Brought to you by…

root

I’ve been prefacing my recent entries with “This post is brought to you by/made possible by” followed by a small list of things currently in my life helping to support me or keep me going. These things that sustain me can range from kind words and found life moments that lift me to tangible objects, opportunities, and donations.

The list of things can look like a daily gratitude offering and it is but it’s also much more than that to me. It’s a recognition that I’m not going through this life alone. When I succeed, no matter how small or large, it isn’t just my own “moxie and hard work” that makes it happen. When I struggle, it isn’t my own determination that keeps my head above water. This applies to things personal and economic. I reject the bootstrap mentality that I or anyone alone can pull themselves up to achieve their goals. It is also not possible to find comfort and make the best out of bad situations like poverty and depression without relying on other people and things to provide relief.  In this current state of bad systems and perpetual crisis, we’re only going to survive and thrive if we help each other.

And I say survive and thrive knowing fully well there may not be a way to thrive for some (hell, maybe I’m included in that) but dammit, that doesn’t mean I’m giving up on trying to build a better way.

mental health: create a sentinel

Today’s post is brought to you by generous supporter Heather, my now paid Internet service, and both store brand children’s cough and cold medicine (grape flavored) and my own special homemade ginger based cough and cold medicine that my kid hates.

In Past Lives, Future Healing, Sylvia Browne instructs the reader to create a foot tall imaginary sentinel that they station at their solar plexus (stick with me here) to guard against overwhelming feelings and anxieties.
I had totally forgotten about this until I listened to an episode of one of my favorite newly discovered podcasts By The Book where they live by that particular book. By The Book is a podcast where two friends live by the advice and instructions of a self help book for two weeks and share their experience. The first episode I listened to was on The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and I was hooked. I could write an entire book about how I feel about that book. I appreciated all of what they went through. Truly.
(Sidenote: The very first episode is about The Secret, which I skipped at first but then went back to later. The Secret is one of those books looooovvvvved by the type of folks who give poor people the most useless advice ever about how they’re not trying hard enough to be positive and draw good things into their life and nonsense about manifesting your own happiness & success. It turned out to be a good listen)

I also adore this podcast because Jolenta and Kristen remind me of one of my longest friendships. That friendship is the only reason I would have ever known about Sylvia Browne and Past Lives, Future Healing. This was one of those books she once put in my hands, enthusiastically encouraging me to give it a go. I’m pretty sure I skimmed through it and laughed a lot. I was not into it. I’m still not into it but the bit about sentinels grabbed me. Like all self help books, even if most of it seems ridiculous there may be parts worth taking out and using.

My teenage daughter struggles with severe anxiety coupled with depression. We’re fortunate to live in a community with access to mental health services with sliding scale fees for low income folks. Our insurance does cover most of the cost and our co-pay is $20 per weekly visit, which is still too much but the office is understanding and helpful. We both love her therapist. Our pediatrician is also on top of things and has prescribed medication. Still on a lot of days, she struggles a lot. And because she struggles, I do,too. Even though I also have issues with anxiety and depression, it’s not as severe as hers. I can relate through experience but only to a point. I’m constantly looking for ways to help, even if it’s just knowing the right things to say. to support her.  If there’s a technique to help her work through anxiety attacks, I’m open to them all. Thank you, Jessica Jones for that reciting the streets to get home/safe place trick.

So, sentinels? This sounded like it was worth a shot. Just one more thing to add to her coping toolbox.

I didn’t go back and read the book but from what I remembered (or maybe it was partly how my friend described it), the sentinel you create can be anything that helps you feel safe. It can be a literally strong person like a gladiator or something spiritual like an angel. It can be a real person who makes you feel safe in your life or a fictional character. Whatever it is, you picture it to be a small projection that stands in front of you and guards from the feels.

The immediate imagine that came to mind for me when creating my sentinel was the little guard in Labyrinth, Sir Didymus. Who knows why. I’m a little shocked it wasn’t Wonder Woman or a velociraptor. My brain is funny.
When I call forth him as my sentinel when I’m having anxiety, it just makes me laugh a little. I’ve always found humor to be fortifying so I guess that works. It at least take me out of the moment and helps to minimize the anxiety threat, or at least to better refocus my emotions so they aren’t so overwhelming.

