Coming Soon: 8 Weeks of Mindfulness

It seems like just as good of a time as any to get centered on the spiritual, as we approach the holiday season in the U.S. and other parts of the world. For eight weeks, I will focus on one factor of the eight-fold path of Buddhism each week and post about it.  Stay tuned for the first post in the next few days!

Here are the eight parts of the path:

1.Right view

2. Right intention

3.Right speech

4. Right action

5. Right livelihood

6. Right effort

7. Right  mindfulness

8. Right concentration

“Just Keep Swimming”

Most days in this first semester of grad school, I have felt like a “rookie”, coming to straight out of undergrad. Every day, I have been incredibly inspired by the stories and amazing work of the other individuals in my program.

Today, I remember why I write. Today, I recognize how much progress I have made so far this semester, with immense gratitude for the environment/community that I am now a part of.

Today, I am remembering exactly how I arrived not only here, but all places in my life, physically, mentally, emotionally: through continuous, positive effort, through refusing to let any little fear or doubt shake me.

Today, I am remembering I am exactly where I need to and want to be.

Today is for realizing just how perfect everything really is, and will continue to be, so long as I remember what is most essential: to simply continue.

You will come to the places you have always dreamed of finding yourself.
In other words, ‘Just keep swimming’ y’all.

-A.K.

Our World: Shaped by Shape?

Imagine for a second what life might be like in a world where we didn’t, as humans, classify each other by body type, or physical characteristics at all …

Or as females, if we didn’t  refer to each other as  “b*tches?” and every other derogatory word in existence as if they bear no connotation or consequence.

 Does this seem too idealistic/Utopian? Perhaps, impossible?

While everyone wants to claim they are a feminist these days,

there are many women who seem to be confused about what feminism is. Feminism is about equality for both genders. Feminism isn’t belittling other women, or equating their worth with the size/shape/ appearance of their physical body, in the same way men are often accused of being judgmental/sexist for.

If you are a female who frequently reduces other women down to their physical appearance, or uses the same profane terms that have become commonplace to use interchangeably with the word “women” as in pop-music/culture: “b*tches”/”hoes”, et cetera, then you must realize you are continuing the trend for men to also use the term.  If you are okay with that, fine, but don’t anticipate change.  

If you take issue with your humanity being reduced to “lesser than”, then I suggest that we redefine the ways we choose to define each other, that we choose to be more mindful of the way we talk about each other, what we call each other,because we all deserve so much more. We all have such light inside of us that does not deserve to be dimmed or dulled by words that pale in comparison to our inner beauty.

As a woman, and as someone who has been referred to as a “skinny b*tch” more times than I could ever count, I have a general distaste for the culture of labeling each other, mainly because I believe it only furthers the divide between individuals, rather than coming together, in support of each other, as a human community. It seems we are continually alienating ourselves from each other as we obsessively place each other into categories.  It’s in our nature to want to put everyone into groups, as if that’s the only way the world will make sense to us.

Wouldn’t it be refreshing to change things up?

What would it be like if media/music/ conversation didn’t feature language and images which cause women to equate their worth by what is deemed “aesthetically pleasing” to onlookers, whether it be men or other women?

I like to believe that we have endless potential for change and compassion in this world,

if only we continue wanting it enough,

if only we never stop striving for it,

if only we never give up hope.

-A.K.

 

bod

 

This article, in part, inspired this post, and raised some interesting points: