The Summer of Me

I just finished up my first semester in the MCIS program. I think I squeaked out with an A.  It’s a good place to start.  I am still all over the place with the concentration of my degree program.  The research projects that I worked on this semester for my Communication Research class all revolved around the general topic of Feminism + Social Media.  I am passionate about it but  I haven’t been immersed in  women’s studies (from a theoretic point of view) in well over 10 years. I feel very behind the game.  It doesn’t help that I am in the communications department and not the women’s study department and there isn’t a lot of commingling.

I need an advisor and an academic coach because I’m also not sure if it’s smart to just start from scratch with feminism and social media.  So much of my background it health related. It seems logical that my concentration should be health communication and I weave it together through Women’s Health.   That would allow me to  utilize my backgrounds in holistic health, yoga, pregnancy and childbirth as well as my pharmaceutical background. I would just have to shift slightly into environmental health and I would have almost all of my backgrounds covered… Direction is really challenging for a scanner.


Speaking of women’s health. Mine is in the shitter. Marriage + a year of not teaching and sitting on my ass in an office from 9-5 is taking its toll.  I am fat and feel totally uncomfortable in my own skin. I haven’t had this feeling in years. I also haven’t been this heavy and unhealthy in years and it totally sucks. My weight began to increase and my health  decline when I stopped working with my Sprouting Wellness clients.  The mirror is a powerful force.  I totally fell off the wagon when I stopped teaching and my personal practice declined to non-existent. I now have a serious aversion to studio practice for fear of judgement.  Mostly my own; my boobs don’t fit into my yoga clothes, my hamstrings  have college soccer-sized knots and my belly is just in the way. I am also tired of having to explain, no I am not involved in LBG anymore.  It’s all just prickley and uncomfortable and I’d rather play the role of ostridge and put my head in the sand.

So given my uncertainty in my degree program + my dissatisfaction in my physical health, I am taking the summer off. I vow not to be an over achiever that finishes a part-time graduate program in the same amount of time as a full time student.  I promise to dedicate this summer to my health. I promise not to over schedule and over commit myself.  This summer is the summer of ME.  It’s about getting healthy.  It’s about changing bad habits. It’s about releasing weight. It’s about increasing energy. It’s about finding my practice again.  And it’s about doing some serious academic soul searching.

I am trying two new things to get me on and keep me on track. First, I am going to be doing the Isagenix 30 Day Cleanse.  If any of my former clients or students actually read this blog, they probably just fell out of their chair. I have never been a proponent or endorser of powdered cleanses. I basically do not believe in them.  That being said,  I know that there are some serious issues happening with my liver, endocrine system and toxicity load. Juice cleanses haven’t been able to get to the bottom of it. Bad habits die hard.   I went back and forth between a Metagenics Liver Cleanse and Isagenix. In the end, I decided that I needed (and wanted) more than a week long detox. I reached out to a number of my IIN colleagues for review and information (not just the sell sheet) and I am comfortable with my decision. I need to go at least 30 days, possibly more (I am toying with 90). The more I see results, the longer I will continue the program.  For me, results aren’t just numbers. It’s my energy level, my hair, my nails and other indicators of health in the body. This is going to be one hell of an experiment.

UP for the challenge of keeping me on track?

I need my readers to help keep me on track. To hold me accountable, to ask questions and demand answers. It’ take a community right?  I also got a Jawbone UP to keep me on track. I have wanted one of these gadgets for months. I was really unsure due to the reviews on the battery. People that love them, LOVE them. People that hate them, Loved them first, but then got pissed off over the battery and warranty issues.  So this handy little minx links with an ap in your Iphone and does a ton of stuff:

  • Tracks steps taken and calories burned
  • Tracks sleep patterns — how long it took to fall asleep, how many times you woke up out of sleep and for how long, measures light vs. deep sleep
  • Has a silent, vibrating alarm that will wake you when your body is most ready to awaken within a certain time frame you set (PSYCHED to try this one out!)
  • Allows you to log workouts – type, level of difficulty, duration
  • Options for logging/tracking food and mood
  • Uses data to develop trends and comparisons (ex. you are happiest when you burn x amount of calories a day and sleep x hours a night)

It’s like a tiny little health coach on my wrist keeping me on track. I hope it’s up for the challenge. I pray that I am up for the challenge. My future and my life literally depend on it.  I also hope to find the nerve to actually talk about and post my updates, struggles and triumphs here. It’s definitely outside of the adkjerseygirl blog box.  But this summer is me time. I guess it’s about to personal up in here!

Advocacy, Environmentalism, Feminism

Scanning, Dabbling and Changing the World…

DISCLAIMER: This blog post is more for my own brain dumping edification than for your entertainment. 

