About M.

I blog because I believe; that the Divine is in everything and everyone, that respect and support of women is vital, that I have power to change my physical environment for the better... through art, thought, and connection.

Public Displays of Resistance

Involvement in politics in general may not initially seem to be a ‘feminist’ issue, yet I assure you it is. As women are human, and human rights are currently under attack, this is our issue. I believe in what is posted here:

https://www.splcenter.org/20170814/ten-ways-fight-hate-community-response-guide

And this portion of it is what inspired this post:

“Goodness has a First Amendment right, too. We urge you to denounce hate groups and hate crimes and to spread the truth about hate’s threat to a pluralistic society. An informed and unified community is the best defense against hate.

You can spread tolerance through social media and websites, church bulletins, door-to-door fliers, letters to the editor, and print advertisements. Hate shrivels under strong light. Beneath their neo-Nazi exteriors, hatemongers are cowards and are surprisingly subject to public pressure and ostracism.”

So here are some ideas on one method of resistance: T-Shirts.

Social Justice (using recent slogans such as ‘black lives matter’)

Respect Existence or Expect Resistance

Stop Calling them Alt-Right

Silence is Violence

Love thy Neighbor (no exceptions)

Love thy Neighbor (with list)

There is no ‘They’

And no matter what, focus on the positive! Focus on what we Can do. I’m feeling good about wearing my views on my sleeve.

PLEASE POST POSITIVE ACTIVIST T-SHIRT LINKS HERE. Also, buy and wear them! Or even better, make them!! It’s national thrift store day, so buy some blank t-shirts and t-shirt paint or plain black ink or bleach and write something good! Then share your photos!!

Identity

Before beginning, I’ll mention that this is not JUST ‘feminist’. It’s humanist. It’s personal. I read this article and I had to join the conversation: https://medium.com/@jen.margulies/white-supremacy-is-bad-for-the-jews-lets-be-bad-for-white-supremacy-f8abf374353d

 

I am a cis-woman. My heritage is Norwegian, French, German, Scots-Irish, and some other nationalities in smaller amounts. I am an immigrant. I am married and childless. I have a chronic illness that has made life difficult in many ways over the years, including depriving me of consistent employment. I consider myself a proud American, from a beautiful land where there are many amazingly-cool people and a wealth of cultural experiences. This is a land that I want to protect. I advocate for the environment, eat organic when I can, and reduce consumption of goods in my own corner of it all.

I grew up surrounded by Jews whom I love, as well as wonderful people of many other backgrounds. Many of my friends over the years have been gay, trans, adopted, or had a mental or emotional illness. I am a freedom fighter in that I stand up for the marginalized, for goodness, for what is right. I was also the target of bullying for many years, not by my Jewish friends nor Thai nor Jamaican, but by the kids who attended a mostly-“white” “Catholic” school. I put Catholic in quotes there for a reason, because their behavior was anything-but Christian, and actually many of them did not even identify as Catholic nor attend church. I don’t demonize “white” people either, because I’ve known so many good ones, especially my grandparents and my parents. My grandfathers were both loving, progressive-minded men who fought for the Allies in World War 2, one of whom lived with PTSD for the rest of his life. My grandmothers were both strong, loving women who lived with chronic physical illness while raising children and doing other amazing things.

Accepting people as they are is the essence of Love, and Love, as I was taught, is the essence of God. That brings me to another important identity; I’m a Christian. But there’s no faith that is based on Love that I reject. In other words, all faiths that are based on Love, I consider myself part of. In that sense, I am also Jewish, Buddhist, Wiccan, Taoist, Yogic, Muslim, and more. If you ask me what I know about each of these, the answer would vary. But I have faith that they are good. Yet as with any faith, there are those who misuse it to ill-purpose and unfortunately prejudice some people in the process. Sadly, some people choose to set a bad example of what it means to be Christian, or otherwise.

Hate is the primary evil in the world. I was taught growing up that our mission as Christians is to rout out hate and spread love, sewing the Kingdom of God (which is to treat others with love and goodness) in the hearts of everyone we meet.

I’m not trying to lead a movement. I’m sharing who I am, what I believe, and Love as I understand it. I hope that Love takes root in your heart.

Awesome gifts for young girls !

I started shopping for my good friend’s four-year-old’s birthday gift. Not because gift-giving is obligatory societally, but because I’ve known this little kid since she was 4 weeks old and she’s very special to me.

I was blessed as a child with generous relatives and family friends who gave a wide array of the most amazing inspiring beautiful gifts!! So to continue the legacy, here is my first attempt to move past my first thought (Oooooh, sparkly pink tutu!!!!!) and share with you some gifts with greater perceived depth. I say ‘perceived’ because as an artist and costumer, I very much so value beautiful fabric and visual aesthetics and see them as facilitating perception of the beauty of the world.

