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Don't Let Anybody Tell You
Last Week’s Tools:
It's been an amazing week. Practicing unashamed tenderness toward myself has elevated my mood and made me more resilient and safe in my body. Have you noticed it, too? If not that, what difference has practicing badass love for your wonderful body made in your life?
Now, after an additional week of developing that loving feeling for the bodies—I hope you’ve been kissing your own hands and feet—it’s time to move to the next steps.
But before we do, let me share something that showed me how well the 2019 badass challenge is working on me.
A few nights ago, laying in bed—yes, that’s where I do most of my reading—an essay on the New York Times website grabbed my attention. It started with the following sentence, “Maybe because we’re living in a dystopia…”
My eyes followed right along as the sentence went on. But I noticed I wasn’t absorbing what else was in it. Instead, my brain hollered, Wait a minute! Wait! It was like a car that keeps going after it went bumpety bump over something lying in the road, then suddenly hits the brakes so hard, the rear end comes up. Then it lays down rubber a it speeds in reverse to have a look.
My brain wanted to know, What did I just run over? “Because we’re living in dystopia…” After reading this a second time, my brain went, Oh, so it’s come to that; I didn’t realize things have gotten this bad. But then it said, Hell f****** no. Maybe this is the view from American. Maybe, right now the US feels dystopian. But, in reality, things are looking up! For example, 194 of the 195 nations of this little blue world have signed on to the Paris Climate Accord to avert the climatocalypse. The one holdout, Number 195, is the United States. Maybe that’s part of why the view from here can look dystopian right now. And maybe also because healthcare isn’t a basic feature in this country. But it is in many, many other nations. The statistician, Hans Rosling – I wrote about his book, Factfulness here – gave us hundreds of charts, wrote books, gave TED talks in which he showed us all the ways in which the world relentlessly keeps getting better. You can read about it here, here, here, and here, and here, and here. And that’s just for starters!
This is why I not only refuse but refute the dystopian world view.
To you, dear reader, I say, if this perspective, which is becoming more widespread, has wiggling its way into your head, shake it out! Don’t let anyone pull that softly sad blanket over your head. No matter how romantically melancholy it is, it’s not designed to comfort you. It’s meant to hold you in place the better to pummel you with horror stories of the world gone grievously mad. So, shake yourself awake and free! Throw that blanket off!
Here is a great way you can escape the nasty blanket party: Read news from other countries and use the translate function by putting your mouse anywhere on the page, right-click and scroll down to "translate this page" (on a PC). Here are some great resources from around the world: Germany, France, Great Britain, Israel, Middle East, India, Russia, China
I wanted to share the above story with you because, as I notice my reaction, I realized, hold up, I’m being a badass right now! I’m not letting this statement slide. I'm not letting it bring me down while I’m not looking. In the past, I’ve sometimes deferred to institutions and individuals I admire. OK, not just sometimes. But since the start of the badass challenge, I’m better at resisting catastrophizing, my own and others’. I'm more discerning and selective as to what I'll internalize.
What have you noticed that has change for you since the Challenge began in January?
Starting next week, I’m upping the ante. I think I'm ready. Are you with me? Let’s do some really scary s***! The stuff we don't want to do but have to if we want to step into our power so fully that we create the lives we want to live, the goal of the 2019 Badass Challenge. (By the way, I plan to apologize for all the cursing if I see in the future that that was faux-badasserie posturing. Right now, it feels real and authentic.)
In conclusion, we can't help but internalize some (or a lot) of what the world around us presents to us. But we can balance it and maybe neutralize it by actively seeking out what we want to have an influence on us. For that purpose, this week, I am seeking out idols to inspire me with their badasserie. It's going to be an easy job. Getting all involved in badasserie, I learn about new badasses every day, it seems like.
This coming week’s work in bullets:
Here are three new ones to inspire me like crazy this week with their virtuosity. All of them drummers: Cora Dunham, Terri Lyne Carrington & Nikki Glaspie – That video begins with an insight-giving chat between the two monumental drummers. Then they play together on a beautiful song, starting at 9:33. And here is Nikki, nothing but highlights. And Carrington again. OMG! Best drummer I’ve ever watched.
Now go and find a badass or several for yourself this week.
Thank you so much for reading. I love you. No matter what's going on inside of me, in my life and in the world, I believe you are whole and wise and, because I am so inclined, divine, perfect as you are, right now, and as you are not, right now. Bye for now.
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Henry India Holden
I write about the divineness of life in its many forms. Writer, artist, spiritual director, life coach, tarotist. Nonbinary.