“I came out as INTJ because the amateur test administrator incorrectly told us to answer the questions based on what we usually do, instead of our natural preference. This skewed my result, but it also made me realize that when it comes to making and executing plans, I’ve come a long way. Organization and routine don’t come naturally to me, but I’ve worked hard—especially in these last few years—at cultivating those skills.” The tough love guide to planning ahead (if you’re not naturally a planner) – Modern Mrs Darcy
“When children play, Osei Ntiamoah continued, they’re developing their language, math, and social-interaction skills. A recent research summary “The Power of Play” supports her findings: “In the short and long term, play benefits cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development…When play is fun and child-directed, children are motivated to engage in opportunities to learn,” the researcher concluded.
Osei Ntiamoah’s colleagues all seemed to share her enthusiasm for play-based learning, as did the school’s director, Maarit Reinikka: “It’s not a natural way for a child to learn when the teacher says, ‘Take this pencil and sit still.’” The school’s kindergarten educators have their students engage in desk work—like handwriting—just one day a week. Reinikka, who directs several preschools in Kuopio, assured me that kindergartners throughout Finland—like the ones at Niirala Preschool—are rarely sitting down to complete traditional paper-and-pencil exercises.” Why Kindergarten in Finland is All About Playtime (and Why that Could Be More Stimulating than the Common Core) – The Atlantic
“I’m of the opinion that basic income is not only an existing right of citizenship (not yet recognized) but that it must be seen to be so in order for UBI to succeed. The problem is that welfare programs are divisive. By treating people differently, by giving help to some and not to others, we divide ourselves artificially. We see that in every comment about “makers and takers”, or “strivers and shirkers”. To get past this, we must do as Alaska does with their dividend, and provide cash equally to all, regardless of income. That’s how we eliminate artificially created divisions. It’s time we acknowledge we’re all in this together, rich or poor, male or female, majority or minority. We all share the same basic needs.” Interview: Scott Santens talk universal basic income, and why the U.S. could adopt it by 2035 – Futurism
“He reads over my shoulder when I write about him, occasionally vetoing but mostly watching my understanding of him take shape on the page. This is freeing for me. I think we have had repeat miscommunication over the years because his feelings are so intense he doesn’t believe I could grasp them. But now he sees me spell them out. Not just the feelings but the causes and my feelings and dedication and love for him. This is a great affirmation for him and reminder for me. We will get through this.” Our Life With Autism – The Honeyed Quill
“Sometimes we feel like we’re rushing through life so fast that we’re missing out. You try to prioritize exercise and meditation, but self-care is often the first thing to go when the chaos rises.
Trying to keep all the balls in the air can mean you aren’t seeing what’s right in front of your face. You and your partner might be drifting apart. Here’s what you need to know to bridge distance:” How to Protect Your Relationship When You’re Drifting Apart – Mind Body Green
“Thus began my transformation from negative to positive. Through speech. Through meeting my own needs first. Once I saw how affected I was (constantly shaking, crying, afraid, enraged, hurt) by a lack of boundaries in my relationships, I started that hard work of cleaning my social closet. I discovered that multiple relationships in my life– with friends and family–were toxic. I gave myself permission to step away and work on my self-confidence and joy before considering reengagement with those people. Some I told I needed space. Others, I ghosted, drifting out of their lives to avoid further toxicity. I began to look for positive in the world. I reframed negative thoughts into positive statements. It was a lot like looking for shapes in clouds.” You Are What You Emotionally Eat – The Honeyed Quill
“I wish we could talk about sadness without making it weakness. Or talk about weakness without making it shame. I wish we didn’t feel like we had to live up to a one-way narrative about success.
Maybe what we need is something more like this: the landscapes of our selves are vast, and contain more than we can ever imagine in a single moment. So sometimes we live in the forest. Sometimes we live in the open air. Sometimes we are on the edge of one, looking into the other. And while the trees that are our memories of other pain can block out the sunshine, they can also shelter us from the worst of the rain.
State dependent memory. We remember things better when we are in the same state as when we learned them. We have been in this forest before. It has been dark and it has felt like there was no way out. And yet, here we are again. Having left and returned, left and returned.” How we feel is where we live: life, landscapes, and maybe a treehouse – Consider the Tea Cosy
“I spent two years fighting the horrible intruder before I realised I could be at peace with its presence in my life without that meaning I had given up or given in.
When people or books told me I had to reach a point of acceptance of the illness, I thought they meant surrender to it.
But acceptance is not about surrendering to the illness or pain, it’s about letting go of the struggle around it. Surrendering to what is so, but not making that a good or bad thing.
It’s just what’s so.
I was ill. That’s what was so.” Is CFS Your Enemy or Ally? – Get Up and Go Guru
“You WILL spend hours in waiting rooms, you WILL have to listen to too many more ticking clocks (I seriously HATE ticking clocks – I’ll write about that some time), you WILL have to try more medications, you WILL suffer more symptoms, you will probably add another chronic illness or condition to your ever-growing list. You will go through more shit.
But, if you learn to hold the hands of Patience and Persistence you’ll get through, you’ll continue to grow stronger and you’ll lead a life that’s emotionally healthier and with that, experience many wondrous moments.” The Two Friends That Support You Best on the Medical Merry-Go-Round (And the Blighters that Bring You Down) – Who’s That Lady
“The healing journey is not easy. It requires you to die to your old self, to be open to new possibilities, and to take full responsibility for your life. It’s a primal and often solitary journey. If you embrace the challenge and stay the course, you’ll find gifts you never thought to ask for. Natural treatments are not always well known, the path is definitely not straight, but healing is possible and victory over dis-ease is very sweet. — Mary Ruddick, BA, CNC” Twelve Years, A Dozen Diseases, One Sweet Victory – Healing is Freedom
“Studies by Stitchlinks, the brainchild of Betsan Corkill, have explored how knitting and other crafts can improve low self esteem, help with stress, fear, anxiety and worry and give people a rewarding, purposeful occupation – and a route out of social isolation and loneliness. Stitchlinks encourages and promotes the use of therapeutic knitting and stitching through their research – working with clinicians and therapists to explore how craft can really make a difference to stress, anxiety, depression, dexterity and pain management.” Time to Talk Day: the health benefits of knitting – LoveKnitting
“Each foot is made up of 33 joints, 26 bones and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, and it is loaded inside and out with sensors. Researchers at the University of British Columbia made a huge discovery in 2002: 104 unique, ultra-speedy “mechanoreceptors” on the sole. They measure pressure and indention, which together tell you how to balance.
“These plantar nerves help you make microsecond adjustments that keep you upright and stable,” says New York-based podiatrist Emily Splichal, who runs barefoot training certifications for medical professionals through her Evidence Based Fitness Academy. “Ever wonder what putting on shoes and socks does to this vital input? It blocks it — and forces the bigger, less-precise sensors in the ankle and lower leg to do the job instead.”” Barefoot running may be over, but here’s why barefoot training is still smart – LA Times
““I didn’t have any eggs, so I replaced them with a banana-chia-flaxseed pulse. It turned out terrible; this recipe is terrible.”
“I don’t have any of these ingredients at home. Could you rewrite this based on the food I do have in my house? I’m not going to tell you what food I have. You have to guess.”
“I don’t eat white flour, so I tried making it with raw almonds that I’d activated by chewing them with my mouth open to receive direct sunlight, and it turned out terrible. This recipe is terrible.”
“Could you please give the metric weight measurements, and sometime in the next twenty minutes; I’m making this for a dinner party and my guests are already here.”” Every Comment on Recipe Blogs – The Toast
“Authenticity, at its core, is being your true, honest self. It’s being comfortable not just with who you truly are – which isn’t necessarily the same as who you think you are – but also being willing to be that person to the best of your ability.
The trick is not to mistake being authentic for shitting on yourself or to use it as an excuse for bad behavior.
For example, we tend to see someone being negative as being more truthful. We’re used to the concept of flattering lies, blowing smoke up people’s asses and inflating our metaphorical resumes. As a result, someone being negative can be read as though they’re dropping the pretense and saying how they “really” feel. It’s cynical as hell, but it feels more authentic. Somebody who talks about how awful they are is “just being honest”, right? After all, it’s not like you get bonus points for admitting that you’re the worst. But being down on yourselfisn’t authenticity; it’s as much of a mask as pretending you’re the biggest thing since World War III. It just feels more “true” because our brains have a natural negativity bias, reacting more strongly to negative stimuli than positive ones. It’s an illusion, a mirage, a lie that we don’t realize is a lie. Being needlessly negative is a way of avoiding taking responsibility and being your true self; if you’re a bad person, then in a perverse way you’re absolved from taking ownership of your life. You’re uniquely fucked by the universe and thus there’s no point in trying to do better. Acknowledging your weaknesses and becoming comfortable with them is authenticity. Defining yourself by them and refusing to try to address them, on the other hand, is not. Of course, false modesty isn’t authentic either; if you want to be authentic, you have to be willing to own and be comfortable with your strengths too.” The Value of Authenticity – Dr NerdLove
“AS A CATHOLIC lapsed these past three decades, I am sometimes irritated by a-la-carte Catholics.
