Not wanting to make and "make it work" is enough!
There’s not going to be a proper newslessay this week. Could I make it happen? Could I push myself, dredge something up, pull something together? Oh, totally. But do I feel like it? Do I want to?
We are allowed to ask those questions, too.
Yesterday, I went to a virtual somatic workshop facilitated by an internet pal named Jo Tucker. It was focused on navigating “freeze,” the nervous system state that shuts us down, closes us up, and makes us want to distract, avoid, or run away from life. Jo refers to this state as “hypo” — technically a prefix, meaning “under” or “below,” as in underperforming, underproducing, or under water.
You might also call it, um, “writer’s block.”
Jo talked about how this freeze or hypo (or writer’s block) state can seem like a shameful place to be in a capitalist system. When you’re in fight instead of freeze, hyper instead of hypo — overworking, over-achieving, over-compensating — the culture gives you cookies. Not so for the “under” place. But we need the shut-down, the wisdom of freeze, to save us from battle mode, which is simply unsustainable. Neither can we fight all the time, nor should we.
And yet, in a culture built on the (white supremacist, classist, ableist, etc.) mythology of pulling oneself up by the bootstraps, this is often what we do: pull. ourselves. up. Get it together. Get back at it. Sometimes, we must, you and I, for the sake of our survival. But sometimes…you’re allowed to do whatever the f*ck you want, which might mean BAKING YOUR OWN DAMN COOKIES to feed yourself, one by one, in the bubble bath.
Last night, when I was still thinking about that workshop, I slammed my two tiniest right toes into a door frame in the apartment. Like, hard. A whole quarter of my foot is puffed and purple. I’ve been lounging on the couch all day, trying to practice doing less — doing a whole lot less. For me, this is a creative act, rewriting this story about whom I owe what, what makes me valuable, what counts as enough. That rewriting is all the writing I feel like this evening. Okay, cool! Good job, little nervous system!
The bath’s running as I type this, and I have to add the epsom salts. I’m not going to paste a quote here or provide a prompt. This week, this is it. Oh, but before I leave, here are some cookies for all of the nothings you did today: 🍪🍪🍪🍪🍪
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