It’s the last day of September!! Can you believe we’re entering October already?? It’s still warm here, but I’m loving the breeze and being able to wear my favourite clothing item: ripped jeans!!
My week has been enjoyable and busy; full of psychological pondering as always, and balanced by a good amount of exercise and socialising.
Here are my favourites for this week:
Have you seen “Whiplash” starring J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller? The movie was released in 2014, but I didn’t see it until recently. I don’t think the movie is amazing plot-wise, but I don’t think it’s meant to be. It’s a beautiful exploration of the dynamic between an aspiring drum student and a well-accomplished maestro. The story explores the theme of an abusive authority figure in a very real way. The maestro is a holistic character; he is not a totally-evil villain (as abusive personalities are often depicted in society). In fact, at times, he appears vulnerable, sweet, likeable. And just after he boosts someone’s belief in themselves, he rip them to shreds in a visceral way.
The story of the drummer gives us an insightful glimpse into aspiration, pressure, and self-worth. It gives us an idea of what it’s like to need the recognition of someone who might only give it to you if you manage not to crumble under their force.
The music is incredible and there is something very cathartic about the banging of drums, the sweat and the blood.
The Dark Chocolate Cake from Lulu Cafe. I ordered this cake for my father’s birthday last Monday. It was absolutely delicious. The deep taste of moist dark chocolate cake, and the creamy frosting. What I love about the frosting is that it’s not too sweet, it’s more chocolate than anything else. Mmmm, I’m thinking about ordering another one…who’s birthday is next???
In “Shrinking Women“, Lily Myers speaks about her struggles with eating and how they’ve been passed down to her by the women in her family. She looks at the differences between the way her brother and herself have been raised: her brother taught to be boisterous and seek acknowledgement, herself taught to be quiet and accomodating. She mentions how her preoccupation with size and food makes it difficult for her to be present in her existence. What I love about this poem is that she touches on the shame that is present in all issues with food; she describes her mother as a “fugitive stealing calories to which she does not feel entitled”. How beautiful is that stanza? The underlying shame influencing the mother’s behaviour, the voice inside her head that tells her she is “not good enough” and that she “does not deserve”.
Lily says, “I either mimick or hate her and I don’t want to do either anymore. But the burden of this house has followed me across the country.” This stanza really stands out to me. This relationship with food is ingrained in her, and it irritates her how even with awareness she cannot shake it off. She touches on the complexity of her emotions – her anger towards her family for teaching her this way of being, and her compassion for them for also being this way.
If you like poetry, check out the poem featured on my last Friday Favourites.
Favourite Online Meditation
Lori Granger’s “Be Present” is my go-to guided meditation lately. Although I like to try different meditations, I follow this one often because I know that it works for me. She focusses her listeners on waking up to the present moment. She directs you to get in touch with your breath, the sounds around you, to acknowledge thoughts and let them go, and she guides you through the body. I find this link especially useful when I need help to get focussed for work or if I am about to deal with a difficult situation (a confrontation or being around demanding individuals). It helps me to become calm and centred, enabling me to connect with myself in the present moment. Connecting in this way makes me less reactionary to my environment and more intentionally responsive. I become more aware of the feelings I experience in relation to what’s happening around me. Being in touch with myself and my surroundings at the same time, empowers me to make choices that better support my being. This conscious decision making has the impact of reducing stress and increasing positive feelings.
It is a 16 minute meditation. If you are new to meditation, perhaps start with something shorter. And remember, meditation is a practice; it takes dedication and time to really see the effects.
For more on the effects of mindfulness, but this time through movement, check out my post on yoga and how it helps me cope with chronic pain.
I’m really enjoying “Sleepless feat. Jezzabell Doran” by Flume. Relaxed, feel good music. Good for working with. Even better for leaving the office with!
Have a super good weekend! Listen to what you need and give it to yourself!