Since early college, I wanted to work in/run a non-profit organization. I majored in political communication/campaign management an minored in women’s studies with that intent. I fell in love with Marian Wright Eddleman, Gloria Steinem and Sarah Weddington.  I volunteered  for various women’s groups, political candidates and environmental organizations. I continued volunteering after college while supporting myself by waitressing. And I kept having recurring conversations with my parents that always ended with “you have to get a real job”  “you can’t work for nothing” “you can’t volunteer forever”

So I stopped my volunteer work and went to law school. I think my intention was to skip the trenches (unpaid) and jump to the executive (paid) levels in the non-profit/campaign world. I thought that the letters after my name would get me there (rather than the paying the time + dues + dirty work). Of course, I was wrong. Accordingly, I have never been able to actually land a job with a NPO or campaign that I actually believe in and have passion for.

I have dabbled in all the little things I believe in or want to advocate for without actually fully committing to that profession.

I went to law school because I thought it would open the door to work in Non-profits.  I got an LLM in environmental law, because I  wanted to work in environmental advocacy. I got certified as a yoga instructor because I believe in and want to advocate for the balance of body + mind + spirit. I got certified as a holistic health coach because I believe in and want to advocate for natural, whole foods and a healthy lifestyle in balance with nature and the earth’s cycles. I got certified as a birth doula because I believe in and want to advocate for a woman’s choice for natural birth without unnecessary medical intervention. I trained in Mayan Abdominal Massage because I think every woman should intimately know (and be able to take charge of) how her body works.

I never really wanted to be a lawyer. I never wanted to teach yoga (though I love doing so). I never wanted to be a health coach.  I never really wanted to be a doula, I never wanted to give abdominal massages.  I just wanted to learn. I just wanted to have the knowledge to be able to credibly advocate by/for/about these things.

There is a (ridiculous) saying – those who can’t do, teach. I think the saying should be those who are afraid to do, continue to learn.  I am stuck in a perpetual cycle of learning. Am I afraid of doing?

There has to be a bit of fear in there somewhere… The fear of not being able to find the job that satiates me, not being able to make a living at that job, not being able to make a difference.  The common denominator to those fears, is insecurity, it’s the fear of not being good enough. Not being flexible enough, peaceful enough, healthy enough, strong enough, inspirational enough, articulate enough, just not enough.

My own perception of competition terrifies me.  There are millions of yoga teachers, health coaches, business coaches, life coaches out there. There are 1000s of non-profit organizations designed to save the environment, empower women and fight for healthy options. The idea of having to be as good as any one of them terrifies me.  What will make me unique? What will make what I do special? Stand out? Make a difference without taking away from something or someone else?

I’ve read the Fire Starter Sessions, I’ve read A Course In Miracles, I’ve gone through B-school, I’ve Dream Mapped, I’ve Surrenderd. I am well versed in the laws of attraction and abundance and theoretically understand that there is plenty for everyone and the right “clients” are out there for me. But I still can’t seem to move past the fear of not being as good as XYZ. I’ve been a passive participant in all of it, without truly taking action.

Part of the problem is understanding my big crazy dream, inside and out.  I can’t narrow it down. I can’t pick just one thing.  It’s so large and vast.  I think the common thread in all of it is advocacy on one level or another for the diverse things I am passionate about.

  • I want to create an advocacy think-tank that serves non-profit, heart centered or purpose driven organizations. I want to design + create their campaigns, their branding, and their message.
  • I want to run a non-profit organization that DOES GOOD and that SERVES. But what good things and what service, I don’t know.
  • I physically want to create things using my hands. Dig in the dirt. Recycle, re-purpose, build.

What does all of this mean? How does it all come together? Where is the clarity?

I bring all of this up because as a graduate student, working toward my Ph.D, I need to make a choice. I need to hone in on a research topic. A subject. A field to become an expert in.  I have had meetings with professors in the Political Science, Digital Media, Communications and Public Policy departments.  I am somewhere between ecofeminism, the rhetoric of advocacy, branding for non-profits and campaigns and environmental communication. How do I pull it all together?  I want to smash the fluffy-bunny-wiccan-men-hating paradigm attached to the ecofeminist movement, to write a revised manifesto for MODERN Ecofeminism.  I want to understand the rhetoric that makes a campaign successful and tell PETA, “you’re doing it wrong.” I want to be the person that designs the words to tell the world “economic growth isn’t compatible with environmental protection, but here’s how we can do better. This is how we fix it.”  I want to start a movement that’s bigger than a Facebook group or a Google + Community that is true high-risk activism.  I want to scream at the online generation that Social Networks are making us apathetic.  CLICKING LIKE isn’t going to change the world. You have to get up off your ass to do that!  I want to be the David that slays Monsanto.

I want to put it in my mouth, chew on it and come up with a thesis statement.