I feel that whether you obey its every rule – as the church demands – or pick and choose the bits you like – as most Irish Catholics do – you remain a member of an organisation which has caused generations of untold harm.
By staying Catholic I feel liberals hypocritically give tacit approval to behaviour and attitudes they find offensive.” ‘My religion lapsed three decades ago, but I am irritated by a-la-carte Catholics’ – The Journal
“We’d like to think of “cool” as connotative of something progressive, even radical. But Cool Girls are neither, at least not precisely. We love them because they seem to offer an alternative to the polished, performative femininity visible in both our stars and our peers. Because they “don’t give a shit”; because they don’t truck with the regulations and rules of dating and mean-girling that prove so infuriating. But to be “cool” is to tread a fine line between something different, something almost masculine, but never anything too masculine, or assertive, or independent. The Cool Girl can talk about poop, and video games, and eating Doritos, because those things are ultimately benign: Even with her short hair, Jennifer Lawrence still has the body and the face and the wardrobe that conforms to dominant beauty ideals.
We say we want to be Jennifer Lawrence’s BFF, but what does that mean? Like Bow, and Lombard, and early Fonda, she’d be so incredibly fun. But would she challenge us to think differently about ourselves or the world? And if — or when — she does, will we still like her so much?
We dispose of even our most beloved female stars with startling swiftness, changing celebrity best friends the way 7-year-olds switch real ones. The Cool Girl will stay safe, but what does our swift embrace and rejection of its proxies communicate about our standards for women in the actual world?” Jennifer Lawrence and the History of Cool Girls – BuzzFeed
“His gender isn’t up to me. It’s up to him.
On this unique parenting journey, I believe that:
If your heart beats wholeheartedly, lovingly and accepting-ly for a child;
If you don’t have religion or the fear of what other people will think clouding your judgment; and
If you would love your child the same if they were cisgender, transgender or gender nonconforming.
Then you should go with your gut.
If you can’t quite tell what your gut thinks, but your child is happy, healthy and thriving, give it some time.
If your child is consistently insistent that their sex and gender don’t match up or shows signs of distress (like depression, anxiety, behavior issues, self harm, self mutilation, etc.) seek out help from professionals. I’d start with a gender therapist.” Trust Your Mom Gut – Raising My Rainbow
“Building on her experiences, Quinn co-founded Crash Override Network, an online anti-harassment task force that provides free counseling and other assistance to other victims of abuse. And while it may be small comfort to victims, she said, it’s clear that for many abusers, harassment is a phase they eventually grow out of. Prior to Gamergate, Quinn said, she interviewed 300 self-identified former trolls to ask what made them stop. “Almost every single time, more often than not, they expressed that someone they were close to, respected, or looked up to said that wasn’t cool,” she said. “The social network supporting this kind of feeding frenzy was no longer reinforced.” How Gamergate’s earliest target came to empathize with her abusers – The Verge
Beauty & Body Image
“There’s another side to this, too. Remember Williams’ point that while society accepts girls who wear pants, it doesn’t accept boys who wear dresses? When we segregate the girls’ options we keep boys from trying those things too and communicate to them that “girl” things are things to be avoided—and that the feminine is somehow less than or beneath them. If we focus instead on having a range of options that reflect the breadth of all children’s interests, and avoid packaging them in a way that labels them “for boys” or “for girls,” we can encourage all children to express themselves authentically without pushing them into gender-labeled options.” What’s a Girl to Do? – Love, Joy, Feminism
“Every year, thousands of us across the UK donate our used clothing to charity – many in the belief that it will be given to those in need or sold in High Street charity shops to raise funds. But a new book has revealed that most of what we hand over actually ends up getting shipped abroad – part of a £2.8bn ($4.3bn) second-hand garment trade that spans the globe. We investigate the journey of our cast-offs and begin to follow one set of garments from donation to their eventual destination.” Where do your old clothes go? – BBC
“Any self-aware perfectionist will admit to moments when it has brought pain to others. Perfectionism often sets unspoken expectations that our friends and loved ones (unknowingly) have to follow. Once unmet, those expectations become footholds for grudges that can last a long time– tick marks of wrongdoing unforgiven and unforgotten. I want to strive for deep friendship, but not perfectionism. Imperfect human beings like you and me must learn to love each other.” Is Perfectionism Bad? 5 reasons why it’s stealing your joy – Simplicity Relished
“What you don’t see is that some days my pain levels are low and I can pretend I’m normal, but other days it’s all I can do to get up off the couch. I never know what kind of day it will be.
If I don’t look like I’m paying attention, what you don’t see is how the pain has taken over everything. What you don’t see is the guilt I live with every day.
When you talk about how anyone can do anything they want to do, what you don’t see is how much that hurts me. Because unlike you, I can’t do anything I want.
When you judge me for not doing enough, what you don’t see is that I’ve actually done too much.
What you don’t see is how physically, emotionally and spiritually draining having a chronic illness can be.” What You Don’t See Because of My Invisible Illness – The Mighty
“I realize there are legitimate concerns about Facebook, particularly its unsupervised use by teens and pre-teens. But let’s not paint with too broad a brush, because my Facebook is a port in the storm—a place I know I can go where, instead of being told that life is always wonderful and amazing, I can find that, like me, others are struggling, while trying to make peace with the hand they’ve been dealt in life. To quote another person who posted on my Page: “Without this forum and companionship during difficult times with ill health, our minds would have been trapped without dreams and our spirits without song.”” In Defense of Facebook – Psychology Today
“More than 1 million Americans suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome, according to the Centers for Disease Control, although many experts believe that the agency’s figures are somewhat inflated. The illness is also known as “myalgic encephalomyelitis,” which means “painful inflammation of the brain and spinal cord,” and many people now refer to it as ME/CFS. Patients are used to having their symptoms belittled as imaginary or dismissed as a manifestation of depression by family, friends, colleagues, and doctors — even though compelling evidence has linked the complex illness to major immunological, neurological, and cognitive dysfunctions. Experts now believe that ME/CFS is likely a cluster of closely related conditions, triggered when an acute infection, or some other physiological insult such as exposure to environmental toxins or mold, kicks the immune system into a prolonged state of hyperactivation.” How “Chronic Fatigue Syndrome” Obscures a Serious Illness – BuzzFeed
“Bowel movements are probably low on most people’s list of topics they like to discuss, but it’s an important one nonetheless. Not only can your poop tell you a lot about your health, how you go can have a significant impact too.
Your position can affect the ease with which you eliminate, and doing it wrong may increase your risk of bowel and pelvic problems, including constipation, hemorrhoids, and more. As it turns out, virtually everyone living in Western societies is doing it wrong…” Want Better Bowel Movements? Squat, Don’t Sit! – Mercola
“Not that long ago, as Partch knew, it had become clear that nearly every cell in nearly every tissue in the body keeps time. Every 24 hours, responding to a biochemical bugle call, a handful of proteins assembles in the cell’s nucleus. When they bind to each other on the genome, they become a team of unrivaled impact: Under their influence, thousands of genes are transcribed into proteins. The gears of the cell jolt into motion, the tissue comes alive, and on the level of the organism, you open your eyes and feel a little hungry for breakfast.” How the Body’s Trillions of Clocks Keep Time – Quanta Magazine
“Microbreaks are regular, small, biologically meaningful breaks from being stuck in one position at work. This dynamic ergonomics concept has begun to eclipse more familiar, conventional ergonomic priorities. The idea is simple: no chair or efficiently arranged computer workstation, no matter how comfortable, can protect you from the danger of hours of sitting every day. The only truly ergonomic workstation “arrangement” is to break free of it regularly. You must have a “come here/go away” relationship with your workstation.” Sitting Too Much? Take Microbreaks – Pain Science
“It’s a trick I learned from the wise words of Italian food legend Marcella Hazan. Instead of hurling your garlic into hot oil, start cooking your garlic and oil in a cold pan. Turn on the heat, and wait a minute or two. Within 10 or 20 seconds, the garlic will start to percolate, gently bubbling and releasing its flavor into the oil. You’ll start stirring it, and it’ll cook slowly, steadily, to the exact shade of pale gold you want to make the perfect tomato sauce. Or drizzle over broccoli. Or use to make garlic bread.
