Antidotes to Patriarchy: My Tips For Empowered Self-Care During The Post-Inaugural Craze
If you’re anything like me, you’ve had major FOMO this month. I admit, since the election, it's felt like one long bad day. I'm holding an ideological crisis at bay.
But in my actual real world experience? Nothing is ruined. I'm still the holy queen of my own psychic universe. Life is sweet & bright. Gratefully, at this point in my own journey unto sacred femme empowerment, I've gathered plenty of power-boosters; a cache of simple prescriptions to recalibrate my psychic pH & fight psychic toxicity. I call them Antidotes to Patriarchy.
Antidotes to Patriarchy are habits of self-care which empower the Feminine in my everyday reality. Antidotes stoke my creative fires, dampen the media noise, & stock more oomph in my tank.
And lately, I'm finding them crucial to staying on my grind. I've plugged alerts into my phone to ping throughout the day & remind me to apply an Antidote.
If the inaugural craze has you moving around in a cloud of funk, let me share some of the Antidotes I'm drawing on most right now!
GET OUT OF REACTIVE MODE.
Reactivity is disempowering. Although Twitter makes you feel like you're participating in the convo, you're still only a bystander. Power down your TV. Temporarily delete your social media apps. Be constructive & find inspo instead. Block out time to light candles & just listen to music; to hand-write love notes to your friends; to daydream. Remember, you are responsible for your own experience. If you can't tangibly affect something that's affecting you in this mo', you're wasting vital energy. Store it up & channel it somewhere useful.
Focus on follow through, not on debate. If you've got to make a point about something you read about (especially if it shows up in your social feeds), print it out, paste it into your diary, & scribble furiously about it until the urge the respond moves through you. Instead of masturbating your point of view & stoking the fires of hate-debate, use social media to alert people about the concrete actions you're taking. Why not read about the next 10 actions for the next 100 days (you can do this even if you didn’t join the Women's March) & update FB / Twitter whenever you complete an action? This is the only way to make sure the post-inaugural craze loses its crazy without losing its heat.
Sovereignty means taking responsibility for your beliefs, how you feel, & the way you act. Which means, not blaming what's happening on TV for why you won’t take care of yourself. Don't miss deadlines, skimp on chores, or otherwise let your life end up in the weeds. If you're feeling overwhelmed, say no to anything you don't need to take on right now. Stop posting on Twitter or FB that you're not eating or haven't showered. Commit to the belief that you do have power & exercise it where it matters most: maintaining your functionality.
FIND SOLUTIONS WITHIN YOURSELF.
Now is the time for idealists to give substance to their ideals. Step away from media & reflect: What can I personally do to counteract this political aggression? Even if it's as small as paying for the order of the person waiting behind you in line, start somewhere. Surprise yourself with what you can come up with & appreciate how gratifying it feels.
TRANSFORM THE HEART OF SUFFERING.
If you're reading this, you might be empathetic by nature & upside down with overwhelm. Try Tonglen meditation: a technique where you breathe in the world's pain, then breathe out higher vibes. Pema Chodron, femme Buddhist extraordinaire, talks about Tonglen meditation in this article. You can also follow along with Pema as she demonstrates Tonglen breathing in this video.
LEVERAGE YOUR PRIVILEGE.
You have access, resources, & options. Use them mindfully. Give your money away to activists; donate time teaching English to Syrian refugees; post empowering poetry to your social feeds. Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom with limited bandwidth & cash on hand, you can still leverage your privilege through demonstration: your children are your witnesses. Claim boundaries. Never justify your needs. Let them see how you honor yourself & other people.
SELF-EDUCATE & GO INDEPENDENT.
Build a life that protects your vulnerabilities from the insanity of Patriarchy. Jen Dziura will get you squared away. Start here: How To Run Your Career Like A Gentlewoman. Charge up your laptop, grab a notebook, your favorite pen, then tuck away into a cafe with a huge cup of coffee for a few hours of binge-reading. Trust me--this binging will feel 1,000x more gratifying than what you've been doing on news blogs, because you will take away plenty of actionables.
And, frankly, that's what you really need: actionable information.
So... the election. The inauguration. Yeah, it's a bummer. Shocking. Crazy-making.
But you're not disempowered. If you feel that way, you've self-selected it. Let the gross feelings move through you instead of anchoring you down.
Remember, attention is intention. Continue ritualizing the Yin, demonstrating self-authority, & creating what you need by taking ownership of what’s truly your's: your time, attention, & energy.
Reclaim your psychic space. Don't trivialize your power by focusing it on Twitter, Facebook, & broadcast TV. Put your attention towards whatever gives you the greatest agency.
What are you doing to stay well during the craze? Tweet it me!