“it is not about what you feel, but it is about connecting with what arises.”
Hi everyone! Welcome back to my weekly roundup of news, recipes, songs, podcasts, and things that I’ve been doing. Thank you all for the great feedback on my last newsletter, playing dress-up. It was so much fun for me to make a crazy mess while going through my wardrobe and edit such a fun video for you all.
This week, I’ve been trying to find my place within all of the “new years res” talk. I’ve gone back and forth about if I should adopt a list of resolutions or not, make any personal goals, etc. I like to work on myself as a gradual practice, not changing everything overnight. I’ve found that making small tweaks within a larger goal you have set for yourself seems to work best for me, refining the details once you’ve worked out the kinks of a new reality such as “well… what can I eat now that I’m vegan?” Within a larger transition or resolution such as being vegan, you will learn along the way that there are even more mountains, struggles that are less visible from the start. Thus, it makes sense to keep refining as new things arise.
The quote touches on something that’s been in my head this week, tending to issues and urgent matters when they arise – even if you didn’t intend to feel sad or be disappointed by something. Once a feeling is there, you must address it head on. Take what is in your life truly “as it arises.” I can already feel my own mindfulness improving because I’m not forcing myself to have certain emotions or think about specific goals that may not need to be forced upon my horizon in this moment.
Government Shutdown: Cardi B may have said it best. It’s an targeted attack on working class people.
Vox’s The Weeds does a great podcast on the federal government shutdown, here called “You can’t eat your principles for dinner.” There’s no federal funding for food stamps, workers aren’t being paid, National Parks have trash and waste pilling up, TSA agents are understaffed, people can’t file their taxes, the FDA is relaxing food inspections in lieu of the longest government shutdown that doesn’t seem to have any apparent resolution. Here’s the impact.
2020 Democrats: The time has come…. Democrats have started throwing their hats in the ring to run for President in 2020. You know who’s running based on if they’ve started an Instagram live stream in their kitchen.
Warren, Gillibrand, Brown are some of the big names. It’s quite early, but if you need a little information on all of these candidates, I’ve been enjoying commentary from the 538 politics staff. Especially, this article that gets into demographic groups of the Democratic party and each candidate’s predicted success with each faction. One of my favorite writers for 538 is Clare Malone, you can read all of her pieces here.
Warren’s running to take on corruption, protect consumers (she created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) with a strong economic institutional agenda. Gillibrand announced on Colbert, where she posed herself to be a candidate for moms, working families, sexual assault victims, and women at large. Brown is an economic populist from Ohio, capitalizing on his Midwest roots, as the Democrats have lost a hold on since the 2012 midterms, mostly because of partisan gerrymandering.
Right now, I’m not judging or endorsing a specific candidate. I like a lot of the potential candidates as of now, but know that a lot will change between January and June. One thing I’ve settled on though, is that Democrats need to do better as a party. They need to have a more coherent policy message, act a little more bullish, and simplify their politics to why they want to help people.
Furthermore, as we’ve learned with Trump, it’s not-so-much about who’s sitting in the White House, but I’ve gotten more outraged by the crooks that he’s instilled within the DOJ, HHS, DOE, DHS. Administrative agencies are hard to track, and the average American isn’t likely to snoop through the notice-and-comment process on government websites to find out what’s happening on the ground. Here’s some new things we’ve learned…
We’ve just learned that Kirsten Nielsen lied and started to separate families at the border, while denying it was an official Trump policy. Can we imagine all of the families who’ve been separated without it being documented in federal records?
At HHS and DOE, you may not want to look at what’s being done at these administrative agencies. There is a complete roll-back of civil rights protections, abortion access, etc. under the guise of “religious liberty.” Here is a beautifully-done resource from Planned Parenthood with a timeline and the actors who have power over reproductive, immigration, and education policy.
It is more of interest to me who the Democrats will put in the Department of Labor, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Justice, etc. as these are the real change-makers. Many of the Senators who may run in 2020 could be better served in a cabinet position, or even…. by staying in the Senate, or else the Democrats may not find themselves with a majority.
RITUAL: 10% Happier
I’m not one for buying into “new years resolution” talk, but I’ve been thinking about starting meditation for a few months. I’ve tried it all, Headspace, white noise, guided meditations, sitting in silence… yet my meditation efforts have only seemed to amplify all of the chaotic thoughts in my head.
