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Tiny Revolutions №17: Anything Goes
you feel what you feel
Hi, I’m Sara, and this is Tiny Revolutions, an occasional newsletter with personal writing and links about the practice required to stay mentally healthy. Reply anytime and let me know what you think!
I’ll admit, I’m at a loss. Much like the rest of the world. A writer I admire said it best:
I’ve been wanting to write a dispatch but have found myself with both everything and nothing to say — so much so that writing anything seemed impossible. The feeling was further compounded by coming down with what was likely COVID-19 the week before last, which made me feel even more like I should be saying something. (Note: I’m fine and just about fully recovered, and no, I was not able to confirm that I had it because I was unable to get tested).
In a way I feel like the years I’ve spent learning to manage depression have prepared me for this crisis. Keeping it together mentally is about embracing discomfort, accepting ambiguity and uncertainty, and just reminding yourself that this too shall pass — all skills that have served me well over the past month.
And while the mental weather has been intense since the pandemic lockdown began, I’ve noticed that the things that have brought me the most joy amidst all of this are the simple, bodily pleasures. The cup of coffee in the morning. Playing with my nephews. Sitting on the stoop in the late afternoon sun. So I’m doing my best to savor those moments.
Here’s therapist and relationship research maven Esther Perel on why it’s so important to connect with our bodily desires:
Being in our bodies is not about performance or results. It’s about coming home. It's a pleasurable, sensual connection that reminds us that life is worth living even when we are in pain or struggling.
We spend so much our time focused on all the ways we wish our bodies would be instead of just enjoying what they are, so maybe now, while we’re all forced to be home, it’s time to *really* come home—to our bodies. Here’s Perel on how to do it.
What’s keeping you sane?
Here are some things I thought were worth sharing recently:
Sometimes we try not to feel what we’re feeling because we have this image of a “gang of feelings.” If I feel sad and let that in, it’ll never go away. The gang of bad feelings will overrun me. The truth is a feeling that moves through us. We feel it and it goes and then we go to the next feeling. There’s no gang out to get us. It’s absurd to think we shouldn’t feel grief right now. Let yourself feel the grief and keep going.
A big big list of mental health and recovery resources that are free or heavily discounted.
The free dance classes/dance parties choreographer Ryan Heffington is hosting on Instagram Live are downright euphoric. Even if, like me, you can’t dance, you can still dance it out. Just do it!!
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are some templates to use to help you say no in any situation.
Is this you? Because it’s definitely me.
“It’s okay to head out for Wonderful, but on your way to Wonderful, you’re gonna have to pass through Alright, and when you get to Alright, take a good look around and get used to it, because that may be as far as you’re gonna go.”
I was sad to hear of the passing of Bill Withers, whose music scored part of my 20s, when I was young and (sort of) carefree and living in New York City. The quote above is from the documentary “Still Bill”, which you can stream on YouTube. What I always found interesting about Withers is that he was not only a musical genius, but a genuinely kind and decent man.
An ode to boredom.
A delightful Twitter thread from Merriam-Webster:
Click in for gems like “bêtise” (an act of foolishness or stupidity) and “cacozealous” (ill affected, or badly imitating).
And, finally, a poem.
Hang in there, friends, and keep feeling your feelings.
p.s. If any of this resonated with you, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with a friend. They can subscribe here.