Don’t think about positivity…

You know that thing people say, ‘don’t think of a monkey’ and then they love to see how you can’t help but think only of a monkey?

What we focus on expands until it fills our awareness.

That’s why I choose to focus on positive thoughts, including positive thoughts about feminism. If I were to focus constantly on what’s being done wrong without offering a positive solution to focus on, what’s wrong couldn’t help but be perpetuated. When a person has nothing to replace old behavior with, they continue old behavior.

I don’t have all the answers. Nope. I know people wish to get all the answers from one place, or find a magic solution that solves all their problems. But the reality of life is that it takes persistent work to effect good change in the world. Small changes successfully implemented in one’s own life can make a bigger change than publicized revolutions that ultimately miss their mark.

Indulging in negativity makes me feel negatively, so I avoid it. I avoid sarcasm, because it makes me feel sad and states what I consider to be a lie in a way that could sound like truth if it isn’t recognized as sarcasm. So I worked really hard to learn to say things in a positive way and I continue to work to speak so. It’s important to me and when I do it well it absolutely transforms my interactions with others.

I believe goodness practiced softens rough edges. I believe people find it easier to listen when trust is there and truths are spoken calmly. Firmly, and calmly. I believe in backing up fellow women when they speak their truth, saying ‘I know what you’re talking about, that’s how I feel about it, too,’ to counteract the common discounting of women’s experience. And even when we disagree I believe in listening and showing respect.

I was taught that all people are equal, inherently. All people deserve the same amount of respect as one another. Some folks relinquish their sense of honor by their behavior and they still deserve basic human respect, even if not the sort of honor given someone who has earned it with positive actions.

I’m feeling good about focusing on the positive.

See Your Awesome

I just read a beautiful article I would love to share with you:

http://www.livingandlifedesigned.com/help-children-build-body-confidence-struggle/

Written by a mother of three, she addresses how to help children build a positive body image. As with most things, it starts from within. After reading the article, what positive heart characteristics can you list about yourself?

5 things I know are good about me:

Creative, Resilient, Compassionate, Considerate, Intelligent

Why run for president?

 

This article makes some good points. I disagree personally about the bit that ‘president’, seeming such a male office, is intimidating to women because they think they won’t have much of a chance to win. However, that may be true for some. For me personally, I wouldn’t want to be president because I think it’s immensely stressful and also awful for any one person to be so much in the spotlight. I want a more peaceful lifestyle for myself. I know that there are men who feel that way, too.

I think the article makes an excellent point that I was already planning to write about; that maybe there just aren’t that many women seeking public office. To get more women in positions of authority, maybe we need more candidates. I personally have no clue what could accomplish that goal, what could encourage women toward that end. Do you? Are you a woman interested in politics? Make a comment.

I have a few clues about what isn’t helping, though. There are enough women focusing on makeup and beauty alone that multiple youtube ‘vloggers’ make a living in the multi-millions from posting their makeup and hair tutorials.

I wish them no ill whatsoever. I personally find their makeup tutorials helpful when I choose to wear makeup. What I’m saying is that a lot of women are spending a LOT of time and money and FOCUS on their image. Not their minds, ambitions, or working for change in the world. Are you personally willing to shift those priorities for yourself? Do you know how much time out of any given day you spend on image? And more importantly, how much you spend developing your mind or working for positive change in the world?

I think the condition of focusing on image has a lot to do with how people are brought up, pressures faced at school and in the workplace, and media consumption. These ways of living are ingrained. But the solutions are at our fingertips and EVERY positive change makes a positive impact. Do what you can, today, right now. And then when it’s ‘right now’ again, do what you can then, too.

Share your positive actions here! As a community we need to support one another.

10 Months

It’s been 10 months since I last published a post on this blog. I’d considered closing it down, removing it from the internet. Not for any particular reason other than that maybe my fire had gone out. Understand, I was really quite happy (and am still, in other areas of my life). I’ve been really busy in a good way. And I felt less need to make change. But I kept this blog, live and on the internet.

