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Less stress, more productivity: why working fewer hours is better for you and your employer by Itamar Turner-Trauring. This is specifically about programming, but I imagine it might apply to other problem-solving jobs as well. When I was working 25-30 hours/week at a programming job, I was told I was at least as productive as most of the full-time programmers. I would not have been able to tolerate the job physically or emotionally full-time, so it worked out well for everyone.

After gentrification: America's whitest big city? Sure, but a thriving black community, too. by Beth Nakamura. A great followup to an article I posted earlier - let's support the Black community Portland does have.

BlackPDX.com linked from the previous article, Black-owned businesses in Portland. A great place to browse for local businesses to support.

10 Badass Disabled Women You Should Know About by Carrie.
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Individual skeletons and gender by marina
Very cool detailed post by a current student of forensic anthropology. No you can't identify an individual skeleton's gender by the shape of the pelvis or length of the leg bones. I've been thinking, "Yes, but..." about this, in the context of Tim's comments on my pelvis article. I finally pinned down that yes, an individual person with any pelvis can be any gender, but there are statistical patterns. In the aggregate, men tend to have longer legs and narrower pelvises than women. I care about this because anatomy illustrations almost always show a narrow pelvis without even discussing how pelvises vary, and I don't want to contribute to that erasure.
via [personal profile] tim

Lament of the Twelve Sisters: A Tisha b’Av Story by Rabbi Jill Hammer
I love Jewish stories that focus on women. I had never heard "With each of the sons of Jacob was born a twin sister. —Rashi"
On Tisha b’Av twelve ancestor-sisters gather to weep. On other days it is only the One-who-Mourns who weeps over the sorrows of the world, but on this day, the day the Temple was destroyed, they all gather on the Mount of Olives to remember the razing of Jerusalem and the suffering of exiles all over the world.


The 7 Jobs Capitalism Asks of All of Us by Talia Cooper
This piece makes so much sense to me. It speaks to the ways I don't fit into corporate jobs, and the ways I haven't fit into typical relationships. I like that it has 7 forms of positive resistance as well.

Study: Catholic Hospitals ‘Dump’ Abortion Patients, Often Refuse Referrals by Nicole Knight Shine
I didn't even go looking for this, it just popped up in a Shakesville news post shortly after I posted (locked) about feeling unsafe having health insurance through an overtly Catholic company.

Pods and Pod Mapping Worksheet from the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective, "Building Transformative Justice Responses to Child Sexual Abuse"
This is much cooler than the title sounds.
Your pod is made up of the people that you would call on if violence, harm or abuse happened to you; or the people that you would call on if you wanted support in taking accountability for violence, harm or abuse that you’ve done; or if you witnessed violence or if someone you care about was being violent or being abused.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Imagine a kind friend saying, "I believe you. It's not you. You're doing all the right things."
Trust Yourself Despite Everyday Gaslighting

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

"Presence After Trauma" draft complete
I set a goal of finishing a draft of "Presence After Trauma" by the end of July, and I did it! I added another section and rearranged the articles, which meant I needed one more. This month's article will be in the book. Now it's off to the copy-editor, and I get to work on the cover and adding the interior illustrations.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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A collection of not-so-light reading I've been doing lately.

Understand your opponent's narrative, even if you will never agree with it. It has always made sense to me that there was no easy resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. They both want the same piece of land, for urgent reasons.
The Original "No": Why the Arabs Rejected Zionism, and Why It Matters by Dr. Natasha Gill.

Relatedly, another Holocaust survivor story. Made me cry, in a warm-fuzzy way.
Champagne in the Cellar by John Temple
via [personal profile] cofax7

A website that is brokering direct requests from Black people and offers from white people making reparations. REPARATIONS by Natasha Marin

Breaking News: Black People Are Ordinary People by Jesse Curtis via

People told me Portland was really white before I moved here. I just didn't have any life experience (or social justice education) to tell me what that meant. I've always lived in racially diverse cities before this. It's been a learning experience!
The Racist History of Portland, the Whitest City in America by Alana Semuels

I didn't know that most opioid addictions are self-limiting!
What Science Says To Do If Your Loved One Has An Opioid Addiction by Maia Szalavitz
Could you elaborate on the 80% of morphine addicts do the drugs less or quit after 5 years bit? by Medic Pixie Dream Girl
via [personal profile] tim

