Thursday, July 11, 2013

Changing Skies Ahead

There is is flash flood warning for our area of Georgia tonight. There was a severe storm warning last night. And, there have been countless other warnings before that. It seems to rain and storm every day here, lately, with rainfall in the multiple inches some days. 

The doors of our house are swollen shut, making it difficult to open and close them. The garden is soggy. Our roads are flooded in places. The list goes on. What do you think of this weather? Does it seem unusual to you? How is all of this rain affecting your life?

All of these gray and stormy afternoons get me to thinking about how we're all connected with Mother Nature and each other. No one lives in complete isolation. We're each part of something bigger, even when we're alone. No one knows what the next season will bring but climate change sure seems to be happening. So, what does this mean for us? We have to take note and adjust accordingly to survive severe weather-  internally or externally. 

When things feel out of whack, when our sense of balance is thrown off- either by storms or sobbing- we tend to go into survival or fix it mode quickly and naturally. The unknown is uncomfortable for us creatures of habit! But, significant distress doesn't have to signal disaster. Instead, it can signal our need to shift things for the better. Easier sad than done.

One thing that helps is to have an anchor or regulating resource for when the going gets tough. If you're not sure what calms you down, remember, you are the only one who can find that out. Be encouraged by this fact. By experimenting with different ways to self-sooth, you will truly be the expert of your own life and able to practice what works!

I hope that we find ways to stay afloat amongst this changing climate together. Change will keep coming. Let's breathe deep, get creative, and get through this together. You can start by discovering what helps keep you sane. One small change can have a big impact.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Are You A Feminist?

Ah, the dreaded question. The word conjures up negative connotations. And, let's face it, it sounds harsh. But, feminist is not a dirty word or a bad thing. Unless you want to turn back the hands of time, caring about women and other people who are oppressed is the way to go.

Today's feminism is all about empowerment- and not just of women but of all disenfranchised folks. Ending violence against women continues to be a central theme- and also an understanding of the interconnectivity of all oppressions, in which the so-called isms (ie classism, heterosexism, racism) combine to make some of us more vulnerable to oppression than others.

Why care about women and other people who are marginalized? I tend to think we are all important and equally worthy of being in the world just as we are, without the threat of violence.

According to a report hot off the presses from the World Health Organization, more than one in three women worldwide have experienced physical or sexual abuse. The report goes on to suggest why: "The authors describe a number of factors that likely contribute to high levels of violence against women, including economic factors, social norms that support male dominance over women, cultural acceptance of violence against women, and gender inequality in access to wages and education." Interconnectivity of oppressions. 

Why am I writing about this? Contemporary feminism is a wellness based do-it-yourself approach to happiness. As far as counseling goes, an empowering approach is key- regardless of what you call it! You are the expert of your own life and you'll know if it's helping.

Here are a few fun and empowering reads in case you're hungry for more (and my apologies for the formatting errors- blogger seems to be acting up):

Deal with It! A Whole New Approach to Your Body, Brain, and Life as a gURL

By Esther Drill, Rebecca Odes, and Heather McDonald
→ A better way to learn about the birds and the bees.

Cunt: A Declaration of Independence
By Inga Muscio
Candid, funny, and fresh views on traditional feminist issues.

By the Boston Women’s Health Collective

→ Classic text from the second wave of the women’s movement- all about women’s health.

Full Frontal Feminism: A Young Woman's Guide to Why Feminism Matters

By Jessica Valenti

→ Making feminism cool, again.

→ “With an attitude that is fierce, funny, and proud to be female... BUSTing stereotypes about women since 1993.”

→ This e-book is free to download (at the moment)!

Whatever you do, have fun!