release, release, release

release, release, release

I think of y'all all the time, did you know that?

And this morning, a "release & gather" meditation felt like the most heartfelt offering. So I just hit record, let it flow, and now I'm sending it to you.

Why? Because this is what's been present for me and folks around me, and I thought it would be helpful for you.

Tuesday night, after asking for some support to help me let go of some unhelpful energetic baggage, I ended up leading a meditation on the topic for five other beautiful folks in my queer collective house.

Then last night, I held space for a friend struggling with the feelings of disgust she had at the internalized fatphobic, patriarchical thoughts impacting her experience relating to other people's eating habits. The shit that we don't even like to admit to ourselves that we're thinking, let alone others.

I listened. I validated that it comes from patriarchy.

I told her -- You're SO not alone in those thoughts, and it does not make you a bad person.

In fact, noticing them with compassion and critical consciousness is the first step to letting them go.

Unhelpful thinking that feels harmful to yourself and others is the worst. And it's not your fault. That's what happens just living in our culture, and typically without active, conscious letting go of these thought patterns they stay, quite persistently. They need conscious deprogramming. That is why I do what I do. That is why we need each other and support to be with the hard thoughts / feelings, and to chose to let them go.

I hope that this meditation can be useful in that endeavor.

It's 14.5 minutes, totally raw and uncut -- recorded from my meditation cushion just a half hour ago, straight to you.

Feel free to let me know what you think.



my most important act of self care yesterday

my most important act of self care yesterday

Yesterday, I cried. Quite a lot. Hard. Not a tear down my cheek. Ugly crying.

Crying was my most important act of self care yesterday. Not going to yoga, not attending a group call, not reaching out for support, not spending time with people I loved, not cuddles... crying. If I hadn't let myself cry, those emotions would likely still be really stuck in me. They're still there - and I feel a lot more peaceful this morning because I let myself cry.

At my semester long yoga & leadership development program I did almost 10 years ago, I remember distinctly them telling us to not give people who were crying kleenex unless they indicated they wanted them, because it could send the message "stop crying."

It's no wonder we don't feel our feelings or cry (especially if we are more masculine presenting or raised male) -- we're told not to. There are many other ways that we have and continue to externally receive this message to stop crying -- shh, don't cry, you're okay / you'll be okay / it's okay...

We don't need to change or fix tears -- they're simply part of the process of being human and allowing the feelings that come up.

Sometimes it just doesn't feel okay, and crying is 100% the most skillful way of allowing the emotions to flow.

Here's what I tried to do with my feelings before letting them flow that didn't work out so well:
  1. Try to ignore them
  2. Judge them, trying to make them different
  3. Try to move immediately to "fixing" the situation
A friend who knew the context of my sadness gave me an immensely helpful response when I reached out yesterday.

I now pass on these helpful reminders to skillfully allow yourself to cry:
  1. Invitation to feel your feelings
  2. Validation -- they make sense
  3. A reminder that they will not last, and that once you allow them and release them you'll have space to look directly towards my challenge
So... why bother feeling? What's the benefit of allowing yourself to cry?
  1. You will feel more connected to yourself
  2. You can be more fully yourself
  3. By allowing the emotions to flow you can release them and move on

So what's this to do with Queer Body Love?

I've been thinking a lot about what Queer Body Love means to me as I redesign my website (coming soon!), and a lot of it is becoming okay with ourselves.

To be okay with ourselves, we have to know what's there. We might not always like it, and that's when we typically go through the list above of "unhelpful" ways of dealing with emotions.

Allowing and accepting your feelings creates space for you.

But don't take it from me. Try it on.

The next time you find some emotions lurking underneath the surface that you may be trying to ignore, judge or fix, remember this email, and see what it might be like to let them express themselves, whether that be through crying or some other means.

See how that feels, and let me know if you'd like by leaving a comment.

Sending much love,