Edginess of new media

Hello Friends,

Hope your summer is going well.

I’m on the verge of completing my first 10 podcast episodes for the Somatic Wisdom podcast! There are about 8 “in the can” as they say in the movie business, and two more concepts on the way that I’ll record or re-record.

Right now I’m going for a twice-monthly “minisode” format because I always feel like I’m making progress when I take small steps but do them more regularly. I realize many people release weekly, but given my personality, I have so many ideas for episodes, and weekly feels WAY too slow.

Yep. It’s a little messy. And it works surprisingly well!

But of course, I reserve the option to cut back if needed. While consistency can be appreciated, I have often found that I respect podcasters or bloggers or people who go “on hiatus” now and then. It is a noisy world out there, and if we think people are going to be wondering where we are if we take time off, we are likely to be disappointed. Of course, if your listenership is relieved when you’re gone, then maybe you need to examine your motives… 😉

My favorite part of podcasting rather than You-Tubing is that I don’t have to get ready for the camera. Of course, not that I did a lot to get ready for it before, but I at least made sure there wasn’t anything on my teeth, and that I wore a decent shirt and brushed my hair. But with podcasting, nobody cares that I’m growing back my long hair and it’s in this icky stage of needing barrettes like my 7-year old self used… they have no idea!

And I’m sharing a photo of the makeshift podcast “studio” here because it’s currently either my dining room or my closet (lots of padding to avoid echoes and weird sound stuff). While I someday hope to “go pro” on it, right now it serves. My biggest goal is to serve my audience and any potential clients who might feel as though they know me better through the podcast.

What about you? Have you begun to explore other types of “edgy” media in your creative lives? How has that gone? Do you like it more or less than blogging?

Take care & be well,

Cristy

P.S. If you might be willing to give me some feedback on the Somatic Wisdom podcast, I would truly appreciate it. And if you would like to receive a free copy of my book (either eBook or paperback format) for doing so, I am happy to provide this as a thank you gift for your support. Mil gracias!

Testing, testing…audio file on the way

Hello Friends,

Hope your month of June has. been lovely and that you’ve got plans for some rest and relaxation in the summer. I’ll be going on a week of vacation at the north shore and visiting Thunder Bay, Canada for a few days. I haven’t been to Canada in over three years! And it’s time we re-aquainted ourselves, friends.

As always, Natalya did an awesome job!

I don’t like to think about the U.S. becoming anything like the “Gilead” of Margaret Atwood’s creation, but she was prescient in so many ways. Women’s basic autonomy and body sovereignty have been eroding in recent years and this SCOTUS decision really isn’t a surprise to those of us who have been paying attention. For my unfiltered opinion on this matter, feel free to check out my YouTube video. Or if you’re weary of the discussion, skip it for now.

I’ve been working on a launch of my new podcast, Somatic Wisdom! I’m excited that it appears it was approved by the “big” platforms. After using Descript to edit and add music, I have a few more episodes ready, mostly to cover topics I wrote about in my book, and that can be useful for my coaching clients.

It’s been so fun to do this, especially because I have a number of podcasters I’ve admired since 2016. I began to realize how fun it was to choose my podcast content rather than listen to the radio and being at the mercy of the programming of someone else. It felt like a more proactive way to select what I wanted to learn and hear.

If you might be willing to give me a few early listens (it’s short form, trying to go for less than 10 minutes per episdoe) I would truly appreciate it. And if you’re not a podcast listener, I am curious about whether you are a YouTuber or you just prefer quieter media.

Be well, Amigas! And vote Pro-choice in your elections this year. It’s important!!

Anyone writing for Medium or Substack?

Hi Friends,

Just a quick question for those of you who blog here and/or in other places: Do you have any experience with blogging for Medium?

The platform was recommended to me for visibility in getting some of the messages from my first book out into the world. I’m not sure if it is worthwhile but I do love to write so it seemed like a reasonable experiment to try.

Others have mentioned Substack and the paid newsletters that are out there, but I’m more interested in giving free content away to those specifically interested in the topic.

