Saturday share honors Toni Morrison

This week, we’re sharing stories from Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Rachel Sugar, Kate Knibbs, Mark Arax, and Anna Wiener.

via The Top 5 Longreads of the Week — Longreads

The first of the top 5 Longreads of the week is a beautiful tribute to the life of Toni Morrison which ended this week on August 5 at the age of 88.

Her books could be shocking at times and always causes me to think deeply about racism and privilege. I’m grateful for her contributions to American literature.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

Wellness Wednesday – Travel mantras

This post is edited from the original one posted in May of 2018. It seems appropriate for the season of summer and holiday travel. 

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Today I will head home from my work visit to Mexico City. It is good time to write out some of my travel mantras, as reminders to myself to enjoy the journey.

travel mantras
Photo credit link

That’s the first one, actually: Enjoy the journey.

Here’s another one I like: Remember, everyone is fighting their own battles. There are struggles we may not see, that may affect others’ behavior.

The best one, when stress or anxiety come up is: Breathe, just breathe. It is all okay.

When I am practicing mindful awareness of my surroundings, I also like to remind myself of all that I am grateful for: the opportunity to travel, a kind word or smile I may receive as a gift from a stranger, and a life in which I am privileged to see into the window of other cultures as part of my work.

What’s your favorite travel mantra? 

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

Force no pain away

This is an edited post I wrote in July of 2018. As I have decided to take an August sabbatical from writing new content while finishing my YTT certification, I am reading and editing some pieces from my 2018 archive. Hope you enjoy! 

One of my favorite guided meditations is spoken by Sarah Blondin on Insight Timer called “I would like to give you permission.” It is about the ways in which we tend to hide our true selves from the world, and I think it was originally recorded for the Live Awake podcast.

Sometimes we have a good reason we hide our true selves (Martha Beck would call this the essential self vs the social self). Most of the time it is because we have been taught to act “appropriately” or to hide our feelings. These are often well-intentioned pieces of advice, but they may not serve our highest good.

live awake
Link to the live awake podcast

There is a line in this particular meditation that moves me: “Force no pain away, for it is all conspiring to bring you home.” What I like about this is the fact that we must embrace our feelings, admit them to ourselves, in order to be fully human. To push them away, or not to acknowledge our sadness, pain or discomfort, is to run away from our experience. We often do this in an attempt to be more positive, or because we think we should not experience negative emotions.

But emotions are just vibrations in the body, and we are likely to experience about half and half, positive and negative. It is the contrast between these emotions that makes joy so sweet. There is nothing wrong with us when we experience sadness or grief. These are normal and appropriate parts of being human. Getting angry at injustice can help us realize when we need to take action, for example.

When I consider how my emotions bring me home to myself, and I understand what thoughts drive these emotions, I fully claim my experience. There is no need for denial or resistance of these feelings. Indeed they provide the compass for a live well lived.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

 

On anniversaries and intentions

Today marks one year since my last day at Medtronic.

I did not know a year ago that I would be in yoga school this year, though I definitely planned to practice a lot more yoga.

I did not think I would be starting a “new” career in clinical research at an Academic Health Center.

U bulletin board.jpg
bulletin board in Coffman Union (University of MN)

I thought I would leave clinical research behind. But something beckoned to me when I interviewed for a contract technical writing job in February. I drove through a snow storm for that interview. And it turns out I was ghosted by those two professors and did not get that gig.

But I remember the “charge” I got when I found myself in Diehl Hall, where the Biomedical Library is housed at the University of Minnesota. It was like some part of me knew I would be back. Lo and behold, I did not realize it when I interviewed, but in June I was assigned to an office cube in Diehl Hall at the Clinical Research Support Center.

Sometimes it is spooky how perfect this job is for me. I “play” best in spaces where there is room for collaboration and innovation, and that’s what is required of my role.

All I have is gratitude for the lessons this past year has taught me. And my intention in the upcoming year is to try to stay fully present to the next lessons life is about to teach me.

cristy@meximinnesotana.com

P.S. I used to have a regular posting schedule here, and I may be editing some previous posts for a while instead of generating new content. This will help me have time to focus on the new job and completing my YTT certification hours. 

Have a great final month of summer, y’all living in the northern hemispheres.