling as though I’m missing out or not up to date on whatever the latest trending twitter hashtag is all about. In just two days I have achieved an emotional stability that wasn’t available while riding the data-rollercoaster (especially lately).

But here is the biggest benefit: I miss my tribe.  With the missing, comes the priority to get face-time with my friends and family.  Because I am not inundated with status updates and drama, I look forward to the time we get to spend together in person.

It’s perfect timing too.  The holidays are a perfect opportunity to take a break and spend some time with friends and family.

My point is: Our time on this little rock is short, and I’m not going to waste it looking at a screen.

Gratitude Schmatitude

There is this gratitude bandwagon making it’s parade through social media sites. Some variation of “30 days of Gratitude” or some other practice in positivity, whereby one would post up what they are grateful for every day.  Normally, I’m all for positive thinking and gratitude, but these 30 day campaigns of gratitude are bullshit and they piss me off.

Really? So, for 30 days you are going to post up something that your friends (or clients or acquaintances) can “like” or “share” or comment or be a cheerleader for you about something that you are grateful for?  Yes, I get it, you are grateful for your house and your health and your pets and your food and, and, and…

But… what is your true motivation?  What is your selfish motivation for this vane display of “look at me and how grateful and blessed I am.”-type posts?

How about this:
Just start saying “Thank You” without some expectation of something in return.
(whether a facebook “like” or even a response of “you are welcome”.)

Try saying “Thank you” to the barista who hands you coffee at 6am when you are late for work – when they started their shift at 4:30am and have to deal with cranky people.

Say “Thank you” to the person who holds the door open just a little bit longer so you can slip in without having to shuffle what is in your hands.

Say “Thank you” to the bus driver who just seamlessly took you to work so you didn’t have to drive or walk or ride a bike.

Say “Thank you” to your mom, partner, neighbor, or friend whose real-life presence makes you feel loved, supported, or make your life a little bit easier because of their presence.

Did someone in your office bring coffee or donuts?  Say fucking “Thank you”.

Start living your life in a way that exemplifies what it means to have manners.  Be a fucking adult. Take responsibility. Wash your face, brush your teeth, and say “Thank You” when someone does something nice.

Practicing gratitude is not a fucking social media event, it is a lifestyle.  It is a choice you make in each moment to be thankful for the things that you are supplied with by the people around you.

Just make it a little bit easier on everyone and say “Thank you” once in a while.

It will help.

What inspires you?

Who is your muse?

What is your source of inspiration?

Nick Cave said it best when he wrote, “My relationship with my muse is a delicate one at the best of times and I feel that it is my duty to protect her from influences that may offend her fragile nature.  She comes to me with the gift of song and in return I treat her with the respect I feel she deserves… My muse is not a horse and I am in no horse race … ”

Inspiration is not motivation.  A Muse can inspire, but cannot do the tasks. She is not “creativity on demand”, Inspiration is not pragmatic. This Muse needs a safe space to be captured and call home.  Inspiration needs an empty container to fill.  Inspiration is not work but can be coaxed in a direction because of the work you put in. Building this safe container is the work.  Creating space for the Muse to come and sit quietly by my side is my work.

If it was easy, everyone would be visited by this Muse.

Personally, I’m inspired by the seasons. The glorious turn of nature’s coat from the frilly frock of springtime to the deep jewels of fall.  The stark nakedness of winter and the stripped glow of summertime sunshine.  My Muse is my mistress and she wears a beautiful dress.  She is my life and breath, She is my death cloak and stokes the fires of passion that burn deep inside my soul.

What inspires you?

Who is your Muse?

If you need help…

The Bloggess

If you are considering suicide or know someone who is, please call a suicide hotline.  They can help.  They’re free.  They’ve saved and helped so many of us, including me.  Click here for a link to suicide crisis organizations around the world.  They listen.

I find it very triggering to talk about a humorist who has lost his battle with mental illness so I’m not going to write about this.   I’m practicing self-care by making an appointment with my therapist and avoiding triggers and watching bad tv.  I was, however, asked by a lot of people if I would share the post I once wrote about how the full moon makes me feel unbalanced and more willing to believe the lies that depression tells, and considering we’re dealing with a super-moon right now then maybe reading it will help if you’re feeling vulnerable yourself.  So it’s here…

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Adding fuel to strengths.

Recently, Erin Donley recommended a book to me called “StrengthsFinder“.  I have been sitting in a place of a personal “What’s next” for quite a while, and I asked her what she would do.  She said that when she was walking in my shoes, she found this book extremely helpful.

The book exists on the premise that if we added more time, attention and focus on our strengths, our lives will become more enriching.

I liked the sound of that.

