No means no* #NaBloPoMo #vaw #fem2

30 Day Blog Challenge, Sexual Violence
At times boundaries are rendered ambiguous, when in actuality, they're sharply drawn. In rape culture, this means no is sometimes given an asterisk: No means no* when your partner says it three times. Or no means no* when your partner hits you in protest. No means no* when (fill in the blank). No means no. It means no when it's a stranger. It means no when it's an acquaintance. It means no when it's a family member. If it's your spouse, significant other or otherwise longterm partner, it still means no. Rape culture perpetuates the myth that perpetrators of sexual assault are always scary men with ski-masks and guns, hiding in the bushes for the easiest target. Or maybe they're burglars who break in to steal your electronics and get…
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Stories of Sexual Violence #NaBloPoMo #vaw #fem2

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence
I am a survivor of sexual violence. I've never stated it publicly, but I've hinted about it here and there. I'm tired of hinting. It's risky, claiming survivor status out loud. It's old wounds ripped open and sprinkled with salt. Once-dried tears, bubbling up, spilling over. Heart racing. Doubts. Anger. It's triggering. Digging into that history, thinking about it, remembering it, and sharing it is triggering. One could reasonably wonder why do it? I'll tell you why: to counter rape culture. Telling my story gives other survivors permission to tell theirs. It opens a channel for dialogue, healing and transformation. It creates a space for would-be perpetrators to see the effect of sexual violence and potentially make more loving choices. It adds to the public discourse about sexual violence, masculinity…
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Present moments and future pleasures. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge, Personal Narrative, Spirituality, Temple Building
Love in the past is a memory. Love in the future is a fantasy. To be really alive, love — or any other experience — must take place in the present. ~Jack Kornfield I don't want to get too caught up in what's next. I want to enjoy what's now. (While still excited about what's next.) I'll admit that's been hard the past few months. After a period of dormancy, my life is in the full bloom of spring. It's glorious. I have big plans and I'm working toward them day by day. Still, I find myself saying things like, I can't wait until... Now, I want to be clear: There's absolutely nothing wrong with being excited about the future, no matter whether future means five years or five minutes. But being…
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Phoneography Challenge. #nablopomo

30 Day Blog Challenge
I live in paradise. Or at least I like to call it that. Today I'm participating in this phoneography challenge while comfortably wearing flip flops. Although the weather is nice, it's a weekday and a little cool for poolside tanning. This is the site of epic water volleyball games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. They've been scarce since football season, but I'm sure spring break will welcome the ballers back. And if water isn't your thing, but volleyball is, you might spend your weekend with your friends and your dogs here. I'm not here much these days, but one of my favorite things to do is watch the sunrise here at Starbucks Bay. I call it that because it's a bay inlet and Starbucks stands a few feet away! One…
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Today’s rainbow…musings from a traveler. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge
I. Today I wore a turquoise wrap. Peacock blue, to be precise. Smug and perky, a bright splash of joy draped across my shoulders, I took in the scene on the airport tram. Shook my head at the stoic wall of black-navy-gray. Oh, what a spot of color wouldn't do to add a dose of cheer... II. Walking through the security line, my eyes spotted a fellow smug and perky. The slight smile on his face framed by a bright red sweater. He strolled, weaving through the stanchions with an air of confidence and a hint of fun. It was the red. I know it. III. My window seat afforded me a perfect view of the bay set against the pink-orange dusk. Smug and perky overcome by the sinking realization…
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Good credit. #NaBloPoMo #amwriting.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
When good things happen, people tend to underestimate how much credit is due to their own efforts, and overestimate the influence of outside forces. That was just luck. It's only because someone else did thus and such. I was in the right place at the right time. Meanwhile, when something negative happens, the opposite is suddenly true. They get plenty of credit for the poor outcome, while the external forces are let off the proverbial hook. It's all my fault. I always do thus and such wrong. If only I had done this, that or the other thing. In either case, the scales are always tipped to favor luck for good things, and self for bad. Why is that? We are co-creators in this world. That means just as there…
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Beets and baby steps. #NaBloPoMo

30 Day Blog Challenge, Productivity
Baby steps count. I've said it before and it bears repeating from time to time. As I've mentioned, I'm traveling a lot these days. When I'm home, I try to detox to some degree. This weekend I had the great intention to make hot pink smoothies. What makes a smoothie hot pink? One half of one raw beet! My time is limited on the weekends, and I was excited to make it to my local grocer to get beets and the other ingredients. Once home, I unloaded the groceries and immediately departed. No time to clean beets and fire up the blender. I rushed around handling other business, lamenting my unprepared beets. Hours passed in this way. Then one day. Then two. Not until I was just about ready to…
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Roots. #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge
Today's topic is a stream of consciousness. I recently realized that weekly traveling isn't really good for someone like me. By someone like me I mean someone who needs to be grounded. Whenever I travel, my spirit has to catch up. There's a delay from an hour, up to a day, before I feel like I'm truly back in my body. This is especially true when I'm flying away from home. I have an arsenal of grounding exercises, although in hotels I find that drinking lots of water and sitting still for an hour or so helps a lot. Nesting helps as well. I can't live out of the suitcase. I have to unpack and organize and arrange things. Otherwise I just feel flustered and disoriented. I've done the weekly…
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Speak to me. #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence
Yesterday I touched on the risk of remaining silent. I have more thoughts on the topic, but I wanted to broach the other end of the continuum – speaking up. In this case, I don’t mean speaking out, per se, but rather truth-telling to yourself. And of course I am afraid, because the transformation of silence into language and action is an act of self-revelation, and that always seems fraught with danger. ~Audre Lorde Silence into Language As a narrative inquirer, I investigate stories. I wonder what we can uncover when we treat stories as data; when we mine them and make sense of them. I encourage women to tell and delve into their own stories, to engage in deep reflection about the gems they unearth during this work. This…
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The Risky Business of Silence #NaBloPoMo.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Feminist Thought, Personal Narrative, Sexual Violence
I have come to believe over and over again that what is most important to me must be spoken, made verbal and shared, even at the risk of having it bruised or misunderstood. That speaking profits me, beyond any other effect. ~Audre Lorde For years I’ve carried a story untold. Two decades. Thank goddess I finally realized the untelling was its own telling; my silence its own story. Like an ill-trained architect, my silence designed a life that might not have been. And I suppose it had my permission – my silence was consent. But as of late I have been telling the story, rereading it and writing a new ending…building a brand new life. Silence wasn’t a strategy. Not a conscious one, in any event. I didn’t know I…
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