Thanks for any feedback or experiences you may have writing for other platforms!

Be well,

Cristy

Delightful new opportunities

Hello Friends,

This week I’m in the midst of introductory conversations with staff that work with my new organizational client and I’ve interacted with a few of them by email as well. These are lovely young(er) people who are very mission-driven and are committed to sustainability for our planet.

I am deeply grateful for this opportunity. It comes at a time when I was questioning whether it might be time to give up my pursuit of this “portfolio career” of being coach, team facilitator and writer. But something keeps pulling me in. I think it’s the notion that I am committed to wellbeing and workplace transformation. Yet I don’t believe most workplaces are changing fast enough to adapt to a changing world, which it has been why I haven’t pursued traditional full-time employment.

Many of the up-and-coming generations want not only work that makes them feel purposeful and committed, they want to learn more about themselves and grow personally. They want to challenge themselves in new ways, and not just get stuck with the “admin” work that their leaders shovel down on them. Maybe for some people that sounds self-indulgent, but for me, it’s an indicator of future leadership qualities. And our world deeply needs those who can think creatively rather than simply conform. It inspires me to be get even better at

Photo taken near Lake Superior – Baragas Cross wayside rest (copyright mexi-minnesotana 2021)

Don’t get me wrong. I did a lot of “admin” work early in my career. Actually, I probably spent the first 8-10 years of my post-college career doing this kind of work, to greater and lesser degrees depending on the job, because I kept starting over at each new workplace. It wasn’t until my 30’s when I really begun understanding myself better that I sought the kinds of opportunities where I thrived. Looking back to my college days, I now see how I was preparing myself all along through volunteer and extra-curricular activities that were related to group dynamics and mentoring people.

There are times in our lives when the financial tides recede, and there are times when the tides roll in. Sometimes as humans we forget that life doesn’t yield linear results. There are cycles, patterns, and spirals. There are times for earning, and there are times for investing in our growth by allowing the field to lie fallow, to regenerate and rest. The seeds we have planted are starting to put down roots, and to draw upon the earth for nourishment. Soon the plants will emerge and take in the sunlight. But they are born in sacred darkness.

The next time I feel like I’m trying to “force” a bloom, I will read this to remember how this dance works.

Be well.

Cristy

How the World sometimes Turns

Hi Friends,

I spent some time licking my wounds last week and realizing that the opportunity I had been vying for probably wasn’t the right fit. But I responded with my real opinions this morning when the employer asked for feedback. Who knows if a human reads those things. Probably an “AI” is scraping the data. Oh well.

Only a few days after I received the pee test news I was offered an opportunity to coach a BIPOC and/or junior staff cohort at an organization who’s values are highly aligned with mine. Until we are signed and fully contracted I am going to hold off mentioning them here. The hourly rate is 15+ times what I was offered at the job where I was turned down. And thus, I will continue my “irrational” pursuit of self-employment while further developing affordable somatics and stress-relief opportunities and group mentoring.

The YouTube 1 minute video of a woman standing up for her land and her country.

There is a lot of heavy energy in the world right now, and not getting a part-time job is the least my worries as people in the Ukraine are being attacked. I was humbled to realize how lucky and privileged I am sitting safely at home, while others cope with unbridled tyranny on the other side of the planet. But I’ve also been so heartened to see how many people around the world are doing everything they can to help.

If you have not seen the video of the woman speaking to the soldiers about the sunflower seeds she wants them to carry in their pockets, it is worth seeing. Talk about “escalating” the situation. This is what courage looks like, unless the captioning is wrong (I don’t speak the language).

Last year I worked with a group called Fight for Right Ukraine while I was part of team facilitation cohorts for The Medici Group. They were a tiny but scrappy and resourceful team and I was greatly impressed with their creativity and their amazing resolve to find ways to grow their network of disability rights activists. I donated to a GoFundMe campaign (in Euros) because I know how hard they were working, and I believe this group has already made change legislatively and practically. In case you are feeling helpless and might want to make a small gift, I know the funds would be well-stewarded.

