MHM 15: Greetings from Austin!

Hey all! Guess where we are?? We’re enjoying our last morning in Austin, TX!

MHMBannerWe’re writing this a bit ahead of time to get you the Mash-Up on Monday, but we’re pretty sure the conference went awesome and we met some wonderful people! We’ll tell you a bit more about that next week.

For the time being we wanted to share some COM|PASSionate Consent Worksheets we made for our little Queering Consent Playshop at the Contemporary Relationships Conference this past weekend!

First up! COM|PASSionate Preference Exploration Flow Chart

While “No, means, NO,” is an important place to start in any consent conversation we realize that their are a multitude of layers underlying our ability to say, NO, clearly when we need to. There are also a multitude of layers that inhibit us from saying, YES, when we want to. This cycle multiplies and complicates with each level of intersection- especially for queer folks who spend a lot of time being told they’re… well, queer (and not in the good way.) This COM|PASSionate Preference Chart can be used to neutralize and explore your interests, preferences, inclinations and, all out, turn ons. It’s a starting point to “getting down with your desires and under the covers with your body boundaries,” so you can start a dialogue with your body that informs how you articulate personal consent.

Exploration

Exploration2Here’s an example of the chart filled in:

ExplorationExampleNext Up! COM|PASSionate Boundaries Worksheet

Now that you’ve flow-charted your way through any preferences that need a little more exploration you might want to start thinking about what your body/language/preference boundaries are over all. This chart can help you get organized about boundaries you might want to hold for yourself as well as things you might want to express to current or future partner|s.

CompassionateBoundariesHere’s an example of the COM|PASSionate Boundaries Worksheet filled in:

BoundariesExampleLast, but not least! A quick COM|PASSionate Wishlist, Adventurous Ideas + Places to Avoid Chart

This is a quick way to document your preferences and boundaries for yourself or to share with a partner. This list is moveable, changeable and expires at the writer’s will!

ListChartHere’s an example of the list filled in:

ListExample

So, until next time, we hope that you all have a wonderful week of consensual and fulfilling play and exploration with yourself and others!

Lastly, if you’re still confused about consent but understand the etiquette of tea (or if you’re anyone on this planet that interacts with anyone else on the planet) watch this video:

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, survive and flourish in the Southern California area. The Mental Health Mash-Up is their offering of thoughts, process and tips towards mental health and wellness as queer folks navigating the intersections of stigma, oppression and identities.

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MHM 13: Gratitude + Presence

“Work is love made visible. And if you can’t work with love, but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of the people who work with joy”

{Kahlil Gibran}

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Hello COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES!

Happy Monday! Skye and I are so happy to be back in podcast land! We don’t get to do the whole podcast together today and we had to record remotely but we’re sitting in present gratitude to be able to share with you all today.. in any format. ❤

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Take a listen! Or visit our LibSyn Page here.

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

———-

Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.

MHM 12: Activism + Self-Care

Happy Monday REVOLUTIONARIES!

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We hope you all are well. We had a fun AND busy weekend! Most notably, we got to hang with our COM|PASSionate REVOLT family (our favorite dream worker and tarot-ist, Kaeti Gugiu,) catch Sister Spit hosted by the Long Beach Center and check out the drag show at Hamburger Mary’s new location (not that new- we’re just getting old and don’t get out as much as we used to.)

We giggled a lot, saw some great drag, ran into some familiar faces and got to give hugs to some new friends. All in all a lovely night of community witnessing and reflection. As often happens when you’re at a non-work related social (but community) event, hanging with folks that work in community (not at the event,) the talk turned to “the work.” It came up over the course of the night in several different scenarios and incarnations and it got us to thinking about the healing but also, at times, insidious way “the work” itself becomes tied to our own healing, survival and flourishing.

It’s an interesting dilemma that those of us that are the most passionate (often because of personally driven volition) are often getting paid the least or not at all for the work we are doing. Whether or not we have paid positions we are also often doing other unpaid work or activism in the community and when we take time off we often fall into commiserating about the depleting nature of the work/activism/community navigation. We talk about how much more work needs to be done or how ineffective the structures are we’re working within. One action may feel like it’s gaining movement while another seems to be falling behind. We’re tired but another group that collaborated with us earlier in the year is having an event. Our advocacy group is in between big events but our partner is having a shitty time at work/with family/the sometimes uphill battle of everyday life. We organized an event that went well and didn’t realize how much it would trigger for us personally. An event doesn’t go well and (because our identities are personally invested) we feel the weight of failure, not just in the eyes of others but in the fear of a present and future that continues to not hold and nurture us. While we’re all doing our best to give our all to causes that need support, it’s a slippery feedback loop– a cycle that doesn’t lend itself well to breaks, self-care or, in actuality, sustainability and success of our movements.