My Complicated Journey to a Child-Free Middle Age by Holly Sinclair
via

For Men* Who Desperately Need Autonomy
and
Tricks Shame and Hope Play on You and How to Catch Them
Just read everything Nora Samaran writes. Wow.
and linked from there
The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love by bell hooks

Relatedly,
A Left-Handed Commencement Address (Mills College, 1983) by Ursula K. Le Guin
via [personal profile] cofax7

Transit App - better transit maps & info than Google. Free. I haven't downloaded this yet, but I don't want to lose the link.

All that because I need to reboot my machine because InDesign won't print to PDF anymore. I am nearly nearly done with a book draft, just need to write some glossary entries and put in some of images.
ETA: Had to Remove my InDesign prefs files to make printing to PDF work again. It's good to reboot occasionally anyway...
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Walking While Black by Garnette Cadogan, who first roamed the streets of his native Kingston, Jamaica, and later walked the much less crime-ridden, but (for a black man) more dangerous streets of New Orleans and New York City.

via BikePortland. They're definitely upping their game on covering race issues.

I checked the writers for The Red Door's production of "Hands Up", because one of the monologues included a similar description of police assault in NYC, but sadly it was another Black man's experience. Because it happens all the time.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
I stand with fellow victims and survivors and tell you that you do not need fixing.
When I Started

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

"Presence After Trauma" in progress
The InDesign book file for "Presence After Trauma" now has all the articles formatted and in order, although I'm still refining that. I'm excited about the chapter heading illustrations by Laurel Purdy. Now to write an overall introduction, and introductions for each chapter. I'm hoping to have a completed draft by the end of July.

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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Live-cam: Brooks Falls - Katmai National Park, Alaska. Bears! Catching salmon! Up to their bellies in what I assume is an icy snow-melt river. I don't know if I feel sorrier for the bears standing in that river to catch breakfast, or the salmon swimming upstream through that gauntlet. The bears at least look well able to handle it.

Story: Women Making Bees in Public by Alexandra Erin. Full of delightful sensory details and women supporting each other, less delightful men interrupting women, and an ending that feels warmly right.
Via Sumana Harihareswara.

Art: Rob Gonsalves' magical optical illusion paintings. I love these, especially the ones where it takes me a moment to find the discontinuity. There are places in my life that feel like that, blurring from one interpretation to another as I follow the threads from different directions.

Poem: Kindness by Naomi Shihab Nye. Someone reminded me about this recently.

Relatedly, Taming the steamroller: how to communicate compassionately with non-native English speakers by Molly Clare Wilson. "Dear fellow native English speaker: you’re a very lucky person."
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Another fantastic post from Nora Samaran, On Gaslighting.
When I know inside myself that my perceptions are really fucking accurate, contrary to a lifetime of having them undermined, I feel less like I’m trying to hold on to reality through slipping sand. When I feel less like I’m hanging on to my sanity by a thread, I can approach these situations with more ease, solidity, empathy and understanding.


I waded into the comments over there, and I've been restraining myself from commenting further. So Many Opinions!!

I think they're looking for something analogous to "implicit bias," which lets people admit maybe their behavior is a little bit racist but it's absolutely not their fault. That's great, and it does give some people an entry point into realizing that not everything is fair and they didn't get to where they are purely by the sweat on their brow.

BUT. If we're not willing to admit our behavior is racist, we are still prioritizing our own comfort over the harm we're doing with our behavior.

With gaslighting, where the whole point is unwillingness to name reality, I think sugar-coating it is even less useful. More accurately, my gut screams that it's less useful, that it's capitulation.

We can describe behavior. "You're implying that I'm lying or crazy [about your policy changing]." We can talk about defensiveness, emotional labor, listening skills, caring. In the end, it's gaslighting. It needs to be named as gaslighting, not be wrapped in cotton-wool batting to protect the person causing harm.

I can see where people might be less willing to listen because admitting to gaslighting is painful. But not being willing to admit things because they might be painful is the whole problem in the first place.