Be well,

Cristy

P.S. If you need a song to help bolster your personal Resilience, I’ve been playing this one by Rising Appalacia over and over again. The shorter video version still brings tears to my eyes. In case you need a small lift from the heavy energy this is something that has helped me to stay focused on the helpers in the world. I believe we are still are in the majority.

On Ableism, Pee Tests and Automated Systems

About a month ago I got a job offer from retail company to work for 12-20 hours a week in customer service. I was excited for the offer. It’s a store where I love browsing. And I wanted a part time job where I can leave the house three days a week, if at all possible. During the interview, I learned shifts would be 4-6.5 hours. Perfect.

From the time I submitted the resume and cover letter online, it was only two days until the interview. Then two later I inteviewed in person (masked) at the Bloomington Store. Later that afternoon after the in person interview I received the verbal and written offer, contigent on a background check and and a drug screen.

Of course these checks were totally totally expected.

However, it made me nervous when I went into LabCorp a few days later to submit my pee sample. I asked the attendant about the prescription that I take for focus which typically triggers the “positive test” warning. The attendant reassured me: oh, there’s a database, they can look you up there. I frowned, because I’m pretty sure this is not true. But I didn’t want to rock the boat at this early stage.

Three other times over the last 15 years when I had to submit to pee tests for employment purposes, I received a call from the lab. I was able to give them a prescription number and a pharmacy name so they could verify. No problem. Verification done. Not an issue.

(Side note: my nurse practitioner collects labs annually, to verify I’m not giving my medicine to someone other than me. Fair enough. I get it. And since I do this during my wellness visit, it’s not inconvenient.)

This time around, it was strange because I heard nothing for a few weeks. I began to wonder so I reached out to the recruiter a few weeks in. She told me she hadn’t heard back yet about the background check (they typically run these for cash-handling positions, and I get that). Okay, let’s wait a week or two more.

Last week she called again to say she was escalating the request and she apologized for the delay. I know she’s got full time employees to prioritize. Someone who works only 12-20 hours a week is not their priority. And they know from my cover letter that I’m self-employed and want a part-time job in order to supplement income that can ebb and flow seasonally.

When I received an automated rejection notice informing me that, “At this time, the results of one or both of these do not meet the COMPANY hiring standards. Consequently, we will no longer be moving forward with your offer of employment.” (I am leaving the company unnamed here because I hope the recruiter might make things right.)

What?!? Seriously?!?

I asked for a copy of the report to see what it contained. The company was able to send the report within two hours by email, thankfully.

Criminal background check: completely blank. Drug screen: red. Flagged for my focus medicine, which I have been taking for 17 years. (Side note: today it’s a lower dose than it was in my 30’s, because I’ve figured out nutritional and exercise interventions to feed my brain better). I called the background company again and they gave me the phone number of the Medical Review Officer (MRO) so I could report the prescription.

This MRO/service person was extremely kind on the phone and when I explained what happened he noted that they didn’t receive my contact information from the lab submitting the sample to them. So they were unable to contact me in order to verify the prescription number or pharmacy. He took down my scrip number and pharmacy information and told me that he would report back to the screening company.

This morning I received an identical second email message rejecting me for not meeting the standards of unnamed retailer. I have to admit, the second rejection email stung even more than the first.

Seriously?!?

I have no other way of knowing if some other employment verification information got messed up or if it’s still rejected because of the red flag on the substance screen. Did a human even look at the updated record? I have no way to know. Since I don’t have a criminal record, there might be something else lurking that I don’t know. And the recruiter claims she was not told by the screening company what was in the record that was of concern. So perhaps there is nothing she can do.

I have other opportunities coming up to work on projects that are more “in my wheelhouse” in terms of coaching and mentoring young leaders for another organization that is more in line with my values. So I don’t plan to spend a lot of time fighting this issue. However, if this is happening to me, I know I’m not the first person with a “hidden disability” to have this issue. Some day I will make use of this story when I speak to companies about inclusive design. This feels like the opposite of that.

Be well, Amigos.