Self care in times of stress

It feels so good to rise to the surface and breathe once again after an all-consuming month of assignments and exams which mark the end of my first year of uni as a non-school leaver. Whilst I absolutely LOVE studying, I have found the pressure involved with end of semester requirements quite overwhelming at times. Being a more ‘vintage’ individual, there are increased demands to navigate through – home/study balance, raising teenagers and work issues to start. This is a gentle reminder to take time out in times of heightened pressure to just.. Be. Breathe a little. Give thanks for all that is good in life. Just an hour a day has been my aim, yet sometimes even this has been unachievable. In which case, even ten minutes will work wonders.

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Take that extra long shower. Download a new playlist to zone out to. Enjoy the superior chai in the ‘Cafe of good vibes’. Walk alone in nature without earphones. Message your loved one with silly banter. Pull out 3.5 weeds from the garden and be proud with this effort. Grounding is brilliant. Even just sitting on the grass with a cup of tea for 10 minutes can recharge oneself for the next intensive session of fact absorbing/essay creation.

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Take time to just be and tune out. Fuel your body with healthy foods that will bring the rewards of increased energy and focus for learning. It will soon all be over, and there IS life after exams. Actually, that is exactly what life IS. Exams are just a stepping stone to move from this chapter to the next and are not in fact ‘life’. Remember who is important and take time out of the study schedule to maintain contact. Connections are what count. Connections are what keep us going most of all in times of high stress.

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Be well,

Luna xx

Queer Lady Culture (online links)

Starting this blog I knew that it would be a place to share places I have been visiting online. Finding one’s tribe when they have taken the courageous steps of finding themselves is crucial for any kind of sanity.

There are loads of sites out there, with seemingly endless amounts of content, which can be quite overwhelming at times. Finding people and places that consolidate the knowledge you have about yourself can be so empowering, and a little fun too (if not a little daunting at times).

I can feel I’m about to delve deeper and peel back the layers, dissecting the concepts of space and place, which is not what I intended to do! So without anymore rambles, the following are indeed places I am enjoying on the net at the moment.. from the perspective of a lady loving lady in her fourth decade with a young heart…

Enjoy,

Luna xo

(I hope to add to this list as time goes by, so be sure to pop by again sometime).

Youtube:

Rose and Rosie: Two outrageously funny Brits share relationship antics and advice to a huge following. It can be a bit squeamish with the detail at times but there are always laugh out loud moments as they take digs at each other – something which never gets old.

Lillian and Alexis: A German-Candian long distance relationship. The couple started their channel to keep them going through their times apart and to share aspects of their lives. If you are in a long distance relationship and pine for your loved one, this one’s for you (Relatable? Much..*sigh*). **Good news,**The couple are now both together in Berlin, where they are continuing their vlogging adventures.. (‘Perfeckt’ for those learning German on the side!)

Instagram:

Once Upon a Journey: Two girls shed the notion of 9-5 for global adventures. Stunning photography and exotic locations..this is the place to go for whimsical daydreams of summer warmth and loving..

nancy_dsantos: Lesbian page that advocates equal rights and visibility for the LGBT community. Clips from films, music and memes to bring you a smile, or encourage you to think a little deeper on current issues people are experiencing. This page always has quality content and is one of my faves.

imsteph: Travelling LGBTQ+ photographer Steph shares images of weddings and ceremonies. Blissful escapism and good vibes as you see couples express their love on their most precious of days. Beautiful photography in remarkable locations, capturing the essence of couple’s connections..

alysf: Alys Fowler, the British horticulturalist who came out in her 2017 book “Hidden Nature”. Here you’ll find nature posts with sprinklings of queer. Do read the book, it won’t disappoint. The interwoven story of her self discovery set against the backdrop of the Birmingham canals from an inflatable rubber dinghy is earthy and pure. Thank you for sharing your heart Alys. I loved your earlier books and truly learned the art of repurposing and growing from them.

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Birth of a Feminist

Travelling back from an event last night, my friend behind the wheel, the conversation veered to more personal matters. Feeling the need to share I started telling her about an assignment I had been working on for an introductory sociology class I am taking.

Through this task I have unraveled and peeled back the layers of my life through a theoretical lens, finding where certain twists and turns fit. It has caused me to go deep. Really deep. As in….”where would I be now had I not led such a sheltered childhood? Were the influences from my family and community so strong that they shaped a good chunk of my life? And most noteworthy..the slow realization that my movements through certain times in my life were made from choices, yet the external factors those choices were made in were not of my choosing.” Those external factors were largely embedded in the dominant masculine discourse that is our society.

I likened my thoughts to a pinball machine, designed to allow passage for only certain sized or shaped balls, through to achievement/success. Depending on the size of one’s ball (themselves) they may be granted or denied passage through no other reason than their ethnicity, gender, social class, sexuality, age or disability. Intersectionality. The word at the moment. I admitted I was disheartened to fully understand the impact this had on vulnerable people (I had previously ‘known’ but had not really fully appreciated the deeper meaning and implications it held for people situated within multiple sources of oppression). This coming from a lady loving lady who had fallen down a few rungs on the social class ladder through claiming her identity. How could this be? Yet there are others facing much greater oppression than I. It all seems so unjust.

She very calmly turned to me and said; “It’s ok. You’re having a consciousness-raising.”

Why yes! Yes I am. And it feels empowering, nauseating and motivating all at the same time.

So from this baby feminist on this sunny Sunday: ‘Happy first Birthday to Me.’

Many happy returns (in the form of free passage for all?).

Luna xo

An introduction to intersectionality can be found here

(sweet peas: sweet peace)