Yes, you’ll lose that cheffy sizzle. But you’ll gain something much greater. Food that actually tastes better.” The Trick You Should Use Every Time You Cook Garlic – Epicurious
“We are not facing a future without work. We are facing a future without jobs. There is a huge difference between the two, and we must start seeing the difference, and making the difference more clear to each other. A job is what you are paid to do. It can either enable you to do work that you enjoy, or it can compensate you for doing work that you do not at all enjoy. It can also even involve a whole lot of work or a complete lack of any work. The most important thing about a job is that we trade our time for monetary compensation.
Work is different. Work is better defined in the scientific sense, as the application of a force over some distance (W = F d). If we think about it this way, it’s easier to see how money has nothing whatsoever to do with work. It’s not part of the equation at all. Neither is anything involving value, worth, or meaning. Work can be necessaryor entirely unnecessary. Work can be valuable or worthless. Work can be meaningful or empty. But all work is doing something instead of nothing, and no one can say the same thing about jobs.” A Future Without Jobs Does Not Equal a Future Without Work – Huffington Post
“This resentment is also at the heart of a lot of hating on “hipsters.” People see others whom they perceive to have lives that are easier, cooler, or more fun than theirs, and instead of questioning the society that gave them their lot, they demand conformity and misery out of others.
But why? The false (but not without a grain of truth!) intimation that hipsters are all white kids who are subsidized by their rich parents legitimizes this position, but even if it were accurate it wouldn’t make the attitude of contempt any more sensible. For even if creative and enjoyable lives are only accessible to the privileged, that’s not a damning fact about them so much as it is an indictment of a society that has so much wealth and yet only allows a select few to take advantage of it, while others are forced to waste their lives chained to their useless jobs and bloated mortgages.
The rage directed at the figure of “a hipster on food stamps” is only intelligible in terms of the rotted ideological foundation that supports it: an ideology that simultaneously glorifies the suffering of the exploited and vilifies those among the dispossessed who are deemed to be insufficiently hardworking or self-reliant. It treats some activities (making art) as worthless and parasitic, and others (working temp jobs) as totems of “resourcefulness” and “self-reliance,” without any apparent justification.” Resenting Hipsters – Jacobin
“Politeness is simply giving respect to another person’s wishes, particularly when doing so doesn’t affect you in any material way. One recent example is the matter of personal pronouns. As trans people become more accepted and more people challenge the notion of gender binaries, many people have started to express how they prefer to be referred to. One person may be fine with being called “he” or “him”, while another would prefer the gender neutral “they” or even “xie”. Referring to a trans woman as “he” or calling them by their birth name (known as“deadnaming”) is considered to be incredibly insulting – and yet people make it a point of prideto ignore a trans or genderqueer person’s preferences. This is quintessential asshole behavior; someone is going out of their way to be a dick to another person because… well, because fuck them, that’s why. When someone – a certain disgraced game developer, for example – makes a point of refusing to refer to a trans person by their preferred pronouns because “they haven’t earned the ‘privilege’”, they’re being an asshole just for the sake of being an asshole.
It’s similar to that one oh-so-edgy “friend” who, when you ask them to stop doing something, will either do it one more time “as a goof” or even double down for the LOLz of it all. It’s not clever, it’s not funny. It’s just being an asshole.
Even if you personally find the idea of preferred pronouns ridiculous and think that gender non-compliant people are fooling themselves, calling somebody by the name and pronoun they prefer costs you precisely no effort. It has all the effect on your life as a homeless person declaring themselves the Emperor of the United States – none. Just because something isn’t important to you, doesn’t make it not important to somebody else. Respecting somebody’s wishes is a kindness you can do with literally no effort on your part.” A Gentleman’s Guide to Not Being an Asshole – Dr NerdLove
Relationships & Sex
“Whether Nice Guy Syndrome™ manifests as arguing with a woman on the way home from a date, touching her without her permission, or committing a violent crime, it dehumanizes women.
In a “nice guy’s” world, women are merely rewards for decent behavior, and the standards for decent behavior are very low.
One tell-tale sign that someone’s not a nice guy is that he tries to use his “nice guy” status as leverage to get what he wants or evidence that he deserves it. He may simply complain about a dearth of messages in his OKCupid inbox, but he could also be capable of worse.
I learned this the hard way. I didn’t feel empowered to stand up to “nice guys” because I felt guilty for hurting their feelings. But they don’t deserve our guilt.” 7 Lies ‘Nice Guys’ Will Tell You (And Why You Shouldn’t Believe Them) – Everyday Feminism
“When did it become okay to joke about lying to children? Make no mistake, that is what this comic is talking about. What does it say about us, as a society, that we find a comic that makes light of and promotes lying to children funny? Do we really think that we as a society can joke about lying to children and then expect them to trust us? If we want a relationship of mutual trust and respect with our children, we need to prove ourselves worth of trust and respect.” Lying to Children Is Not a “Joke” – Love, Joy, Feminism
““When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” ~Maya Angelou I remember first hearing these words in my early twenties. I heard them. I just didn’t follow them. Hence, I brought myself a whole lot of painful lessons and needless suffering because I always wanted to give people a second chance, and a third, and a fourth … You get the picture.
I was the girl who always saw the “potential” in people. The person they “could” be, with a little love and nurturing from yours truly. I considered myself to be one of the most loving, loyal, and big-hearted people out there. And besides, there were very few things I truly wanted that I went after and didn’t get.
I suffered many disappointments and even more heartbreaks because of this, both in friendships and romantic relationships. I expected people to change just because I thought they should be or feel a certain way. But at that point in my spiritual journey, I hadn’t yet learned that everyone is on their own path, and sometimes their soul just isn’t in alignment with yours.” When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them – Tiny Buddha
“Being an empath is when you are affected by other people’s energies, and have an innate ability to intuitively feel and perceive others. Your life is unconsciously influenced by others’ desires, wishes, thoughts, and moods. Being an empath is much more than being highly sensitive and it’s not just limited to emotions. Empaths can perceive physical sensitivities and spiritual urges, as well as just knowing the motivations and intentions of other people. You either are an empath or you aren’t. It’s not a trait that is learned. You are always open, so to speak, to process other people’s feelings and energy, which means that you really feel, and in many cases take on the emotions of others. Many empaths experience things like chronic fatigue, environmental sensitivities, or unexplained aches and pains daily. These are all things that are more likely to be contributed to outside influences and not so much yourself at all. Essentially you are walking around in this world with all of the accumulated karma, emotions, and energy from others.” 30 traits of an Empath (How to Know if You’re an Empath) – The Mind Unleashed
“I’d wager a guess that Beyoncé (or Oprah or Taylor) spends 0-1 of her 24 hours managing her day-to-day life. In fact, if you added up the hours that Beyoncé’s team puts in every day – promoting her, photographing her, styling her, cooking for her – girl probably has 200+ hours in her day. At a minimum. So I guess what I’m saying is, when you see that image float across your internet life, instead of doubling down on your workload or feeling like a failure, go ahead and reinterpret it.” How to feel unproductive and worthless in one easy step! – Sarah Von Bargen
“I hope that I will not feel that the way I do right now for the rest of my life. I work hard every day to keep finding ways to support and manage my body. I believe that I can continue to keep learning and experimenting to achieve this goal. But believing that “cure” or total domination is entirely in my hands actually made things worse when I would have a flare up. There are things that are beyond our control, and even now when I have a bad day my brain still tells me “you’re not eating the right thing! You’re doing something wrong!” I have never blamed myself for my illnesses, but part of me now (despite knowing better) still blames myself for not curing myself for something that ultimately (as of yet…come on science!) cannot be cured.” Desperation, “Miracle Cures” & Hope in Chronic Illness – Natasha Lipman
“Exercise and pain come hand in hand right? Wrong (of course!), exercise may well come with some pain but it doesn’t have to if you listen to your body. Fear of pain is, sadly, no excuse to avoid exercise. Exercise is essential for your well being, and though I do not encourage you to work through pain, you will need to find some way to move, and that may come with some discomfort. If you’re like me and do NOT have a natural affinity for exercise you’ll think this is shitty, and you would be right, it is shitty, or at least I used to think so. Shitty or not though you have got to move your body in some way, some how, and frankly, whatever is wrong with you is no excuse.” The Zen of Exercising without Pain – Who’s That Lady
“But, there’s still more to the story! Often, arguments for the human species being truly herbivorous or truly carnivorous are based on analyses of other primates’ diets, comparative anatomy, and other features that might help clarify our taxonomy (e.g., teeth and length of digestive tract). After all, just because we choose to eat both plants and animals doesn’t mean that’s what we’re biologically suited for. We might choose to eat Krispy Kreme donuts when they’re sitting on the counter, too, but that doesn’t make them good for us!