You know the directions they give on airplanes before you take off. They show you the little air mask and remind you to secure yours first before you help anyone around you?? It’s because you can’t help anyone around you if you’re passed out!

That’s something more of us need to institute into the work we do with our communities. Aftershock, by Patrice Jones, is a guide for activists and allies confronting trauma in a violent world.

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JhlfTc}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1JhlfTc}

We think this is a great start to understanding the effects and care we need to take of ourselves when working in our communities– after all, if we pass out from exhaustion the work doesn’t get done anyways.

We also think it’s relevant to feel into the kind of change that best suits your individual personality, talents and person. Sure we can try to add temperance and self-care to our lives by decreasing the work we do in the world but the truth is many of us are intimately invested in the work we’re doing. We don’t want to stop because we want the world to be better for ourselves as much as we want the world to be better for others!

So, for example, if you’re someone that gets an adrenaline rush from loud group protests go for it! Maybe you’d rather be involved in a letter writing campaign behind the scenes? Do you have natural charm and put people at ease so they can hear a new point of view? A lot of grassroots campaigns could use folks going door to door to connect. Maybe you’re an artist? Can you design a shirt raising awareness/funds for a group you’re involved with? Web designer? There are lots of small groups and non-profits that can’t hire a big firm to build a website or do a bit of upkeep. Are you using your voice in blogging community? Drop us a line! Let us know if you’d be interested in being part of the COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION! The possibilities are endless.

We sometimes get stuck as seeing “activism” in only one light that benefits the sun energized, loud, confrontational group movements. Are these important? Absolutely! Would we, being the humans that “cry as much as some people pee” and have a lot of feelings be in any form of conscious state if we engaged in too many of these?? Not so much.

We often fail to question why these masculine forms of movement are valued higher than the quiet powerful ways feminine water energy has continuously and unrelentingly turned mountains in beaches one patient grain of sand at a time.

So, we know it would be silly of us to ask you, REVOLUTIONARIES, to stop making the world a better place by your presence, sacrifices and compassion. We do, however, encourage you to take the time to check in with what is the best, most fueling, most sustainable way for you to contribute.

We implore you put on your mask before helping those around you.

Until next time. Put your mask on.

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci

 As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

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Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.

 

 

 

MHM Ep11: Clear Requests

Morning REVOLUTIONARIES!

Today on the Mental Health Mash-Up we want to talk about clear requests– why they’re so challenging, how we can all be a little bit better at them and why they’re so important to our mental health.

MHMBannerClear requests are difficult for everyone but they can be especially difficult for queer folks. Is this because we’re some different awkward convoluted breed of communicators?

No.

It’s because a lot of us have had experiences of our requests not being appreciated, honored and, often, down right ignored and disrespected. In fact sometimes the opposite gets validated. Sometimes we ask clearly and get punished while at other times we find some alternative way of getting our needs met– and they are. We don’t think we’re making too large of a projection to say this doesn’t feel very good when it happens. It doesn’t give us evidence that all the hard work that goes into being clear with our requests is worth it… but it is!

When we can’t voice clearly what we want/need to the world around us this becomes a loop back to us. Soon we’re not asking ourselves what we want/need. Soon we’re not even sure how to ask ourselves what we want/need.

Is there a behavior or way of interacting that isn’t functioning well in your life? Take a few moments to really sink into it– not just the negative reactions/responses/outcomes but also the positive ones. Take your time. You might need to spend a few breaths on it, take a break and come back to it. Still unsure? Maybe check in where you feel it in your body when you think about it. Maybe think about the folks that it seems to happen with (if it’s a behavior that happens with others.) Take a moment to think about what else you need in life or from those people.

This can be a long process. After all, how old are you right now? That’s that many years that your clear requests could have been getting denied and your alternative ways of asking could have been getting answered. Be compassionate with yourself but know that learning how to listen, dialogue and affirm yourself is a worthy practice.

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

———-

Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.

MHM Ep. 7: Pausing for Self-Care

MHMBanner

Hello COM|PASSionate REVOLUTIONARIES and happy Monday!

We’re sorry that the Mental Health Mash-Up is going up a little bit late today. Our schedules have been a little overwhelming recently… oh, what’s today’s podcast about you ask?

It’s about how to pause for self-care when you start to get overwhelmed! Even when you’re overwhelmed by lots of wonderful and healing community building and discussions!