Image result for sir didymus


See, though? He is a good little guard! He’s a furry little version of Gandalf. Good job, little guy.

If you have tips for getting through rough days, I’d love to hear them.

october 3rd, 2017

Some things to wade through today

mental wellness: “Don’t not set yourself on fire to keep others warm”– a thread on balancing social responsibility and exhaustion

podcast: Radiolab’s More Perfect- “Who’s Gerry and Why Is He So Bad At Drawing Maps?”

The Supreme Court is about to hear a case on how legislative districts are drawn to favor one political party over another.Good episode that breaks it all down, including the mathy stuff like The Efficiency Gap equation.

community building: “When you get a front door, remember to leave it open” – urban grassroots orgs for low income people to support each other around food, markets, and other events.

environmental justice: Underwater and Rising-The Housing Situation in Florida is About To Get Much Worse – there are so many layers to this. It’s a mess and it impacts poor and non-white communities more than anyone else

Jobs & Welfare: Elizabeth Warren Introduced A Bill To Ban “Right to Work” Laws – Good for her. I was a single,teen mom between jobs when The Clintons (yes, both of them) introduced right to work laws. That one “welfare reform” alone hurt so many people and continues to do so. It also impacts bigger things like unfair, low wages and crappy labor laws that hurt workers.

Racism Gap: The American Economy Isn’t Getting Any Less Racist – anti-Black hiring prejudices are just as prevalent as they were 30 years ago, deepening income inequality for Black people.

Activism: Host Teach-Ins About Bail and Pre-Trial Detentions – a guide with resources to help organize a teach-in event

Thoughts: An Open Letter To Privileged People Who Play Devil’s Advocate – I always say, “May I play Devil’s Advocate?” is the cousin of “I’m not racist BUT…”
Just don’t do it.

Perfect World:
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Art by the brilliant Ben Montero who always makes me have feelings

 

current anthem:


Was reading these links kind of a bummer? I do these nearly-daily link roundups at my other blog,too, and those are a lot happier and prettier.

Other places to find me:
Twitter
Instagram

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please considering being a supporter through Patreon. Your support will help keep the lights on and the content flowing, as well as help me develop printed publications such as cookbooks and zines designed to help low income folks. Even if you can only pledge $1 or $3 per month, that is SO appreciated! If even half the readers of this blog pledged that small amount, it would be significant enough to bring change and growth in my own life.
POOR AS FOLK ON PATREON OR ONE TIME DONATION VIA PAYPAL TO LUCKYFISHHOMESTEAD@GMAIL.COM

september 18th,2017 things

(Image credit: Miami2you/Shutterstock )

helping others: How To Help Hurricane Irma Victims Regain Food Security  – orgs to donate to that are helping feed people (similar link at the bottom of that page to article on helping Hurricane Harvey folks). The good news is that both Texas and Florida have put emergency protocols in place for SNAP users so that they can use their EBT for prepared hot food. They can also apply to get additional funds to replace food in their homes that was lost to power outage & destruction.

political involvement: Why I’m Going To Run For Office –“I’m done putting my faith in well-meaning surrogates. That’s not enough now, and it never really was.”
Right on. We really need more diverse candidates representing marginalized citizens.

podcast: Earhustle – created and produced by inmates at San Quentin, this podcast tells real stories about life in prison. Start from the beginning.

truth:
Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

 

The most ridiculous thing about this is that even if the pampering is free or super low cost, I will still get criticism. For example, posting a picture of my current read (from the library most likely) with a nice cup of cocoa almost always means I’ll see some sort of commentary about how I shouldn’t be so lazy or irresponsible with money. It isn’t just about the money aspect, it’s also about what’s seen as leisure and “mismanagement of time” that could presumably be spent working or maybe just  huddled in a corner wearing rags by a fireplace with nothing but ask while I cry myself to sleep.

Self care: Do it. Poor people need it more than anyone else.


Was reading these links kind of a bummer? I do these nearly-daily link roundups at my other blog,too, and those are a lot happier and prettier.