So, in this post, we’ll be looking at the anatomical and physiological arguments for what humans are best suited to eat, and seeing what we can (or can’t!) conclude from them.” The Diet We’re Meant to Eat, Part 2: Physiological & Biological Evidence – The Paleo Mom
“I enjoy a nice cup of tea. There’s something special in the ritual of it—boiling the kettle, steeping the leaves and savoring each sip. Many types of tea have wonderful properties that can aid in digestion, metabolism and even disease prevention.
But, if you are a tea drinker, you should know that there’s a very good chance your favorite brand of tea is laced with pesticides, GMOs, artificial ingredients and toxic chemicals.
You might be shocked to learn that not only are many teas heavily sprayed with pesticides, but that most tea isn’t even washed before it is put into bags. So, all of those pesticides go directly in your cup.” Is Your Tea Making You Sick? – Saving Dinner
“Common threads run through the stories: authoritarian settings where rule-following and obedience reign supreme; counseling techniques that emphasize victims’ own culpability; male leaders with few checks on their power; and, in the eyes of many Christians including Tchividjian, a perversion of the Bible to justify all three. “When you have this motley group of many denominations, this independent environment, and then this distortion of scripture, that’s an environment where abuse can flourish,” Tchividjian says. “But we’ve never been forced to deal with it on a Protestant-wide basis.”” The Next Christian Sex-Abuse Scandal – The Prospect
“It is disconcerting, but it’s more than that. This isn’t just a simple “mistake.” Someone at some point thought it sounded good to say that Jesus quoted more from Genesis than any other book and didn’t bother to double check it. There’s no way you get from the reality that only one of Jesus’ dozens of quotes from the Old Testament come from Genesis, or the reality that only 7% of his references to Old Testament books are from Genesis, to stating that Jesus quotes from (or references) the Old Testament more than any other book unless your intent is to deceive.” Everything You’ve Heard About How Often Jesus Quoted Genesis Is Wrong – Love, Joy, Feminism
“Inspiration porn operates from several assumptions, the key ones being: 1. That any time disabled people do anything “normal” people can do, it’s totally amazing, like our lives are so horrible and difficult and awful that any achievement is a shock (even as the memes or posts fail to acknowledge disability rights and accommodations that would facilitate achievement)
2. That all of us could “overcome” if only we tried harder! And if we fail to overcome, well then,it is all our fault. Even when some of the reasons we might fail involve able people creating barriers.
3. Exceptionalism as a “standard”: This guy is an inspiration because he’s exceptional, but heshould be the “norm.” Which takes us back to #2. Those assumptions are false taken on their own and wildly nonsensical taken together, which reveals the absurdity and objectification at the heart of inspiration porn.” Dear Able Friends: I Am Not Your Inspiration Porn – Everyday Feminism
“Forcing your children to address adults by their last names whether those adults want them to or not is not a sign of respect. When I introduce my children to an adult, I first ask that adult what they would like my children to call them. This is what respect looks like. I do not want to be addressed as Mrs. Lastname. It makes me sound like my mother-in-law, and it puts more distance between myself and kids than I want. But Larkins doesn’t care. She would make her kids call me Mrs. Lastname regardless of my wishes. That is not respect.” What Happened to Teaching Kids to Respect People’s Name Preferences? – Love, Joy, Feminism
“Our culture reveres the efficient, productive, less emotional individual. If you’re a busy person who juggles socializing with aplomb, you are golden in the United States. The more reflective person who is OK with stillness and solitude, is often deemed selfish or lazy or anti-social. Even though, that is how they connect with their intuition and build self-awareness. Even though, that is how they re-charge in order to tackle the mundane doing and chatting required in society. Even though, after a fulfilling retreat in solitude, these individuals often emerge with enthusiastic warmth and love for those in their circles.” Beyond Introversion: Are You a Highly Intuitive, Sensitive, Relationship-Focused Being? – Brenda Knowles‘
“Self-love is often mistaken for selfishness. This is not true. It has been proven time and again, if you cannot love yourself, you will never be capable of loving another. After all, if we do not value ourselves, how can we ever honestly honor someone else?
Self-love is different from being egocentric or narcissist. It means to care for oneself, set boundaries for oneself, being truthful to self, trusting and forgiving oneself. Self-love requires tremendous courage. Have the strength to be who you are in the world that is desperately trying to change you and in return the world will love you.” 4 Reasons Why We Should Indulge in Self-Love – Elephant Journal
“My point is this, your story is your own and it is your right to keep it or share it with whomever you choose, but if keeping your illness a secret is coming from a place of pride and its causing you anxiety or isolation, it may be time to release yourself from the burden of secrecy and be honest with the people around you. Not everyone will respond positively, but you may just find the support and community you need.” Telling the Truth About Chronic Illness – Sweet Potatoes and Social Change
“Chronic illness is a full-time, all-encompassing job. One that requires us to focus on our health, what we’re consuming, what we’re not consuming and what we’re grateful for Every. Single. Day. And it’s almost like the universe knows when we start taking things for granted because it shows up knocking on our door with some wonderful outwardly showing symptom.” No Rest for the #Spoonie – It’s Just a Bad Day
“As someone with a chronic illness, I sometimes still feel like I’m out of place, not because the disability movement hasn’t accepted me, but because many others with chronic illnesses reject the label, despite getting short-term or long-term disability insurance, ending up in the hospital, or experiencing discrimination for their illness. While I respect anybody’s right to use whatever label they choose, I feel like detaching oneself from the disability rights movement does more harm than good to our goals.” I Have a Chronic Illness. Here’s Why I Embrace the Label ‘Disabled’ – Huffington Post
“No — you do not need a stretching habit, per se, to keep your muscles from shrivelling up. Nearly any movement is sufficient to prevent that (see previous section). Although it’s better than nothing, getting out of the chair to stretch specifically is simply the wrong tool for the job. A little static elongation of muscle tissue just does not constitute adequate stimulation to be an antidote for all the effects of four hours of sitting per day, let alone eight or twelve.
What you need is a similar-but-better concept I call “mobilizations”: repeated, rhythmic elongation and contraction of muscle tissue. For instance, when most people get up from a long sit, they will instinctively stretch their arms backwards, opening up the chest, and a few will then close the chest as well, flexing the same muscles they just stretched.
That’s the perfect thing, the right impulse — you just need to do a bit more of it. Repeat! Doing it once pulls your chest and upper back muscles away from the brink. Doing it ten times in a row a few times a day is mobilizing. Basically: light exercise, emphasizing the range of motion of the joints that need it the most after sitting in a chair.” Sitting Too Much? The Trouble With Chairs – Pain Science
“She explained that eating too much refined sugar—which is found in most sweets, sodas, white breads, and pastas, virtually all “fat free” and “low fat” snacks, fruit juices, yogurts, energy drinks, most Starbucks drinks (including many coffees), sauces (ketchup, BBQ sauces, mayo, pasta sauces), and countless other packaged foods—has now been shown to make us cranky, make us make rash decisions, and make us stupid. My friend’s point was clear: Just because I’m thin and my blood tests show no sign of diabetes, it doesn’t meant the amount of refined sugar I’m eating isn’t negatively effecting my health.” How Giving Up Refined Sugar Changed My Brain – Fast Company
“Hanging is a heavily loaded movement. If you are having issues with your joint stability, exercise can help. Hanging can help, too, but after you’ve done some groundwork. The key to developing stability is finding the best exercises. Or actually, there aren’t “best” exercises, there’s just learning about anatomy and movement, and then your anatomy and how you are moving, and putting all that information together so that you know how to modify everything to make it beneficial (strengthening and stabilizing) and not detrimental (overloading your ligaments).” Hypermobility (and 12 Steps to stronger, more stable shoulders) – Nutritious Movement
““It will never be okay,” a friend who lost her mom in her teens said to me a couple years ago. “It will never be okay that our mothers are dead.”
At the time she said this to me she wasn’t yet really my friend. We’d chatted passingly at parties, but this was the first time we were alone together. She was fiftysomething and I was forty. Our moms had been dead for ages. We were both writers with kids of our own now. We had good relationships and fulfilling careers. And yet the unadorned truth of what she’d said—it will never be okay—entirely unzipped me.