{Image Credit: http://calmingmanatee.com/23}
{Image Credit: http://calmingmanatee.com/23}

You can listen here:

Or on our LibSyn Page.

So take a listen and then don’t forget to come hang out with us this weekend if you’re local! The Trans* Asterisk Conference starts Friday night and workshops happen on Saturday!

Feeling overwhelmed and need a little pep talk before heading out the door and onto the traffic of the 91fwy? Here’s one of our favorite sources of silly internet self-care (Notice VERY Calming Manatee above.)

We hope you enjoy and we’d love to hear your thoughts!

 

As always you can reach us at…

compassionaterevolt@gmail.com

www.compassionaterevolt.com

www.compassionaterevolt.wordpress.com

COM|PASSionate REVOLT FB

 

In COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION,

Skye + Traci 

———-

Skye is a youth worker, educator, activist and white transmasculine human. Traci is a therapist, yoga teacher, educator and queer vegan femme-inist of color. They reside, practice, navigate, process, survive and flourish in the Southern California area.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Healing Reflections: Speak + Be Seen

Hello there REVOLUTIONARIES… as we mentioned last week, Kaeti’s out of town  so we’ll be filling in with new blog series and healing from our internet community. She’ll be returning to normal blogging schedules next week with Tarot Tuesday + Dreamboat!

{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1DBwYes}
{Image Credit: http://bit.ly/1DBwYes}

Today we wanted to share a contribution about disclosure from one of the websites we mention on our mental health resource page Queer Mental Health.

Queer Mental Health is an online peer support site for LGBTQ identified individuals living with mental health challenges and their partners. They curate a collection of personal stories about struggle and healing.

Disclosure, visibility and the “legions of closets” that take up space in our lives have been on our minds a lot lately this way. How do we disclose in a way that feels safe, how does visibility help/hurt us and what energy do we put into keeping our closet doors shut that we could be using elsewhere?

It was this that struck us about this post entitled “Full Disclosure: HIV, Bipolar, Insomnia… Not Easy but Necessary” on Queer Mental Health last week. It is a personal account from one person’s life about struggling with disclosure and, also, having a positive experience with their disclosure.

We thank them for their bravery, openness and sharing the gift of story with our community! We hope you’ll head over to give them a read!

COM|PASSionately,

The REVOLUTION

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.

Love Song to the 9 of Pentacles: The Secret Garden

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The 9 of Pentacles is one of my favorite cards. Every time it comes up, the sweetest blend of ease and delight and groundedness nestles into my heart. Just look at her here:

rws9pentacles
Rider Waite Smith’s 9 of Pentacles

Sweetly golden light. A secret garden of plenty. The walls themselves alive with growth, not entrapping but enriching – I imagine, providing safety and respite, a little queendom with everything I need. Solitude without isolation – the little bird of the soul flies freely within and without, bringing and sending news. The little snail slides over the earth, at its own pace, doing its thing, welcome too in its way. Sunset or sunrise, a time of taking stock and resting in one’s own intention, settling into one’s place, remembering connection with self and with world.

But a little bird says: how do we square this with the fact that 9s represent thresholds? A dear friend of mine likes to refer to the “crisis of the 9” – 9 as a gate, a challenge, a test…indeed, a crisis. There is no gate, no challenge here – is there?

Some answer to that question lies in the fact that this is card I drew on the day of my first big MFT exam last week – and immediately I felt the power of knowing I had everything I need to pass, but also the whispering challenge of this card and the secret of its test.

WU9ofDisks
The Wild Unknown’s 9 of Disks. Really, this is the card I drew on exam day – the wealth I have accrued and earned in my labors, nestled safely in soft feathers and here for me as I need it.

Another answer to that question lies in the song I played on repeat on my way to the exam, and which now seems to hold a special resonance with this card and its strange confluence of safety and crisis: My Brightest Diamond’s Dreaming Awake. Take a moment to take in this wonder:

What is the slowing-down place that keeps its voice against challenge?

What is the slowing-down place that keeps its heart amidst panic?

What is the slowing-down place that dreams while awake?

Now that I  sit with it, I feel like these questions have been in my life and my practice all week.

How do we keep to our principles and integrity and still participate in the awful world?

How do we hold on to ourselves in the face of unrelenting panic attacks and terror?

How do I stay in my power and the sacredness of my healing work while taking a grueling 4 hour exam that dissects and belittles me, my community, my work?

