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February 2019

Meditation on Meditation

Download-2Generally, I'm about 20 years behind trends, so I only just started a meditation practice this winter. Much of my adult life, I've been told by well-meaning people - or passive aggressive people, or both - that I needed to meditate. This Anxiety Girl is high strung, of course, and it shows.

In my book, telling an anxious person to relax is akin to telling a depressed person to cheer up. Do they think I enjoy anxiety? Do they believe I don't aspire to a less frightened, worrisome, thoughts racing, disaster-imagining mind? See? I'm getting worked up again.

Anyway, what finally inspired me to meditate was my doctor. I was worried about becoming forgetful, (okay, Anxiety Girl thought she was losing her mind) and the doc had two main suggestions. One - stop taking Tylenol PM to sleep. The "PM" is basically antihistamine, and can screw up your memory over time. Two - try meditation. Because she is a physician I respect, I did not roll my eyes in front of her.

I tend to be a compliant little thing, so I dutifully downloaded a meditation app. (I also weaned myself Download-3off the Tylenol PM but that's another story.) Much to my shock, I am really, really enjoying the practice. I've done some basic series, a series on balance, a series on anxiety and just finished a series on appreciation. It really does calm me and make me feel better and more clear-headed.

Of course, I'm the opposite of a natural. There's a point during each session when the kind voice on the app says to let your mind just do what it wants for a minute - don't worry about focusing on the breath or the subject. By that point, chances are that my mind was no longer focused on the breath anyway. But each time, I get this image of my brain neurons suddenly getting permission to  party and race around, squealing and jumping up and down. Then the mellow voice tells me to gently bring my attention back to the breath.

In out. In out. In out. 

Namaste.

 

 

 

 

 

 


I Can't Write This Post

Download...Because I'm not supposed to post anything on social media about the memoir class I co-teach. I'm not naming names. But I do believe I've previously posted that to get to our classroom, we need multiple security clearances, and the men that we are teaching are not going anywhere for a very long time.

The men's writing continues to amaze me. There are two worlds 45 minutes from where I live, about which I've been completely ignorant. About 40 minutes - okay may an hour - south, and I'm in the neighborhood where  many of these guys grew up. About 45 minutes to the north west, and I'm at the place they currently reside. Both places are rich with despair. 

Painstakingly and with courage, every week these men chronicle their lives, digging deep into their experiences. I don't romanticize what they've done. But I'm so grateful to be able to help them  get their fear, anger, regret, shame, hope, longing and love from out of their heads and on to paper.

 


Culture Clash

Download-3Media job postings arrive in my mailbox with some regularity. These two came back to back:

Email Marketing Assistant for Get The Guy - a website for women Images-1written by a man on...well, how to get the guy. You know - "Secrets to Meeting, Attracting and Keeping Your Mister Right" and how to "Attract Any Man."

This was listed just above (yes above) the listing for Executive Editor of Bitch Media, whose mission is "to provide and encourage an engaged feminist response to media and popular culture." Articles included "Why is Hollywood Still Shortchanging Women Directors? and "Feminista Jones Wants Black Women to Reclaim their space."

Ah, America. Where even job postings are polarized.