It will never be okay, and yet there we were, the two of us more than okay, both of us happier and luckier than anyone has a right to be. You could describe either one of us as “joy on wheels,” though there isn’t one good thing that has happened to either of us that we haven’t experienced through the lens of our grief. I’m not talking about weeping and wailing every day (though sometimes we both did that). I’m talking about what goes on inside, the words unspoken, the shaky quake at the body’s core. There was no mother at our college graduations. There was no mother at our weddings. There was no mother when we sold our first books. There was no mother when our children were born. There was no mother, ever, at any turn for either one of us in our entire adult lives and there never will be.” Dear Sugar: The Black Arc of It – The Rumpus
“In this way, Diderot explains how new consumption often leads to further consumption. But more than that, he argues that we begin identifying with our possessions and search for new things that fit into our specific mold. The purchase of fashion, he would argue, is rarely about the functional use of clothing—it’s not just about finding thread to cover our bodies. Instead, the purchase of clothing (and everything else) represents an opportunity for self-expression.” Understanding the Diderot Effect (and How to Overcome It) – Becoming Minimalist
“It’s still humans who are doing the song selection and arranging, but instead of outside experts, it’s users like you and me. Generating a human-curated playlist for each of Spotify’s users would be a challenge of mammoth proportion. “We probably can’t hire enough editors to do that,” says Ogle. So Spotify uses each of its users as one cog in a company-wide curatorial machine. “The answer was staring us in the face: playlists, since the beginning, have been more or less the basic currency of Spotify. Users have made more than 2 billion of them.” In effect, Discover Weekly sidesteps the man versus machine debate and delivers the holy grail of music recommendation: human curation at scale.” How Spotify’s Discovery Weekly cracked human curation at internet scale – The Verge
“The thing about trauma is that it creates inherently unreliable witnesses. Victims tell as much as they can bear to tell, in that moment, and perhaps even as much as they can remember. Memories can be hazy and dim until the second that the curtain is lifted and the body is thrust back into the moment of abuse. There is no such thing as one way of processing trauma, and there is no perfectly linear path to recovery, either. Victims lie to themselves and blame themselves, and sometimes they even lie and tell others that it was their fault, too. But none of these things change the reality of what was done to them.
While victims make terrible witnesses, abusers are the perfect witnesses. They are calculated and smooth, and they are willing to lie about absolutely every detail. They paint themselves as the victims of false accusations and even though we know that sexual assault and rape are highly underreported crimes, and that false allegations are estimated at only 2-8%, it is somehow easier to believe them than their victims.” I’m Not The Crazy Ex: What We Need to Learn From the McLeod Rape Case – Ravishly
“The fact of the matter is that comics has had a sexual harassment problem almost since its inception and one that continues until today. As with many cases of sexual harassment, the perpetrators are frequently protected by their superiors while the victims are pressured to keep silent. It’s not just that issues of abuse or sexual harassment get pointedly ignored or go unaddressed1 but that the companies will take steps to protect the harassers rather than the victims. In a no-holds barred post to her tumblr, comics writer Alex de Campi aimed both barrels at Marvel and DC Comics for harboring and protecting known harassers:” Sexual Harassment and the Toxic Culture of Comics – Dr NerdLove
“I believe sex is a gift that allows us to connect with others (and ourselves) for a night, for a lifetime or just for 25 minutes during our lunch break. I believe sex and pleasure are nothing short of magical and transformative. I believe queer people have been appointed by some higher power to help change the way that our society thinks about sex. And I refuse to believe that just because queer people are increasingly being folded into the mainstream, we should give up fighting for all of the things we’ve been fighting for all these years. The goal has never been to get the same rights as non-queer people so we could be just like non-queer people, even though some, like Caramanno, might argue otherwise. We’re supposed to be leading by example and showing that sex is not scary, sex is not dirty, sex doesn’t need to be with just one partner and in a healthy, happy society, sex should be an important and inspiring way of connecting with one another. If I had it my way we’d have sex shops in every neighborhood right next to the local McDonald’s and we’d talk about sex in every school and we wouldn’t give films with sexual content NC-17 ratings while slapping PG-13 ratings on mindnumbingly violent films.” I’m a Gay Man Who Loves Sex (And Here’s Why That’s Suddenly a Problem) – Huffington Post
“Many choices we make in life—ranging from what we do, to how we conduct ourselves, and who we interact with—are subject to prying questions and commentary from those around us. Family members, friends, and even total strangers, it often seems like everyone has an opinion on the things we do, no matter how small or insignificant those things might seem to us.
Sometimes people go so far as to ask you to explain yourself for the decisions or choices you make in your own life. You might feel obliged to respond, but some things are really no one else’s business and you don’t owe anyone an explanation at all for the following 15 things—though you think you do.” 15 Things You Don’t Owe Anyone At All (Though You Think You Do) – The Open Mind
“Really, most of us are too self-absorbed to be making decisions in reaction to other people’s! We’re all doing the best we can, making the choices that work best for who we are right now. We’re making those choices because we want to.
So let’s make a pact. Next time someone makes a choice that runs counter to our own or brings out our less pleasant, more defensive side, let’s take a deep breath and remember: it’s not about us. My choices are not a commentary on yours. And vice versa.” The simple truth is: my choices are not a commentary on yours – Yes and Yes
“The truth is that self-discipline is helpful. It enables us to get s*** done, it helps to build our self-esteem (actions aligned with principled goals = higher self-esteem), and, depending on where we choose to exercise self-discipline within our lives, it leaves us healthier, more learned, more self-aware, higher performing, more satisfied, as well as many other warm and fuzzy outcomes.” The Art of Self-Discipline – Becoming Who You Are
“Misconception #4: If chronically ill people are enjoying themselves, they must feel okay. When an important occasion arises, people who are chronically ill have learned to put up with the symptoms of illness, including terrible pain, so they can try to enjoy what they’re doing, especially the enriching experience of being in the company of others. Please don’t assume that a person who is laughing is a person who is pain-free, ache-free, or otherwise feeling good physically.” Six Common Misconceptions About the Chronically Ill – Psychology Today
“I now know that far, far too little is known about endometriosis. But what I do also know is: it exists in women with and without children. It exists in young girls and old women, women with careers and women who have stayed at home. In all countries, at all socioeconomic levels.
I am sorry that I haven’t spoken about my disease more. I feel ashamed that I haven’t learnt more about it. I feel frustrated that invasive surgery is the only diagnostic test and that therefore so many women go undiagnosed. I feel angry that so many women still receive bad advice and ineffective treatment. I feel sad that this is the hardest story I’ve ever written and that I’m embarrassed that people will read it and know these intimate details of my life.
Mostly, I am filled with rage that a disease that affects 176 million women is one most people have never heard of. But I’m also hopeful that a conversation has begun.” ‘I’m not a hypochondriac. I have a disease. All these things that are wrong with me are real, they are endometriosis’ – The Guardian
“With the uptick in eating out, we’ve also opened up whole new arenas of human handling and mass food processing risks as well. These days, however, 80% of foodborne illnesses come from somewhere other than home.
The next logical question seems to be what foods are the most risky. Oddly, meats are overseen by a different agency (USDA) than most other foods (FDA), but experts have been clear that the majority of food poisoning cases stem from meats – especially beef and poultry.Ground beef, in particular, can be risky because a single burger can contain parts from various parts of various cows, increasing the chance of contamination. Pathogens can originate through everything from livestock feedwater to unclean fields/lots to contaminated processing equipment.” What You Need to Know About Foodborne Illness – Part 1- Mark’s Daily Apple & Part 2: Kitchen Strategies
“Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) affects 15 percent of the U.S. population and is the second leading cause of missed work (behind only the common cold), but conventional treatments are ineffective because they only address the symptoms. Find out what really causes IBS so you can get well and stay well without unnecessary drugs.” 5 Causes of IBS Your Doctor May Not Be Looking For – Chris Kresser
“I’m hardly alone. Many of my friends who battle anxiety — and even those that don’t have a mood disorder — say the first few weeks of autumn are especially difficult for them. Ginny Scully, a therapist in Wales, sees so many clients with feelings of anticipation and nervousness during the last week of August through the first weeks of September that she coined the term “autumn anxiety.” Highly sensitive persons (HSPs), as defined by Elaine Aron, PhD, in The Highly Sensitive Person, are especially prone to anxiety during the fall because any kind of shift can throw off their fragile neurological systems — and the seasonal changes of autumn and anxiety are most dramatic. Autumn is full of new things: new schedules, new jobs, new schools, new assignments. It’s no wonder why some of us experience heart palpitations trying to process it all. Here are a few techniques I’m using this year to keep my anxiety in check during the season. May yours be as calm as possible, too!” Autumn Anxiety Is Real, and Treatable – Huffington Post
“Where are the fact checkers in Young Earth Creationist’ (YEC) organizations? And why do simple errors and profound misconceptions of science persist among their ranks? I have commented multiple times that the YEC organization Institute for Creation Research (ICR) has a self-editing problem. As I have documented (Eg. The Case of the Shrinking Comet and the Age of the Universe), their science writer, Brian Thomas, has made a habit of mangling the scientific literature making simple errors of logic you would expect to be fixed by internal peer-review process. Such internal review is crucial for an anti-establishment organization like the Institute for Creation Research or Answers in Genesis because they are so apt to ignore the peer-review of their work from outsiders such as myself.” When Peer Review Lets You Down: A YEC Quote Problem – Naturalis Historia
“And . . . Morning Center does not appear to provide any birth control services. Apparently a “more well rounded approach” means one that leaves out arming women with the ability to plan their pregnancies. And actually, this strategy makes sense, if you think about it. The more pregnant women in the community, the more people Morning Center has to evangelize. And if those pregnant women are in tight spots because their pregnancy was unplanned? So much the better! After all, God often uses crisis situations to bring people to faith in him.