The age range for the below list is wider than just the 4-year-old crowd, and the price range is on the low side. A lot of these are from ‘amightygirl.com’, which you should definitely check out.

Tool box I had and LOVED as a kid

Book about Rachel Carson, female environmentalist

Book about Female Inventors

Raise Butterflies with this kit!!!!!

Play Camping Set! So cool

Miss Rumphius; A book based on a real woman who made the world more beautiful

And I think that will about exhaust most folks’ willingness to click links, so I’ll save some others for a future post. Keep on raising amazing, intelligent, sparkly-eyed, alive, compassionate girls. We all start little, and then get inspired.

In Case You Were Thinking of Burning Out…

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Come have a talk with me. Let me help you. I believe in the idea that a person needs to rest, recharge, and be kind to themself in order to survive and thrive.

So you’re working for the movement? You’re putting your breath and your strength behind every moment? Take a moment to do the movement a favor, then; you are clearly one of its best advocates, and all of us need you at your best!

Send me a message, in the contact form below or at feelinggoodfeminism (at) gmail (dot) com  (change the things in parentheses to their symbol and remove the spaces, yup!) and we can have a chat about what you need to restore yourself. I happen to have healed from many things over the years and have a treasure trove of solutions to heal the soul, body, and mind.

Your bravery and continuous effort is greatly valued by me. Your message will give me that same joy about feeling valued. Thank you.

 

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One Voice in a Million: You Ain’t Takin’ That From Me!

Love this song: Natasha Bedingfield ‘Strip Me’. About finding a voice and nourishing it.

Today I’m sharing with you that I struggle with this feeling sometimes; I’m just one small voice and what can I change?

But I stand up for my one voice, and look to inspiring examples of people whose one voice, whose insistence, whose decisions change things for others. This video from ‘Clevver News’ mentions that Emma Watson in the live action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ film coming out March 17 of this year is interpreting her ‘Belle’as being an active princess. Belle is that way in the cartoon version as well; active. She’s shown running through fields, riding her horse, exploring a castle, evading wolves in the forest, and saving her father. She inspired me growing up. I can’t tell you how many fields I’ve run through, sometimes with the song from the movie in my mind! “I want adventure in the great wide somewhere, I want it more than I can tell!”

The video states that she didn’t want to wear a corset, and that her Belle will be wearing boots rather than the ballet flats worn by the cartoon version. I love that. I’ve always been a boot-wearing girl, ever since I was little. They are just more comfortable for me. While I didn’t perceive the cartoon Belle as wearing a corset, I think it’s an important decision in the live-action film to encourage women and girls to be healthy, not just to cave to expectations. A lot of fantasy films show women in corsets, which influences our culture toward ‘beauty over comfort’ rather than the healthy reverse, comfort over beauty. As well, people who participate in cosplay (or, dressing in costumes worn by particular characters from media) will have a healthier model to emulate.

Natasha Bedingfield’s song likewise asks ‘who am I if you strip away all the outside stuff’ (referencing fashion and makeup through the visuals of the video), and it’s an important question to ask ourselves. It’s crucial to our happiness (as well as to women’s rights) to seek our inner selves and know who we are without all the ‘dressing up.’ It’s vital to be ‘ok,’ as the songwriter asserts she is, without all the trappings.

I think everyone’s ability to choose who they are and how to express themselves is a treasure. Value your own treasure, make the choices that validate you as a person and support your own values.

If I’m too afraid to make a different choice than the popular choice, then I’m not changing anything. However if I make my own choice regardless of what other people are doing or saying is ‘the thing’, then I have power to be me today.

You ain’t takin’ that from me! (and neither am I.)

Dispelling Self-Doubt, Disrupting the myth of ‘other’

I’d like for you to watch this Tara Brach talk:

Healing Self-Doubt

What I take from her talk at this moment is that we have find a new way to think, to heal from thinking of men and people who disagree with us as being ‘other’. Because, they are human. When we can all hear each other, we can bring peace into situations. Relentless effort, unfathomable peace. It takes commitment to bring about peace and it takes acknowledging humanity in everyone.

Fear engenders only fear. And the extreme manifestation of fear is hate. We are more powerful than that today, and more humble. It is a sad conceit to believe that one is truly better than others. I intend to be humble today, and stronger because of it. I challenge you to put away your anger, fear, or whatever is tying you to the belief of there being ‘others’ today. We are all human, at our deepest levels.

Look into each other’s eyes. Drop the walls in your heart. Walls there only make us more vulnerable anyway, and we are as a movement committed to showing we are strong.

Please listen to the talk at the link I posted. It will begin to heal you if you let it. It’s helping me.

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.