Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Is Social Media Destroying my Joy?

On the metro in the morning I wear my disguise. I dress up as a middle-aged woman going to work. Which is what I am.

It's pretty nice because people give me their seat, which I like.

But every Sunday I go for a nice long run.

I've been doing long races since 2015, when I ran my first half-marathon. I love running!

Or at least I used to. But these days I feel clogged up with information, advice, opinions, reports, essays, books, photos ... it's all very heavy and it's making me feel bloated and uncomfortable.

There are countless articles, scholarly and otherwise, about the effects of social media on our "self-esteem". But that term itself is a modern take on an ancient concern: Who am I? Where am I? And what does it all mean? "Self-esteem" is a way of describing a certain contentment with the way things are, or rather, with the way I Am. "Self-esteem" inspects how I feel about myself. And what better way to increase my "self-esteem" than to present pleasant images to others that will reveal how truly wonderful I really am.


The problem is, everybody is posting those images, and some people are better at it than others, and some people even hire other people to post them, so we really don't know where to stand. That's just the tip of the iceberg. The bigger picture is that all of our activities - from the most banal (walking the dog? giving a three year old some cereal?) to the most intimate (giving birth) to the most impressive (running a 3 hour marathon at age 60) - all of these activities that we love to do, or the ones we do by rote, or the special unique events in our lives - they're all bunched together, shouted out to the world, commented on, "liked" or not, and then forgotten.

Don't tell me that you've never been doing something and, as you're doing it, you're thinking about what to post about it. Oh, I know there are purists like my husband who - honestly, people! - uses Facebook for what it is worth - funny animal videos. But most of us who are online are online way too much, and thinking about being online way too much, and we are turning ourselves into something I'm not sure is such a great idea.

Or are we? My state of mind when I made this pre-Olympics video with my son was one of good humor, happiness, and strength. I make some fun of myself, and I was clearly having a good time. So what has led me to the point I am at now? When I'm taking myself so seriously, checking my paces, weighing myself, jumping from one running program to the next, not satisfied with my progress.


We are using social media to mark our progress. Who's better - using any marker you and your friends choose to use - most radical, most downtrodden, most fertile, most religious, most athletic, best cook, cutest pets...

Oh, don't get me wrong! I'm still going to post my cafe events, funny things I find, my haunted houses. But I'm planning on going real easy when it comes to virtual running. My body needs to run, fine. My "self-esteem" can stay at home.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

WorkInProgress: a Self Care Seminar

In October, I am offering a seven week exploration into self care. We will be exploring the ways we can care for ourselves, as women, as holders of childbirth and wombs, as healers of others but sometimes not of ourselves.

Every Wednesday evening, we will be gathering to learn about ourselves. We'll talk about healing and what it means. We'll look at what a "holistic" approach to your own health might be. We will discuss nutrition, hormones, muscles, bones, our hearts, minds and souls, our health challenges, and Taking Care.

It's so important, now more than ever, for us to meet up in person to share our experiences and learn from each other. My vision is that we will create a circle of knowledge, from these evenings, that we can spread to others. We will meet, learn, share, eat together, and meet again seven days later, for a full seven weeks.

And who am I? 
I've been living in my body for almost 63 years now. I've experienced much of the life experiences of the human female: infancy, childhood, puberty, adolescence, and then a full reproductive life including pregnancies, miscarriage, abortion and live births. My hormones have ebbed and flowed, and I am grateful to still have a working body.

I have studied women's health extensively, and I know about herbs, birth, healing techniques, magic, exercise, and cooking, among other things. If you enjoy exploration, have a sense of humour, love women's groups and want to really learn about how to care for and nourish your own body, mind and soul, please contact me and let me know that you're in.

Here is the Facebook event. Here is the registration form. Email me here.