Remind me who is exploiting these women again?” When “Pro-Life” Means “Anti-Birth Control” – Love, Joy, Feminism
“Miss Clara is a pusher—as bad as any drug dealer on the street. Miss Clara pushes Christianity instead of crack. Not just any Christianity, the type of Christianity that keeps women in abusive relationships, that keeps them locked in misery—that makes the humiliation, degradation, and hate they endure somehow their fault.
This kills women. Miss Clara kills women. This movie, it intends to kill women by keeping them in harmful and life-threatening situations by promising that if they just endure long enough, they will be rewarded with a husband who no longer wants to crush their spirit or their skulls.
This movie, which is currently the second-highest-grossing movie in America, intends to see children grow up watching their mothers be abused, disrespected, defeated—not only by their fathers, but by their faith. Right now, as you read this, a woman is dying because she cannot leave her abusive partner. Right now, a man is acting on the belief that he has the divine right to treat his partner like shit because God says she should submit to him.
This movie should offend any person, especially any Christian, who believes that God is a loving God. This is not what love looks like. And this is not what faith looks like. If any movie could make one lose faith in God, this would be it. recommended” Box-Office Hit War Room Made Me Shake With Rage – The Stranger
“The tradition of drag queening is not an offensive act, but drag performers may abuse privilege and create problematic messages regardless of their intent. The problems of drag as an institution are the pre-existing racist heteropatriarchal structures that impede upon it. These difficulties with drag are the same hegemonic forces which delve deep into our film, art, video games and universities.” What, if anything, is wrong with drag? – Sociological Images
“Pennu and Nair’s experiences are not unusual. As more and more Indian women become vocal in the online space, they are increasingly the target of online abuse. Some are ordinary citizens. Some are well-known. Sagarika Ghose, a journalist formerly with CNN-IBN who is vocal on Twitter and has 608,000 followers, has repeatedly received threats of rape. In 2012, Meena Kandasamy, a poet and activist, was threatened with acid attacks and “televised gang rapes” when she wrote about a Dalit festival where beef was served. Eating beef is a taboo among upper caste Hindus, and Kandasamy was attacked for writing about eating beef.
The abuse is often sexist, according to a 2013 study by the non-profit, Internet Democracy Project. The researchers did detailed interviews with 17 Indian women active in the online space, either on Facebook or Twitter or on blogs. Richa Kaul Padte, one of the study authors, recorded death and rape threats as well as sexualized messages and gender based slurs.
“We’re not saying that men don’t face abuse” For Speaking Her Mind Online, A Woman in India Can Face Threats – NPR
“George Clooney may not have the cure-all for sexism in Hollywood, but at the Toronto Film Festival on Friday, he proposed one surprising simple solution: Rewrite roles originally intended for men to be played by women.
In reality, it was Sandra Bullock, not Clooney himself, who inspired this line of thinking, The Wrap reports. When Bullock read the script for Our Brand Is Crisis, a film about an American political consulting firm managing a presidential campaign in Bolivia, she identified a role she was interested in playing.
The problem? The role, loosely based on real-life political consultant James Carville, was written for a man to play.” George Clooney Wants Hollywood to Rewrite Men’s Roles for Women – Time
“Before we can pretend to impart any wisdom about sexuality, we have to address our own shame and do our own healing. That’s an ongoing process; we don’t have to be perfect. Our children—and I mean our collective children—feel who we are more than they hear what we say. They will listen to us when they feel that we have something to offer. They will listen when we speak from our hearts and from our sex about our real experiences, in the past and right now. Being righteous won’t help. Whether we think things are right or wrong makes no impact on the fact that they are happening. Children need our heartfelt honesty to be able to understand where our fear or indignation is coming from.
Healing sexual shame is no small task. We live in a sex negative culture, where even admitting our sexual natures can be confronting for many people. Sex is something private—for behind closed doors. But the repercussions of that are vast: teenage pregnancies, incoherent behavior (teenage mothers advocating for celibacy) and a reliance on the internet as a source for information. Making your intimate life a priority will have ripple effects on how the youth of the next generation relate to and love one another. We can create a sex positive culture.” Have Sex for Our Children – Elephant Journal
“veryone fights, but we differ in how we deal with conflict. And it turns out that how we deal with conflict says a lot about the future of our relationships. By watching couples fight, researcher John Gottman(link is external) discovered what not to do if you want to make your relationship last, and published seminal research on what behaviors to avoid if you want a happy ending for your relationship. Gottman discovered that four behaviors are particularly detrimental to relationships. He termed the “the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” and they are?” 4 Things You Can’t Do When You Fight With Your Partner – Psychology Today
“The light and darkness that we fear within others is that very same light and darkness that is within ourselves.
For many years, I kept that wildness locked up in a cage, afraid of its potentially disastrous effects on my life, were it unleashed. I realized that I suffered greatly when this powerful force was ignored.
So, the question is this: How do I give my all in a world where giving it all translates into “unstable” or “crazy” behavior? In other words, how does one give their all without fear of being labeled as a “slut,” a “whore” or another harmful word associated with the true behavior of a “wild” woman?
Where do we begin to unleash this energy?” A Woman’s Power Lies in Her Darkness – Elephant Journal
“Do you strive for perfection, and feel constantly disappointed that you never get there? Do you find yourself putting things off because you can’t do them perfectly, or worse, never sharing the things you do because they’re not “perfect”?” Why Being a Perfectionist Sucks – Who’s That Lady
“What I was truly searching for were the versions of me that came out with all those different men. I realized that the thing I was chasing was always me.
I was looking for people that brought out different sides of me because I did not always know how to bring out those parts myself. I was always disappointed because each man brought out only some parts but no one brought out all of me.” What To Do When Our Sex Life Gets Boring – Elephant Journal
“When I got sober, the person most pivotal in my recovery told me something profound. And I don’t mean sort of profound. I mean like SUPER FUCKING DEEP AND LIFE CHANGING.
Sit down, and listen. It goes like this: Nothing changes if nothing changes. Whew. Yeah. I know.
Go ahead, Take a moment if you need it.
No no. Don’t turn away. That right there is some crazy shit: We have to physically, actually DO something different if we want new things to happen in our lives. WE CAN’T JUST THINK ABOUT CHANGING.
We have to move our feet in new directions. And our arms. And even our hands. ALL THE BODY PARTS. We have to move our bodies in completely new ways to make new shit happen in our lives.” Therapy hour with Janelle (or: ramblings with a damn-near-crazy woman) – renegade mothering
“When autoimmune disease strikes and turns our lives upside down, we search hard for a “fix.” We want our lives back, and we want them back now! The problem is that autoimmune healing is a marathon, not a sprint. And sometimes our impatience actually interferes with our ability to heal. Here are a few ways this can happen” Is Your Impatience an Obstacle to Healing? – Autoimmune Paleo
“Being upright (sitting / standing) is hard work. My body doesn’t do a good job of pumping the blood (and oxygen) around my body. So the longer I’m upright, the more painful and swollen my legs get (blood pooling) and the more tired my brain gets (not enough oxygen). My blood pressure is often low (meaning that my blood is only sluggishly moving around my body, distributing oxygen). My heart rate, when I’m upright, is high (because my body is working so hard just to stay upright). The “maximum heart rate calculation” is 200 minus your age. I’m 26, so according to the maths, I want to aim for a heart rate below 174 when I’m exercising. I can hit that just taking a shower. I often have to lie down after a shower, panting like I’ve just been for a sprint down the street. Sometimes I struggle to breathe – taking deep breaths, but not getting any oxygen (the ANS is in charge of that).” What is Dysautonomia? – Reflections Of A Bear
“More compelling to me are the straightforward facts about breast milk: It contains all the vitamins and nutrients a baby needs in the first six months of life (breast-fed babies don’t even need to drink water, milk provides all the necessary hydration), and it has many germ- and disease-fighting substances that help protect a baby from illness. Oh, also: The nutritional and immunological components of breast milk change every day, according to the specific, individual needs of a baby. Yes, that’s right, and I will explain how it works in a minute. Not nearly enough information is provided by doctors, lactation counselors, or the internet about this mind-blowing characteristic of milk.” The More I Learn About Breast Milk, the More Amazed I Am – Features – The Stranger
“In our new, yet-to-be-published study of more than 700 college students, we found that while poor executive functioning did predict sleep problems, the stronger effect was actually due to anxiety. The students who were more anxious about being apart from their phones used their phones more during a typical day, and woke up to check their phones more often at night. The latter two results — more daily smartphone use and more nighttime awakenings — led directly to sleep problems.” Relax, Turn Off Your Phone, and Go to Sleep – Harvard Business Review
“Since the initial study, floating’s effects have been tested numerous times. In a 2011 study, fibromyalgia patients reported a 30 percent reduction in stress levels after each floating session and said the effects of relief lasted an average of two and a half days. In another study, sleep was improved, patients felt more optimistic and the content of the vitalizing hormone prolactin increased after 12 sessions. Patients also reported a decline in anxiety, stress, depression and perception of pain.