I keep thinking of the image of the cops invading the sacred space of that secret garden in the video. Suddenly, this card appears to me as a meditation, visual mantra, or energetic ally for those times when an intrusive and punishing force invades and threatens to sever connection to ourselves or our world. This could be the oppressive dynamics that hit us hard when we step out of the safety of our queer households and into the dominant overculture. This could be you, being in a dreamy and open and soft space and suddenly having to interact with someone angry and punishing, or overwhelmed with sensory input in a loud and busy place. This could be taking a walk on the beach to connect with nature and seeing all the trash, the oil wells, the giant ships packed with slave-labor goods, the polluted waters. This could be you minding your own business and suddenly having a flashback or panic attack, your mind spinning out of control.

Any of these scenarios offer the opportunity to learn to find your core…to breathe…to practice the delicate art of staying present in the face of pain…to slow down and draw strength from your secret garden, to remember the way back to yourself, to remember that you have a grounded and connected self to come back to at all.

All this is the crisis of the 9 of Pentacles, which teaches about the place where sacred and profane overlap.

I always used to think of this card as a garden, but now I see it more as an economy – a sacred or gift economy, oeconomy in the old sense of “the management of a household.” Indeed, some of the traditional meanings for this card include good luck, good management, inheritance, attention to detail, loving criticism, integrity and skill producing wealth, the flow of gain – all of which you might also glean from its astrological correspondence of Venus in Virgo.

Sacred or Gift Economy to me holds a connotation of flow, of giving with the understanding that the gift is always moving, that giving and receiving are parts of the same act and hold reciprocal value. This card is wealth without hoarding, sharing without shame. There is an understanding that while we may sometimes need to retreat and build fortresses to make it through the short-term, there is ultimately no extra safety in cutting off or hoarding or silencing: we must find our flow, and participate in the flow of which we are only a part – the tidal flow of community, of life force, of love and loss, in and out.

Last night, in the novel I’m reading, a girl assassin whispers these magic words in the language of her lost homeland and, in doing so, slays an immortal tyrant whose domination has oppressed everyone it touched for centuries:

The life that is shared goes on forever. The life that is hoarded never lives at all.

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The Collective Tarot’s 9 of Bones

I see this in the Collective Tarot’s 9 of Bones too: the strong spine that connects heaven and earth. The fruits which fall between the worlds and which a clever forager collects in baskets and ride off to share with their community. How rootedness and connectedness and circulation are all part of the same phenomenon.

One of the first times these kinds of lessons started to occur to me was in 9th grade biology class, when I first heard the term semi-permeable membrane. I know, I’ve always been a nerd at heart. But the image and the idea collided in me with tremendous power, because deep inside I knew that this was a teaching image for me: there exists a thing whose function is to both protect its innards and allow flow between inner and outer. A boundary which protects but is also porous – which intrinsically knows what to let in and what to keep out, keeping fluid all the while. Like in a cell, or in an egg. I can breathe in and out, but you can’t invade and poison me.

semipermeable
Ladies and germs: I give you, Science!

I see the walls in the 9 of Pentacles like this. For me, it’s a powerful metaphor for how to stay safe and connected to my heart without retreating, charging, melting down or dissociating. Sometimes those things have to happen, too – and when they do, the image of the safe and secret garden gives gentle guidance back to my abundant self, helps me reground and get ready for the next round.

One last image of this card that I love:

motherpeace9disks
Motherpeace Tarot’s 9 of Disks

Here, I see an image of this lesson after many revolutions and evolutions of practice. A vision of gardens within gardens, wisdom and strength to find one’s place – in any place – and be in dialogue with the many worlds, the endless overlaps of body and mind, spirit and soul, wishes and fears, inner and outer, different parts of ourselves, different languages, different  communities. Out of this wisdom, a system of communication and reflection. A time-tested reliance on boundaries –  knowing that while boundaries are built and are relative, they nonetheless provide the safety and containment to open up and experience and learn and commune.

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Kaeti is a therapist, teacher, and dreamer based in Long Beach, California. All of her work (and play!) is interested in dismantling intersections of oppression and breathing magic and radical healing into all the daily corners of her life, into all the spaces of community she helps weave.

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There are photographs in this post that were borrowed lovingly from the internet and do not belong to us. All are linked and credited to the best of our abilities in hopes of attracting more traffic to the photographers and websites who have blessed us with this imagery. The inclusion of a photograph here should not be interpreted as an assertion of the subject’s or artist’s identity or beliefs. If there is a photo included here that belongs to you and you want it removed, please email compassionaterevolt@gmail.com and it will be removed promptly, no questions asked.