This week, I'm thinking about resistance.
Resistance gets a bad rap in the personal development world, but only because there is a variety of resistance that's rooted in fear—fear of failure (even fear of success), fear of the unknown, fear of being seen.
The other kind of resistance is rooted in strength—strength of character, of conviction, of goodness and rightness. In a refusal to comply. In love and tolerance and protection. This resistance takes a stand for something bigger than itself—and often against something bigger than itself.
As January 20th approaches, I'm trying to figure out how I'm most needed to resist. How I can best contribute my unique brand of resistance to this movement.
I've called my senators and my congressman; I've signed the petitions; I've set up recurring donations; I've read and listened and watched; I've shown kindness and acceptance and generosity of spirit; I've worried and obsessed.
No tidy answers here, just a few women who are resisting in ways that have inspired me this past week.
Fear does not keep me up at night. Sometimes I'll stay up for prayer. Or dancing. But never for fear. I'm too exhausted for fear.
Artist Deb Stein (formerly of Bonbon Oiseau NYC) is shifting gears with her work, moving away from the jewelry-designing that first launched her career in favor of following some of her bigger dreams of art-making and activism. I've followed her on Instagram for a while now, and I've watched how her work has transformed into a moving thing, a rallying thing, a thing that's bigger than Deb, herself. Yesterday, amid hand-painted cardboard Lady Liberty torches, she shared the sign she made for the Women's March on Washington. Her caption reads:
My realization this afternoon after two amazing days of sign making with incredible groups of people of all ages and from different backgrounds is that resistance really is greater than fear. I was so hopeful I finally made my sign.
Last night, Tracee Ellis Ross accepted a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy; incidentally, she's the first black woman to win in that category since 1983. The sheer joy she brought to the stage gave me goosebumps, as did her life-affirming speech:
This is for all the women, women of color, and colorful people. Whose stories, ideas, thoughts are not always considered worthy and valid and important. But I want you to know that I see you; we see you. It is an honor to be on this show, Black-ish. To continue expanding the way we are seen and known. And to show the magic and the beauty and the sameness of a story and stories that are outside of where the industry usually looks.
As a side note: I've admired Tracee Ellis Ross for quite a while now. Something she said in a 2012 interview with Uptown Magazine has stuck with me: "I am learning every day to allow the space between where I am and where I want to be to inspire me and not terrify me."
In what ways are you resisting? What if, like the cactus, we were born to resist, to use resistance as a tool for protection—yours or someone else's? How would knowing that change this experience for you? Hit 'reply' and share with me.
Said good-bye to Dave (then missed Dave); hung out with Kitty and Danny over Mexican food, then wandered around Sea Cliff until we decided to investigate a quaint townie bar; shoveled snow; watched birds at the feeder (could do this endlessly); counted 18 robins and three bluejays; 'met' Jaryn and was gifted a hearty laugh inspired by her experience with grits; picked out new glasses; opened envelopes, felt gratitude, and recorded it all on a spreadsheet; watched Sherlock; planned travel (we're staying in New York another week)
"It’s a puzzle to find a spot for everything, and the trick is to take pleasure in the solving of it." Also from Rachael (well, Rachael's Joan): Gingerbread men are real.
Some kind of special gallery
While we visited the gorgeous Planting Fields Arboretum yesterday, my mom spotted this elderly-looking cactus and its perfect name tag: Cephalocereus senilis! Literally (Latin-ally?), 'old man cactus.' I made my dad touch it to see if its hairs were sharp. (They weren't.)