Other research has found floating brings relief from a wide variety of symptoms including back, neck and joint pain, arthritis, muscle tension and bursitis.” ‘Floating’ eases the mind, body – WishTV.com
Seeing my wedding photos felt like staring at a stranger, who has somehow managed to impersonate me on that special day.
I quickly click away, before the tears reach my eyes, before I have to acknowledge that this – stranger – is me.
My illnesses have been hard on me, and they love to multiply their effects, making even the simplest tasks incredibly difficult.
Earlier last year I was grateful, because I hadn’t had many side effects from the Prednisolone (steroids) I have been on almost continuously since getting sick.
Turned out I just hadn’t been on them for long enough.
June 2015 was absolutely awful. Thanks to side effects from Methotrexate (originally used as chemotherapy), I could barely get out of bed, was throwing up every day, and frankly, I began questioning whether life was worth living, if that was to become my new normal.
As I went off the Methotrexate and the side effects diminished, I tried to get back to a healthy weight.
I put on 1kg in July, another in August.
Then in September I suddenly began having issues buttoning up my beloved new jeans.
When I stepped on the scales I got a massive shock; I had put on 10kg in a month.
My doctors have all agreed that it is due to the steroids, and encouraged me not to worry about it too much until I am off the steroids (a date that has kept getting pushed back, as I continue to experience severe side effects to any new medication we have trialled, including landing me briefly in hospital back on November).
And then there was that whole “getting married” business.
I am so incredibly grateful to myself for choosing a dress that would fit a vast variety of shapes and sizes, so at least I didn’t have to worry about fitting into my dress.
However, with that being said, going from a BMI of 20.2 half a year ago, to 29.7 today is concerning. And frankly damn frustrating, when the majority of your clothes won’t fit you any more. I would also have been happy to skip the steroid side effect of “moon face“, which led me to staring into the mirror, wondering “who are you, stranger?”.
Wedding Day, 21st Dec 2015
I know it’s the illness, I know it’s the drugs, I know it’s not my fault, and I know it doesn’t make me any less valuable, or worthy, or loveable.
But I’m the product of a society that drills into us that our value lies in our looks.
I worry that when people look at my wedding pictures they will not see me, that they will not see how incredibly happy I was that day. That instead they will either pity me, knowing that it’s the illness and the medications, or judge me for “letting myself go”, if they aren’t aware of my health struggles.
I know there’s an important lesson for me here, about learning to love myself and my body, even without my previous privileges of size and beauty.
About learning to hold space for me, being okay with where I am, even as I take steps to fit into most of my clothes again.
Knowing that looking after myself and my body, to the best of my abilities, doesn’t mean that I can’t love myself where I am right now.
And right now, today, that means getting to know and love the stranger in the mirror.
“HARO and CRHE point to the reality that homeschooling fails some children colossally. This is because homeschooling is only as good as the parents it relies on, and the resources those parents have to offer. In the hands of parents like Claire’s, homeschooling can be a powerful tool promoting children’s wellbeing. In the hands of parents who lack the resources or knowledge to provide an education, on the other hand, homeschooling can leave children with severe educational deficiencies. And in the hands of controlling or abusive parents, well, the story may be far, far worse.” Guess What This Boston Magazine Article About a Harvard-Bound Homeschool Grad Neglected to Mention? – Love, Joy, Feminism
“Are you still on disability? Are you back to work yet? – I get this question so many times during a week it makes my head spin.
I’m not back to my IT consulting job.
But I do have a job.
An extremely important job.
Probably the most important job I could ever have.
My full-time job is getting my body healthy so I can fully participate in life. I may not technically go to an office everyday, but my job is a 24/7 labor intensive position. If I screw up performing my duties I personally pay the consequences.
My main job functions include: carrying out my daily rituals, ensuring that I feed myself nutritious secondary food, and paying special attention to my primary food which includes (but not limited to) my relationship with myself, with my family and friends, loving and creative work, staying active and carrying out my life’s purpose.” “Are You Back to Work Yet?” – My Job While On Long-Term Disability – It’s Just A Bad Day
“Even if an 1890s version of Chrisman, or of her husband, would have lived a comfortable and privileged life, they could not have lived it in a vacuum, as the 2010s Chrismans are attempting to do. The social world around them would have demanded that they take some kind of a stance on the mores and ideologies dominant at the time. Would you accept the fact that immigrant children in your town worked in a factory, or protest against it? If you’re female, would you drop your education when your family thought you’d had enough? These are choices that the sealed world of the Chrismans’ re-enactment doesn’t demand of them.” Vox Victorians: Sarah. A. Chrisman’s Essay on living like Victorians is preposterous – Salon
“Attempts to describe this constellation of groups as “quiverfull” run into serious definitional problems. While quiverfull rhetorics pervade many if not most of these overlapping circles, the number of families that give up birth control entirely is small, and even these don’t generally use the term “quiverfull” to describe themselves. One might argue that this subculture is better termed “patriarchal” than “quiverfull,” but even then I am given pause when I remember my mother’s experience at the Above Rubies conference she attended, and when I think of all of the letters the Pearls receive from women who desperately want to leave their childbearing up to God only to face resistance from their husbands.” A Quiverfull of Definitions – Love, Joy, Feminism
“I wrote recently about some of the many definitional issues surrounding the term “quiverfull.” If you have not already read that post, you can do so here. But in this post I want to go farther and argue that we need to be calling the Duggars ATI, not quiverfull, because their primary identification is with Bill Gothard’s Advanced Training Institute and their quiverfull beliefs stem from that organization. More generally, I would argue that accuracy demands that we be clear about what leaders and what organizations any given Christian homeschooling family follows. This is because umbrella terms like “quiverfull” or “Christian patriarchy” erase and blur distinctions that can be critically important.” A Case for Calling the Duggars ATI Rather Than Quiverfull – Love, Joy, Feminism
“But beyond the issue of abortion, the 8th amendment also has a huge impact on the care that pregnant women receive in Irish maternity services. This is the hidden impact of the 8th amendment, that often women only become aware of when they are consumers of maternity services, and their care and bodily autonomy is compromised where there is an actual or perceived conflict between the mother’s health and the right of the foetus to be born alive.” The 8th Amendment and Maternity Care – Parents for Choice
“We shouldn’t want a better underclass. We should want no underclass, a world in which there might be some inequality but deep poverty is a thing of the past. A decent society shouldn’t try to build a better aristocracy. It should try to achieve a reasonable and rising standard of living for all.” The case against equality of opportunity – Vox
“I find that we as a society use the term “crazy” in a very lazy way. The same is true of similar terms, such as “insane.” We use these terms as a sort of catch-all when there are generally far more specific and accurate words available for what we are describing. We use the term “crazy” when we could use other terms, such as illogical, lying, ignorant, uninformed, bigot, toxic, rude, self-centered, egotistical, smug, selfish, pompous, self aggrandizing, entitled, misinformed, misled, confused, absurd, fraud, obtuse, shallow, or extremist.” No Ableist Slurs, Please! – Love, Joy, Feminism
Beauty & Body Image
A lesson I’m trying to learn at the moment: “There is no “wrong” way to have a body.
Understanding these truths will allow you to pursue improvements to health and fitness from a place of self-love, empowerment, and personal revelation. You will be able to make decisions about the food you consume and the fitness you perform based on the feedback your body is giving you, and what is going to nourish your body and make you feel energized, strong, and fulfilled.