This app, 10% happier, was started by a news anchor who didn’t really buy into meditation. What I love about the app, is that it features professionals who give you cold, hard facts about why you need to meditate. It’s a no-bullshit meditation practice backed up with science. I’ve actually been successful to schedule in a daily meditation for about two weeks! The main thing that sticks with me when I meditate is that I’ve truly found results to to shift my scattered focus and improve mindfulness of small things like my own physical breath. It forces me to check into how my body and mind are feeling, I highly recommend trying this one out.
HEALTH + WELLNESS:
I’ve been so sick of all of the diet-talk, new years calorie-cutting resolutions, etc. that have taken over my social media feeds. I’ve learned the hard way that none of those behaviors are sustainable long-term: the diet industry wants you to fail. That’s how they win.
Doing Well x Bonberi: I live a few blocks away from a new bodega-inspired, health cafe in the West Village, Bonberi. Bonberi was having an event with Daphne Javitch, founder of DoingWell. (Read Javtich’s story here, how she was a regular smoker for 15 years and would have to take 12 advil a day to combat period pain.) She’s now a health coach, and talked with Bonberi’s founder Nicole about her health non-negotiables, favorite foods, gut health tips, etc.
It was a lovely event that adequately touched on why health is so inspiring for me. It’s not about being the skinniest, eating in the most perfect way, which I, of course, still have to remind myself. Though as women, often we move in such an all-or-nothing pattern that our relationship with food gets skewed by the language of “falling off my diet” or “I slipped up and made a mistake.” This internal voice is more common among women than we all talk about out loud, and is something in which I want to be more transparent and comfortable to expose. It is hard to be a woman and have a healthy relationship with food and your body, so don’t feel alone in it.
High Vibrational Beauty: CAP Beauty is one of my favorite shops in New York City, and this book is their accumulation of recipes, wellness tips, etc. based on each season. I love their intense, strong connection to how you feel and what works best for your body while preaching a health-centered lifestyle. This book has recipes featuring ancient healing ingredients like miso or fennel, and makes healthy eating more of a ritual, than a chore.
SPOTIFY PLAYLIST: grooooove
ENGAGE YOUR BRAIN:P
Citations Needed: Media Representations of Abortion (Episode 1, Episode 2) A podcast with two episodes from awhile ago that talks about how the language around abortion originated. It is fascinating to see how we talk about this issue, and how the central problem has stemmed far away from the woman’s health and safety because religious and morality argumentation.
Today Explained: The Roberts Court: If you want to hear what’s on the docket for the next term of the Supreme Court, listen to this episode. You’ll learn about big cases that are coming up, issues at large, and where politics has taken the federal courts.
Girls About Town: Yes, The Metrograph is my lone movie-goer paradise. I saw the most amazing film on Wednesday night. 1930s prostitutes. New York City. Emeralds, astrology, yachts. Scamming men for their money.
This is a beautiful black-and-white film that felt oddly current in our Tinder, social media age of dating. One of the characters starts riffing that the billionaire’s star sign is incompatible with hers while reading his palm. Another woman talks about how she wants to fake her marriage because there doesn’t seem to be any form of true love out there. I really related to this movie as a girl in New York, and of course, the fashion inspiration was incredible.
On the Basis of Sex: I’m always inspired by Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s story: how she got herself through law school while married and with a child, worked for the ACLU, and has transformed the legal landscape of women’s rights.
This movie covers Charles E. Moritz v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, which is not one of her most famous cases such as Reed v Reed about gender discrimination. However, this film looks at this specific case because her husband Martin, a tax-lawyer, and her argue the case together, utilizing her vernacular with gender-based discrimination to take up a man’s claim that he was discriminated against on behalf of his gender as a caregiver.
I cried a lot throughout this movie. It’s a beautiful love story, touching on how Ruth went to all of Marty’s classes while they were both enrolled in law school because he had cancer. The film even sprinkles in a few dorky things for law-interested people, with its seemingly nonchalant mention of the origin of the wording “sex” vs. “gender” discrimination (something which has created a huge grey area in law.) Yet, the movie is quite easy-to-follow for those not interested in law as it is just a beautiful depiction of Ruth’s life.
Felicity Jones does an excellent job of portraying Ruth. Ruth only exists in such male-dominated settings, and the mastered practice of being a woman in these places is what stuck out to me the most. She can’t stumble her sentences when asked case information in class, or can’t let her Brooklyn accent come through. It is the mask over her anger and emotion which is what touched me, as I feel in a quite parallel moment as Ginsburg.