Yes, I have a strong reaction to gaslighting. I've had the godawful 100% intentional very very skilled kind, and I've had the everyday yeah we changed our policy but no we don't want to admit it kind. People seem to take slippery reality for granted these days. I want solid ground under my feet.
sonia: Peacock with tail fully spread (peacock)
On impulse, while walking through Powell's, I bought an adult "stress-free" semi-abstract coloring book, and a set of 10 markers.

Then I let them sit for a couple of weeks. Maybe I should give it to someone else. Maybe I should return them.

This morning I realized that my bedroom feels like a more playful place than the downstairs office with the computer. While the bedroom is often too hot or too cold, it was a lovely temperature today, so I brought the coloring book and pens upstairs.

My mental image was of lying on the floor like a young kid, but the armchair looked more comfortable, so I settled there. Flipped through, chose a page full of vines and flowers, and started.

The first thing I realized is that it has to be like a labyrinth walk - the experience is whatever it is, not what I think it should be. I have stomped around labyrinths angrily, and today I colored anxiously.

Not just the expected worries about coloring outside the lines (yay finepoint pens!) and choosing adjacent colors that look good together (boo, no purple pen!), but a surprising worry about using up the pens. Not just the worry about wasting time, but also about wasting a page in the book that maybe someone else could color better.

The design had a lot of repeating elements, and even as I debated internally, I decisively colored matching elements alike. Something about making order.

I noticed this sense of needing to be useful, productive, and underneath that, a sense of not really deserving to use resources.

I'm also noticing that while my daily morning meditation isn't "productive" time, it has not been subject to debate because it so clearly feels better than not doing it. It will be interesting to see how coloring settles out.

I can see why so many people are taking up knitting and crocheting. It's colorful, soothing, repetitive, and you come out with something useful at the end. I used to crochet afghans and scarves. I don't seem to have the same amount of open time, though. There's always something else I could be doing.

Like now, I'm going to go dig out the three rogue bay trees that took root last year. I've been wondering why so much of my garden is overrun with one invasive plant or another, and I realized it's because I was completely overwhelmed last summer and didn't spend much time in the garden. There's always something ready to take over here.
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Being Jewish by [livejournal.com profile] vschanoes. A long, illuminating, personal explanation of why "Judeo-Christian" is an erasure of Judaism. This post matches my experience. Somewhere along the way, I realized that my deeply held ethical values match Jewish ethics, even though I think of myself as Jewish by heritage, not religion, and I've been wearing a Star of David necklace more often lately.
I never see “Judeo-Christian values” used to garner support for values I recognize as Jewish: “Due to our shared Judeo-Christian values and their emphasis on the importance of study and education, we must insist on full funding for public education, free for everybody, from pre-K through to college, and public libraries that are open 24/7, staffed by highly trained librarians!” Where is that call?


The Goddess of Cancer, and the Goddess of Everything Else by Scott Alexander. Lately, I've been thinking about whether there's a force for evil (as opposed to people doing evil things), and that made me go back and find this post.

Misc Links

Jun. 13th, 2016 09:15 pm
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I've had this one open since before the mass murder in Orlando. Presented without further comment (except I thought it would be about how I as a cis person could help, not putting all the responsibility on trans people). 8 Ways to Fight Anti-Trans Bias on the Job

Songs when you need them: Ysaye Barnwell and the music of community, resistance, and power by Kimberly French. Kumbaya does not mean what you think it means.

In the middle of slogging through Stephen Porges' book on Polyvagal Theory, I saw (elsewhere) this lucid article about a different aspect of the brain. This makes so much sense, and yet is brand new research. A New Theory Explains How Consciousness Evolved.

Descendants of Holocaust refugees tend not to have family heirlooms. I was touched by this story about the one thing a family held onto. Tea, Pride, Mystery: For One Family That Fled The Nazis, A Tin Canister Held It All by Camila Domonoske

This is scary around climate change, but also somehow delightful. Very old tree exists! And is flexible! 5,000-Year-Old Tree in Scotland is Changing From Male to Female.

Speaking of climate change, a couple of world population links.
Watch world population growth, 2050 years in 6 minutes. Spoiler: most of it is right at the end. Also, watch for some of the dots disappearing from the Black Death.
Population graph by year. Hover over your birth year to see the population then. Population has doubled since I was born!
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Shame heals in many small steps.
The Puzzle Box of Shame

New book response at Curious, Healing. Have you read this? Comments welcome!

