Posts in Grow Mofo
Grab Your Parachute, Bitches! Self-Care as Calculated Risk

But in my own self-care practice, I began to notice a trend of shielding myself from discomfort. I can send an e-mail instead of call so that I don’t have to deal with my phone anxiety. I can eat a lavish take-out meal instead of confronting my flawed coping mechanism of overeating. I can binge watch The Office instead of processing that microaggression I did earlier that day and making a commitment of how to do better next time.

I can drastically manipulate my environment so that I become the most functional, healthy, wise, self-cared-for individual...in my living room.

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Love and Ashes: Re-Examining My Understanding of Lent

Sometimes my fasts were thinly veiled diets, leaving my far more concerned with how my body would look after forty days of no dessert than the condition of my heart. Other times I would choose something far too ambitious and cave within the first week, leaving me with the uncomfortable conclusion that I must like Netflix more than Jesus. Occasionally I would see it through and experience a half-hearted sense of accomplishment. I did the thing; I got the gold star. But sitting there in the pew on Easter morning, belly full of donuts and TV privileges restored, I didn’t feel any “closer to God”--another pervasive church phrase. I drifted from the practice along the same timeline as I drifted from the Church. Who needed one more way to feel like a failure?

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The Work is Waiting: The Obnoxious Truth When Life Is Pretty Chill

This deferment of happiness, the idea that everything will be fine when X, Y, Z happens is a particularly insidious one because it’s a half-truth. When our external circumstances improve, we do feel better. But if that were the end of it, then post-traumatic stress disorder wouldn’t exist. Temporary things can permanently alter our brains. We don’t just moonwalk out of survival mode the moment danger has passed, even if at first it feels that way. The work--the dumb, vital, boring, beautiful, infuriating, transformative work--is waiting for us as soon as the honeymoon is over.

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New Year, New You! (Just kidding)

Last year I wrote a blog post I never published about how I'd stopped setting resolutions to transform my body, mind and soul into the equivalent of Gwyneth Paltrow's glowing steamed yoni. Not true. But this year, seriously, I am not transforming. No drastic weight loss, no finished book in 30 days. None of that shit. This year, it's all about the slow, methodical, incremental change that is a gentle life.

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Sit Down, Be Humble: My Decision to Start Seeing a Therapist

For an entire week I stopped doing any housework whatsoever, letting dishes overflow and clutter pile like a landfill on top of our dining room table. I stopped eating because my stomach was continually in knots. I stopped talking to my friends. I cried multiple times a day for no particular reason I was able to identify. After getting the kids to bed, I would sit silently on the sofa for hours, paralyzed. I felt like my anxiety had been cranked to eleven and blown the circuit on my brain. I just...didn't work anymore.

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Self Care and the Scarcity Trap

Too often, when I say I'm enacting self-care, what I really mean is that I'm ramming my anxiety down my own throat in the form of whole pints of ice cream only to existentially puke it back up the moment the sugar high leaves me. Or I'm using Netflix to put off difficult conversations and tough choices which are the hard, necessary work of building character. When self-care gets distilled down to gratifying your short-term desires at the expense of your long-term health and growth, it ceases to actually be care. It becomes something delusional. And, if you've been swimming in the self-care rhetoric like me, pretty damn hard to pin down and face.

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Earth Day Thoughts From A Sustainability Poser

The exact moment that I became aware that my actions had a direct effect on the environment occurred on or around Earth Day 1996, when my fourth-grade teacher had us this PSA video about water conservation, which shows a little boy letting the faucet run while he brushes his teeth on the right side of the screen and a pond rapidly draining on the left, threatening to beach the fish that lives there until he calls the boy on the phone and tells him to maybe stop being such a thoughtless asshat and turn the water off.

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Finding Balance With Outside Affirmation Part 2

To all of this work, both personal and professional, I brought a Puritanical belief that I was creating spiritual value for myself through labor. It became my primary love language--I showed God love by being the first to volunteer at the homeless shelter on Thanksgiving. I showed my roommate love by doing her half of the dishes without being asked. I showed my boyfriend love through elaborate handmade gifts. And when people complimented my work or told me I did a good job, I felt love in return. 

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My Unlikely Queerness part 1

But for others it may have come as somewhat of a surprise, because vests or no vests, I’m still a thirty-year-old married mom, and thirty-year-old married moms don’t typically come out unless it’s accompanied by divorce papers and a drastic haircut.

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