On the patriarchy

Day 18. Long day. Good day but a long day.

I saw a commercial for Botox targeting men in their 50s yesterday. At first I was surprised, then a little delighted, and then discouraged. All in the span of a few seconds.

No one is exempt from the patriarchal beauty standards of an industry built on making people feel they are not lovable…yet. “Once I join that gym… If I lose that weight… After I spend money to attempt to counteract the visible impact of time on the body… THEN I will be worthy of love.” No. Stop. Enough. I’m exhausted already.

I’m not talking about health here. I’m talking about industries (let’s face it, mostly run by men) making money off of the self-criticism, self-loathing, insecurity, and anxiety of folks by selling them an impossible ideal to strive for.

Our work in #dramatherapy starts and ends with the body.

Today I worked at an eating disorders center, and we focused on grounding. Grounding as a way to get to know how I feel in my body. As a way to ask what it is like to be full or hungry. To taste food. To allow my body to take up space. To be seen and heard without apology. This is the work we engaged with.

Trauma is stored in the body. No wonder it can be so exhausting to be in our bodies sometimes. To be present with all the toxic messages and all the wisdom stored there. To wade through the muck until we are able to see more clearly what we want to keep and what we have been carrying because we just didn’t know how to let it go. It all contributes to an awareness that every time I tell myself I’m not young enough, pretty enough, fashionable enough, rich enough, I’m damaging my own incredible and powerful body.

So let’s stop. Let’s support each other in knowing that we are good enough NO MATTER WHAT. p.s. This isn’t a judgment on Botox or cosmetic surgery. It’s a reminder that before, during, and after – with or without – you are worthy and lovable. The end.

And now it’s time for me to sleep. Good night my friends. Off to restore the body for another day.

#mentalhealthawareness #eatingdisorderrecovery #iamworthy #anxiety #anxietyrelief #smashthepatriarchy
#Repost @peopleiveloved
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On teenagers

Day 17. I love teenagers. Truly. Their passion, angst, fearlessness, and vulnerability. I just hated being one. The urgency to define and maintain a clear concept of myself was just too great at times.

Today I had the opportunity to return to my high school and run a drama therapy workshop with 17 intelligent and poised young women working on a play about the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire. They were such a delight! So strong and prepared. And yet so much of what came up was their anxiety about the future.

So for today I’m thinking about how – in spite of what I wanted to believe in high school – there is no “right way,” “quick way” or “easy way.” The way will take on textures and turns that we cannot imagine yet. Anxiety won’t make the task any easier. It’s a lesson I’m still learning, but it’s one worth spending time on.

At the end of the workshop, after exploring some of the intense themes of the play, we sat around an imaginary campfire, eating s’mores and discussing self-care. It was cozy and sweet, and against all odds, 17 teenagers and I entered into a completely make-believe space of play. It wasn’t a silly place; it was a place of care and quiet and peace. I was so grateful to be invited in.

#Repost @cleowade
To all of my strong flowers out there, I love you.
Page 188 from #hearttalk
#nationalpoetryday #dramatherapy
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