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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Passing along a great set of links from [personal profile] firecat.

Girls' and women's experience of anger, a link collection. The comments have another good link and interesting discussion.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
Trauma heals at the borders between comfortable and uncomfortable.
Heal Around the Edges

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
We all deserve to have our distress heard and heeded.
The Betrayal of Not Being Heard

New book responses at Curious, Healing. Have you read these? Comments welcome!

Curious, Healing is a blog, and you're welcome to comment there or here about the books. The articles don't have a comment section. You're welcome to comment here or send me email with any thoughts.

If you want the monthly newsletter in your inbox, along with news about my practice, you can subscribe here.
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Nora Samaran hits another one out of the park in Out of the Attic: Dissociative Disorders and Social Justice.
An available solution when other strategies of protection or escape are not possible, when caregivers who you depend on for survival are the ones causing the harm, or are themselves experiencing overwhelming danger, is to ‘decide’ that the part of the self experiencing this overwhelming shame and terror is not-you. When this happens while the brain is still quite plastic, the neurochemical effects of shame and terror can literally wall off the neural networks involved in this overwhelming experience. They freeze in the state of trauma, and continue to operate in intense distress, but out of the consciousness of the child, who can then go on in the unbearable situation.


Also,
It is pretty important when understanding dissociative disorder to understand it is, and talk about it as, a normal part of human experience. There is nothing esoteric or rare or mystical about it. In fact, people with the disorder may already believe that parts of them are ‘subhuman’ or shamed out of deserving to be part of the circle of human bonds; it is important not to reify this distorted belief.


It's long. Totally worth reading. But if you're in a hurry you can skip to Handouts/Take-Away.
sonia: Wellspring of Compassion book cover with woodland stream (Wellspring cover)
I'm thinking about how to fold wellspringofcompassion.com into my main site, and I tested the link to the book's Amazon page. Wow, people have said the nicest things! Totally made my evening.

Unlike looking at my business's Yelp page a little while back, where I found someone who had rudely interrupted a dance evening at my house (nothing do to with my business), left a 1-star review because I didn't drop everything to help her... I don't even know, leave a note at my neighbor's house or something. Back in 2014. So I went through Yelp's process to contest a review, and to my surprise they did take it down. So that ended well, too.

Anyway, finding surprise positive reviews, yay!
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I ran across one of [personal profile] winterkoninkje's posts, and in conversation she pointed me to "Why I Speak". The whole post is long and thought-provoking and made me think about how and when I speak or write, and when I don't. I have huge respect for what she's doing!
I talk about a number of sensitive topics: depression, cPTSD, child abuse, sexism. Every one of these are topics where you risk damaging or ruining your career simply by bringing them up. [...]

I speak as a form of active political resistance against the silence culture that pervades the US (and surely the rest of the world). I do not discuss my history as a form of confession, nor as a form of exhibitionism; I talk about my past in order to perform my politics.


I rarely talk about my own trauma history directly, even with people I've known a long time. I don't have the energy to take care of them around hearing it, and that's mostly what would happen. Or I'd have to defend the truth of it, or with more complex memories, my fragile sense of its probability. I definitely don't have the energy for that.

I write about present-day struggles both as a way of reaching out, and as a way of making them visible to others who might be experiencing similar things. I do it mostly under access-lock, because it's vulnerable, and because it usually involves other people.

I do write a little more generally about the struggles of cPTSD in my articles. It's been an ongoing balancing act to choose how much of my personal story to make explicitly visible there, rather than keeping it implicit in what I choose to write about each month.

The post also made me think about depression. About 15 years ago, I had the first faint inkling that I might have issues with shame. I soon realized that it permeated my life so thoroughly that I couldn't see it at all. By analogy, I wouldn't say I have issues with depression off-hand - I get up in the morning, I get things done - but I wonder sometimes about the ongoing sense of being so tired, of coping rather than enjoying. I wonder if that's normal, or if it's some kind of depression that I can't see because I don't know anything else.
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I am very proud of making an Articles by Category page for my website. I'm new to programming for Wordpress, so it took a lot of perusing blogs and following examples to put this together.

Feedback welcome!
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