Feminist Mantra Monday 9: Reflect on How You Feel.
This week's mantra was inspired by a quotation from one of my favorite feminist writers and activists, the “black, lesbian, mother, warrior, poet” Audre Lorde, herself:
Most often, it seems like I spend my time either too deep in my own feelings to make sense of them or too far removed from them to think anything but sensibly. (Hint: Feeling like I can only succumb to or ignore your feelings is a symptom of patriarchy and patriarchy's emphasis on reason.)
As the year wraps up, I've been taking time to check in with myself. For me, this means, creating mental space to reflect by putting away my to-do lists, computer, and phone, and then sitting down to meditate and journal every day. Sometimes I end up making lists of goals and dreams for next year, but sometimes I just rehash the same break-up I've thought through about a hundred times already this year.
When I'm feeling shitty, my instinct is generally to move forward and through it. I'm the woman who handles a break-up by taking on a half-dozen new projects until I'm so busy I've just forgotten to be sad. I like the quotation above by Audre Lorde because it reminds me that there is so much to learn from those negative feelings as well, and I shouldn't just push through them without feeling them. Those feelings are the best path to true self-knowledge.
So for the last week of the year, this feminist mantra invites you to reflect on your feelings. How has 2016 been? Think back through the first few months, then the middle of the year, then the end. What happened in your life this year? What feelings color each season?
Sit down and make a list of feelings and the events or experiences attached to them from this year. Once you have a list, make a new chart with two columns: Lean In / Let Go. Put the feelings/events/experiences in one of the two columns.
For me, my "super happy I started a blog" feelings are going in the Lean In column, and my "boyfriend who cheated on me and left me with lingering trust issues" feelings are going in the Let Go column.
Try it yourself, and let me know what you're leaning into and letting go of for now, babes. And have a happy, happy new year!