So I bought the book. I did the quiz and got my results. Which I will share only because I love you.

Achiever – I have a great deal of stamina and work hard.  I take great satisfaction from being busy and productive.
(I think this is a common Capricorn trait – Goats like to climb… climb… climb.)

Relator – I enjoy close relationships with others. Specifically, I find deep satisfaction in working hard with friends to achieve a goal.
(Always take a swim buddy)

Context – I enjoy thinking about the past.  Specifically, understanding the present by researching its history.
(My first college degree was in History)

Individualization – I am intrigued with the unique qualities of each person and have a gift for figuring out how peopel who are different can work together productively.

Significance – I am independent and want to be recognized (and very important) in the eyes of others.
(I think this speaks to the Leo moon I have orbiting my chart)

So, I now that I have recognized all of these wonderful strengths, the tough part is now how to focus this energy and these gifts on some niche that is a source of personal fulfillment.

Patriarchy Privilege

This is what Patriarchy looks like. And Rape Culture, and glass ceilings, and , and, and… She was fired. (another/different link here) (and yet another link hereShe was kicked out of prom.  She was walking while Fat and Female.   All of these things happened this week. (and I’m not going to even include the ridiculousness which abounds elsewhere – here and here and here (well, not really there) but, I’m sure you can use google).

At this point, it doesn’t matter what the truth is.  Because the truth is different from the point we are held at, at the tip of the sword. And it is not Seppuku, nor an initiation.  It is standing at the tip of a sword as a hostage.

This is the point that is a problem. And whatever shape, size, age, sex, gender, race or religion mask it wears, it has to stop.  Patriarchy privilege is a real thing and until we put a name on (and point at) the elephant in the room, it won’t stop.  These women aren’t pointing this out because they are “emotional” or “overreacting”.  They are pointing it out because it marginalizes us (women) as humans. I am a woman, I feel this pain, I ache for these women and cheer for the voice they have found.

It pisses me off.  Just like is pisses me off that #BringBackOurGirls has no resolution. It pisses me off that a girl gets shot for wanting an education, and it pisses me off that there is a BOOMING (over $31Billion annually) human trafficking business (by the way, did you know that the global average cost for your own slave is just $90? 70% of slaves are women, and over half are children). I am doing a lot of pissing at this point …

Anger is good. It is a secondary emotion that moves you to action. It is the spark that starts the fires of passion.  Anger is a useful emotion.

I once listened to a reading at the Hugo House in  Seattle on a cold blustery night. It was a non-fiction piece the author wrote after meeting with a girl over about a year. This girl was a part of the sex/slave trade and was brought across the border into the United States (from Canada) in the back of an Ice Cream Truck.  She was a popsicle.  Fit to be eaten, her stick (soul) ready to be discarded.  She was kept in an abandoned house in Portland Oregon and chained to a bed in the basement.  She eventually escaped by kicking out a boarded up window and squeezing her sickly-sweet-stick body through broken glass and barbed wire.

When does this stop?  When does the abuse, the victimization, the exploitation and the shaming stop?

It will stop only when the people in power start fighting for those who are oppressed. It will stop when one person, one hundred people, one thousand people, one million people, stand up and say “Stop”.  All of the people. Not just women, or children or minorities or homeless or disenfranchised.  All of the people.  Not the labels.  Labels are for clothes.

When falling, sprout wings.

Oh how the mighty  have fallen.

Oh how the match is sparked and watched to burn into ash.

Oh how the wings are beautiful on that big red bird.

Do not be afraid of an uncomfortable conversation, but have it with an open heart, and the big red bird will unfurl its wings.  Do not be afraid to burn, for the fires will draw you into it’s red breast and take flight with your hand buried in the down.


When You Leave a Place

This is one of my very favorite things I have ever read.  It was written by Ariel Gore in her book Atlas Of The Human Heart.


“When you leave a place, its best if it’s raining. Not pouring, but not just drizzling either. You want fat drops that fall on your cheeks like tears. it’s best if it’s early, too, the tail lights and porch lights and streetlights and station lights all begging you to stay just one more day.
When you leave a place, its best if you’re hungry. A girl should never travel on a full stomach.  It’s best if you’re tired, too, still wrapped in the dreams of sleep, oblivious to gravity and the heaviness of your own body.

When you leave a place, it’s best to take as little as possible – ideally a single change of clothes, the jewelry on  your body, the money in your pockets, memories safely stowed in your secure imagination.  Never pack more than you can comfortably carry across the Himalayas on foot, because you never know where a road will take you. It’s best not to bring along anything you care about either.  You’ll lose it, anyway.  Give it away before you go.

And when you leave a place, it’s best not to cry.  If everything is as it should be, the sky will do your crying for you.”