There are so many things that I’ve written for it that I value. And of course I continue to believe in the worth of women. Yet I had stopped believing for awhile that continuing to strive for change was necessary. Things seemed so good!

With the recent election came a wake up call. Are some people so desperate that a woman wouldn’t run the US that they elected someone with no political experience and plenty of major flaws? Or maybe that has nothing to do with it. I’ve been busy doing other things important to me but some of those will take a temporary sideline so I can do some work for change. Writing doesn’t always feel* like the most practical work, however if it gives good people hope then it finds its value there.

I’ll write again.

 

*feelings are not facts!

Films

I’ve done some film-review posts and this is different. At least, mostly. I am just mining my netflix ‘list’ for films and series that have casts with many women or strong roles for women and which I have liked enough that I would watch again (or in some cases have already watched several times).

 

Star Wars (the Force Awakens) – Ray was so cool! (and ok, its not on netflix yet)

Buffy the Vampire Slayer -have to say though, there is a LOT of sexism and objectification in the series. There is also a lot of countering-sexism, and kicking-butt of those who objectify. Soooo…. I make no claims other than that I like the series anyway. And notice how I didn’t say ‘objectifying women’… unfortunately everyone is objectified in this show– and I mention it because it’s wrong. (fans get the reference? ok.)

Once Upon a Time -SO many strong female roles. It’s incredible. So happy.

Ghost Whisperer -JLH’s character is my favorite.

Populaire -in French. Spunky retro-style film.

Hjørdis -a Danish schoolteacher makes a difference about bullying. Beautiful story.

Cowgirls ‘N’ Angels -can’t remember it all that well.

Rosemary & Thyme -hehehe. (no really, that’s all I have to say)

The Secret of Moonacre -beautiful visuals!

Mona Lisa SmileI reviewed this one. 

Carolina -kinda weird but hey, aren’t we all?

The Last Keepers -Got to believe we are maaagicccck. Just kidding, that song is not in the film at all.

The Addams Family -always.

So there we have it! Watch them if you like. If you have some positive things to contribute, comment below.

Start Doing Things the Way You Want Them Done

This is a bold statement, I realize that, and you have excuses why you “can’t” but I assure you, anything you want to do, you Can do.

Are you one of the people in your organization at work who deals with who is paid what amount? Go in and look at whether there are male and female employees there who are doing the same work. Even-out the pay between them.

Do you want to read books where the default pronoun is ‘she’? As in, “when any human feels they are capable of a task, she will complete that task with confidence” or myriad other examples. So write those books. Write those blog posts.

Do you want to fight rape on a real and personal level? Take reasonable precautions; Don’t invite people over until you know them really well, avoid getting completely intoxicated, and when your friends mention ideas of theirs that you think might put them or you in a dangerous situation, speak up and tell them so! Respect your instincts. Practice speaking up for yourself on all kinds of things, so that you make it a practice of making your needs and intentions clear.

And then my favorite: Do you want to see media that *respects* women? Create it. Create movies that don’t question female power and agency; they exhibit it. Create advertisements (even unofficial ones!) that show healthy women whose features aren’t obscured by makeup and don’t bother to call attention to the fact. Calling attention to something makes it increase, as it is the focus. So create the world as you’d like it. Show these strong and beautiful ideas of yours with confidence and abandon!

And keep it positive.

Lindsey Stirling [is Awesome]

So I’ve liked Lindsey Stirling’s music from the first time I heard it. I’m also into Steampunk. Hence this particular choice to showcase her talent and general awesomeness:

She doesn’t sacrifice a thing. This video is fun with a strong female empowerment message. She’s portrayed as a formidable rival for the outlaw as well as a good friend to her female co-workers and a hero responsible for the safety of the town.

Not only does she show up as strong and good, but also adorable and confident. And she fights off the bank robbers with music and gadgetry, on equal footing. My favorite part is that the costumes are humanizing, which is a refreshing break from music video traditions.

On top of all this cool, the video is her own concept. So rock on, Lindsey!

I absolutely love it. What’s your favorite Lindsey Stirling song?