Finding Balance – Stillness, Feminism, & Ethical Clothing.

“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.”

Quote from Practicing the Subtle Art of Detachment, published on Medium.

***

The weather in Maine gets better every day and it’s making studying increasingly difficult. Most of my days have been waking up, spending a few moments outside drinking coffee and listening to birds, and then realizing it’s already 9am and I really need to get started on what I had planned for the day.

Amidst the hustle that is preparing and applying to medical school, I’m trying to also incorporate a lot of stillness. Meaning, I try to take those morning coffee moments and pause my mind, even if it’s only briefly. Instead of browsing Instagram or worrying too much about what the day is about to hold, I attempt to clear my mind and enjoy the moment. Some days it’s on my porch and other days it’s sitting down at my desk and closing my eyes. Stillness for me has been about taking periodic breaks throughout my day to breath slow, try to clear thoughts away, and get in touch with how my mind and body is feeling.

Meditation, breathing, stillness, mindfulness – all these words and concepts are simultaneously defined differently yet are used interchangeably. Finding what you need in the moment is the true name of the game. That’s what I’m currently trying to do. If you’ve been sitting at your desk absorbed in work and feeling anxious, pause for 10 breaths or put on a guided meditation and chill out for a few minutes. If the weather is calling you to get outside, take a lunch break, or walk by yourself and sit on a bench for a few minutes in silence. Try to be thankful of your health or simply stay mindful of your breath. I’ve realized, after trying to force myself into a rigid meditation practice, there is no perfect fit for any of this. We can use them all at the same time, or separately, depending on the desired length, current state of mind and actual space.

But remembering to pause and take a mental and emotional tab on yourself is so freaking important. When I go a few days without meditation, I can feel the stress and clutter starting to creep into my head space. Being consistent about taking those moments of stillness is probably one of my biggest goals for this month.

Listen to this Ted Talk by Pico Iyer about stillness. It’s so beautiful and may inspire you to carve out a few moments in your day to have some.

If you’re looking for guided meditations, check out my resource page to find a playlist of my favorite meditations under the Personal Health & Growth title. I use these as study breaks (instead of opening up social media/email/YouTube). You will literally feel the mental clarity spreading throughout your nerve cells.

If you like learning about the intersection between feminism and random topics you didn’t know you cared about, here’s to Stuff Mom Never Told You. The podcasts about 4/20, RBG, and Female Action Figures were awesome! Huge round of applause to the SMNTY team for choosing such an amazing co-host, Anney, to join Bridget. It’s hard to over state how much I love this podcast and the impact it has made on my personal journey as a feminist living abroad in a very un-feminist country during the Peace Corps. This podcast served as an outlet to stay in touch with the discussions that were going on at home. I was off podcasts for a bit while settling back in, but as I catch up with the episodes I missed I’m so impressed with the wonderful content the team is putting out and the awesome Anney addition. I  love the way the tones of both their voices compliment so well. Much love ladies! Keep up the great work.

If you like deeper feminist topics, muse on this quote for a sec.

“Only certain woman will rise to the level to which people will care.”

This is from a heavy but important conversation held between Ikeoma Oluo and Ruchika Tulshyan at the Riveter in Seattle. The two women discuss systematic racism and representation of women of color in the media. It will leave you feeling sad about the state of our society. But that signals how essential these types of conversations are to have right now. The Riveter is a co-working space in Seattle and Los Angeles, and they also have a great blog concerning topics about wellness, professional development, and career success.

If you know a lawyer who wants to be in Big Law. My partner is in law school and we had a discussion about opportunities for women in law, after I shared with him this article about how Big Law remains very restricting to women. He was unaware of the challenges imbedded in the work culture and expectations which make it difficult for women to get ahead. It was a bonding moment, even if he didn’t know it.

If you’re looking to put together an at home gym, apparently here is – The best home fitness equipment. I love my little home gym! I’m very content with yoga, kettlebells and my Popsugar videos. But I’m hoping to expand to TRX when the time is right. Regardless, if you are naturally self motivated, home gyms are such money and time savers.

If you’re looking to spend your money in ethical ways, The Good Trade put together a list of 35 Fair Trade and Ethical Clothing Brands. Conscious consumerism for the win.

That’s what I have for my first May post. Trying to be more consistent but blogging is hard. Enjoy the musings and rambles.

xoxo

Liz

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