Having the mindset that you need to “get your body back” often means changes are pursued from a place of self-hate or shame. Feeling shame or guilt for the way you look, what you ate, or the workouts you didn’t do typically results in trying to make your “wrongs” right with punishing actions, like food restriction, overexercising, or mental chastising. Often times, these behaviors are damaging to both physical and mental health, and come with incredibly ugly consequences.
Happiness is not a weight or shape, and the body you “had” is not superior to the body you have now.
Knowing that you are worthy, right now – in this moment, gives you the freedom to work with your body when pursuing health. It means giving yourself the flexibility to eat more or rest when needed, and doing workouts that you actually enjoy – not just doing the ones you think you “should” do.” An Open Letter to Women Who Say “I Just Want My Body Back” – Coconuts and Kettlebells
“Pregnancy hasn’t always been so popular. Up until the 1990s, to be “with child” was considered shameful, and women went to great lengths to conceal their “condition.” In addition to trying to avoid discrimination in the workplace, women hid their pregnancies for as long as possible. Any indication of a woman possessing sexuality was seen as shameful, especially if she was pregnant — the ultimate proof that she was sexually active (even if she was married). Fashion trends reflected this cultural view, exemplified by tent-shaped dresses and unflattering maternity muumuus.” The Evolution of Pregnancy: From Shame to Post-baby Bodies and Kim Kardashian West – Adios Barbie
“Basically, you grew up in your childhood learning to feel comfy with only a certain level of happiness. Maybe you grew up used to eighty percent happiness. Or only seventy-five percent. Or seventeen percent. When this concentration shifts—even if it’s upwards—you will then start to feel twitchy, because this new zone feels so unfamiliar. As a result you might instinctively want to do something self-sabotaging, so you can shift your happiness concentration back down, down, down, down, down to your familiar zone—your “masochistic equilibrium.” Or, as mentioned above, you might simply choose situations right from the start which bring you a familiar level of pain, so as to match the “masochistic equilibrium” you grew up with.” Why people self-sabotage their happiness – Karen Salmansohn
“Tears are a stress reducer that heal our bodies. For both men and women, they are a sign of strength, not weakness.
There are times when the body needs to release pent up emotions so they don’t physically manifest as fatigue or pain.
To stay healthy and release stress, I encourage my patients to cry.
Tears are your body’s release valve for stress, sadness, grief, anxiety, and frustration. Also, you can have tears of joy, say when a child is born or tears of relief when a difficulty has passed.
I’m always grateful when I can cry.” The Power of Tears to Heal – Elephant Journal
“In September of 2012, I opened a new chapter in my blogging by talking about vulnerability and how it is so important to story telling and human connection. I absolutely believe that and understood that concept looong before I ever started blogging in 2009. Even though I believe that and am actively working here to form deep human connections, specifically around the struggle of illness and the journey to health, it is still sometimes really tough for me to be truly open and vulnerable.” Insecurity: What Happens Behind the Scenes – Autoimmune Paleo
“Autoimmunity is tricky. Once our immune system ramps up into overdrive, it takes time for it to calm back down. While we hope a flare will pass quickly, sometimes it takes a couple of months before we feel “back to normal.” This doesn’t mean we need to troubleshoot. Really, we just need to give ourselves time. This is an opportunity to focus on something else. It’s easy to get obsessed with autoimmune healing, where every free minute is spent researching the science of our disease or the latest intervention. Do you have hobbies and interests outside of autoimmune healing? If not, it’s time to get some. Freeing ourselves from worry can be an important step toward feeling better.” Navigating Setbacks – Phoenix Helix
“Apitherapy is the art of using bee products – everything from honey to venom – to have more energy and to control your biology. Modern science is now discovering the power of bee products, but we’re hardly the first people to use bees as a source of natural medicine. In fact, apitherapy may be one of the oldest biohacks around; its origins trace back to ancient Greece, Egypt, and China .” Apitherapy: The Many Benefits of Bee Products – Bulletproof Executive
“At the clinic I rarely met women, young or old, who understand their fertility and what happens during the menstrual cycle. They all know about the blood, although not always why they bleed. But few know anything about what happens between periods. No one has told them.
Why have we kept this information from young women? Why do we tell them they can get pregnant any time of the month? If it’s to encourage young people to use protection when they have sex, it doesn’t seem to work. We have given out countless morning after pills (emergency contraception pills) to young women who tell us they always use condoms except that once when they didn’t and guess when that one time usually is? You got it, just at their most fertile time. They have no idea when that is or how their body can clue them in about it.” What We Need to Teach Young Women About Their Bodies – Ruth Miller – Huffington Post
“I am a skeptic, known for my criticisms of stretching.1However, I do enjoy stretching, and even I believe that diligent stretching can increase flexibility, because that’s the one effect of stretching that research has backed up. So for thirty days this summer I optimistically2 stretched my hamstrings — an experiment in the “lab of me.” I was truly disciplined: four full minutes of intense stretching per leg, per day. I did every stretch in a piping hot steam room, which is usually considered an ideal circumstance for stretching, whether that is true or not. What happened?” Stretching for Flexibility, A Personal Experiment – Pain Science
I was too busy with wedding preparations to put together the quick reviews for December, there’s so many books to get through that I’ve decided to only cover up until the end of 2015 here, and the rest will be covered next month.
The Art of Home-making by Alison May ($2.94 on Kindle): May is the woman behind BrocanteHome, and this book is a wonderful collection of her inspirational and thought-provoking essays on how to turn your home into your perfect nest.
Hild by Nicola Griffith*: Fascinating historical novel on the early life of St Hilda of Whitby, absolutely loved it. (Full Review)
You Are Your Own Best Medicine: A Doctor’s Advice on the Body’s Natural Healing Powers by Frédérick Saldmann, M.D.*: Based on the title I would’ve expected You Are Your Own Best Medicine to deal with how we can heal ourselves from disease – but the content was pretty much exclusively about preventing chronic disease. That would all be well and good, if the content was “based on the latest research”, as the book claims, but the vast majority of the content are things that have been written about for years. If you’ve never read anything on health, this isn’t the worst place to start, but it’s far from the best either.
The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro: I really don’t know how to feel about Ishiguro’s latest novel. His works are very hit and miss for me – I either love them – or I find them very confusing and senseless. I’m afraid The Buried Giant is mostly in the latter category. In the end I find myself as confused, as the people living in the medieval fog of the novel. If you haven’t read Ishiguro before I suggest you start with Never Let Me Go or The Remains of the Day.
The Herbal Apothecary: 100 Medicinal Herbs and How to Use Them by JJ Pursell*: A visually stunning and beautiful book, which covers in depth 100 different medicinal herbs, but also the many ways to store, and use them. How to put together compounds, treatment plans etc. I received an advanced reader’s copy from Netgalley, but loved it so much that I am ordering my own copy to keep on hand.
Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar by Cheryl Strayed (currently $1.48 on Kindle): One of the most beautiful, inspirational and thought-provoking books I have ever read. Cheryl Strayed, aka Dear Sugar, wrote an advice column for The Rumpus, and her advice goes from the profound to the heartbreakingly honest. I’ll be writing a full review, suffice it to say that I can’t recommend this enough.
The Palest Ink by Kay Bratt*: While I understand that the author spent some time in China herself, I did not get the feeling that she fully knew/understood this time in Chinese history. I’ve read several books by Chinese authors covering the same time period, and they had a very different feeling to them.
The Danish Girl by David Ebershoff*: The fictionalized version of the life of Lili Elbe, one of the first transwomen to go through gender confirmation surgery. While well-written, and a good story on it’s own, I was once again disappointed by a so-called historical novel choosing to completely disregard basic facts. I’ll be writing a full review comparing The Danish Girl to Lili, which is based on her own writings.
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (free on Kindle): I listened to the audio recordings with the always excellent commentary from Heather Ordover on Craft Lit. I read Little women as a child, but it is always fun to revisit books from your childhood and see how your memories compare to the actual story.
Cleopatra by Ernle Bradford* ($4.40 on Kindle): Decent overview of the last Ptolemaic queen of Egypt, insight into who she really was, and her relationships first with Julius Caesar and later with Mark Anothony.
The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde: I listened to a dramatized recording from Audible starring James Marsters *swoon*. It was absolutely lovely, funny and thought-provoking. Highly recommended.
The Oil Pulling Miracle: Detoxify, Simply and Effectively by Birgit Frohn*: While the book gives a decent introduction to oil pulling, covering the steps and the various oils that can be used for this purpose, I didn’t find many scientific references, and the last half of the book was filled with non-scientific detox methods without any kind of references.