Other places to find me:
Twitter
Instagram

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please considering being a supporter through Patreon. Your support will help keep the lights on and the content flowing, as well as help me develop printed publications such as cookbooks and zines designed to help low income folks. Even if you can only pledge $1 or $3 per month, that is SO appreciated! If even half the readers of this blog pledged that small amount, it would be significant enough to bring change and growth in my own life.
POOR AS FOLK ON PATREON OR ONE TIME DONATION VIA PAYPAL TO LUCKYFISHHOMESTEAD@GMAIL.COM

september 13,2017 things

Kids are back in school. Let’s get back to this blog thing here.

mental wellness:  a Brazilian shaman reveals the dark side of positive thinking – The Law of Attraction and “just think positive!” solution is exhausting and mentally harmful, not to mention completely ineffective. Denying yourself normal emotions your feeling in challenging life situations isn’t going to fix anything or help you cope mentally. Be pissed off if you need to be. It’s healthy. 

But speaking of positivity….
activism: The Small Victories newsletter is a weekly roundup of all the progress made thanks to activism. I’m so glad this exists. It’s easy to lose track of these small victories when the big picture of work to do is so daunting.

podcast: Politically Reactive: Disaster Capitalism and How to Fight It with Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Mustafa Santiago Ali  – this episode focuses on environmental and structural racism that influences economic inequality
(this episode also happens to be where I heard about the Small Victories newsletter)

another podcast: Fake the Nation: DACA and Disasters with Dean Obeidallah and Charlie Pickering – it’s a good discussion of what DACA is for anyone trying to fill in the blanks.

awesomeness:

Image may contain: people standing

Winter compassion rack in Saranac, New York via Avantgardens

 

 


Was reading these links kind of a bummer? I do these nearly-daily link roundups at my other blog,too, and those are a lot happier and prettier.

Other places to find me:
Twitter
Instagram

If you like the work I do here at Poor as Folk, please considering being a supporter through Patreon. Your support will help keep the lights on and the content flowing, as well as help me develop printed publications such as cookbooks and zines designed to help low income folks. Even if you can only pledge $1 or $3 per month, that is SO appreciated! If even half the readers of this blog pledged that small amount, it would be significant enough to bring change and growth in my own life.
POOR AS FOLK ON PATREON OR ONE TIME DONATION VIA PAYPAL TO LUCKYFISHHOMESTEAD@GMAIL.COM

the hurrier I go the behinder I get

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Actually, a Monday morning reminder.
This is so fitting,considering how behind I feel today. I got hit with food poisoning and then some annoying staph infection. I am so far behind on everything. Usually I have my act together in at least one aspect of life but no, everything is a mess. Even my six year old who is oblivious to chaos commented this morning on the state of the house and the general messiness of life.

Last Monday, I posted this picture on Instagram of my weekly spread in my bullet journal (my journal is real a combo art/bullet/regular journal but whatever). It’s upside down. The journal itself is right side up but when I made the spread I didn’t realize I had it upside down. Ugh.17499340_10158358296755487_2709874769297363086_n
I commented that I hoped it wasn’t an indication of how my week was going to go. It was.

This Monday? I can’t find my journal anywhere. I feel like part of my brain is missing. My journal has become THE most important tool in managing my ADHD and life.

I think I’m going to take this week to get my collective shit together and hopefully I’ll find all the pieces of my brain while doing it.


Here’s my song of the day, “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want This Time” by The Smiths. I’m feeling way nostalgic for my 80s music today. Maybe it has something to do with watching Stranger Things with my 12 year old this weekend. He has been begging to watch horror movies. Stranger Things was my compromise.

 

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[image:  green background with text surrounded by flowers. Text reads “Your worth is not defined by your paycheck”]
Art by Frizz Kid

This is always a good reminder, especially for those who don’t get a paycheck.

 

 

PAF Playlist: Stand up….we shall not be moved, except for a child with no socks and shoes

What with all the holey shoe issues this week, this song kept popping into my head.

This week has me thinking about how my current poor AF circumstances are both enormous and small at the same time. I’m thinking about how fortunate I am but how unsettling that good fortune is knowing that so many people are in the same place and much worse.

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Do you think I could crowdfund to become a philanthropist? People would get behind that,right? The Poor Philanthropist.

(I LOVE oxymorons, by the way)

I wouldn’t be a charitable philanthropist,though. Charity is this concept that assumes that the person giving is more elevated than the person receiving. I wouldn’t want to be about that. I’m right there with ya’ll.
(I think I just mangled another quote right there but the exact wording and who said it first is escaping me)