The Pivot: Therapy

Hey friends! We’re so excited to debut a new blog series! Please, welcome Ky Anderson and The Pivot to the COM|PASSionate REVOLUTION!
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A mid-week turning point, an idea that levels you out, gives you something to chew on, and propels you into the weekend. For me the weekend means work, and Wednesday is a respite from the hustle of my day job, a day to get work done, whether that work is chores, self care, research, or personal breakthroughs.
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This week I started therapy. It’s not my first attempt; however, it is the first time I have been engaged with the process. Unsurprisingly, knowing the issues I need to address (rather than self-shaming myself into therapy as I have before) is tremendously helpful.  

I had been promising myself I would start this process for the better part of a year. The thing about waiting for the right time is that it is ultimately an avoidance tactic. I have been ready to deal with my stuff for a while. Naturally, I found flaws with each candidate I researched and quickly distracted myself with other people–dates, romantic interests, friends, et al. Their strengths bolstered me to a place where I felt I was generally fine. Maybe not great, but ok. I was surviving, but not thriving.

People enter therapy for different reasons. Each time a relationship ended, career path stalled, etc, I’d tell myself, “Now is the time to get to the root of why I keep playing the same records on repeat–now I can figure out why I am how I am.” I want to be better–at communicating, at managing anxiety and stress, at navigating gender issues, at dealing with past traumas, at confronting relationship dynamics. I want to get unstuck from the morass I am trudging through.

I felt simultaneously emboldened and fragile in that first session. It motivated me to purchase “More Than Two.” I devoured it. The accompanying site I explored hinted at the depth of understanding I might glean from the volume and, naturally, I needed all the answers. Still new-ish to poly, I directed myself straight to the chapters on communication, underlining and mentally noting precisely what I intended to bring up to one of my partners the following day. I was nervous/excited for the opportunity for us both to grow.

Well, I never got that chance. The next day my heart was returned to me along with a few personal effects and a cup of over-steeped mint tea. So it goes.

The mere fact that I recognize the emotions I’m feeling as they come and go is a testament to the emotional work I accomplished in the past year. I designed my community to be expansive, supportive and nurturing. Somehow I am still surprised by and in awe of these beautiful people I include in my life, appreciative for the opportunities they afford me to grow and consider new perspectives. And I am grateful for the chance to experience love that nurtured, challenged and pushed me to grow. There are a few things I would have changed, but the experience ultimately changed me and I regret very little. It is a fact that I loved deeply, entrusted my vulnerable heart in their hesitant hands, endured rejection, and lived through the experience. That’s a lot of living for five months.
This blog is a path to my own wellness, a challenge to keep me accountable to my own self care. The uniqueness of a blog developed  specifically for queer wellness is that it intentionally expands the conversations we have beyond the screen and pushes us to transform this awareness into a practice.

Maybe you practice yoga to heal. Maybe you pull tarot to find direction through an impasse. Maybe you craft a playlist to get you through the most challenging moments. We tell ourselves stories–through poses, through readings, through music, through experiences–in order to live. Whatever your process, this is the space to share it.

This story is my pivot–one of many I choose to share with you as part of my chosen community. This space is a gift intentionally developed for us to connect in our vastly diverse truths and share in the healing that facilitates. What I pen in this space is my lived experience and the ideas that emerge from them. These fractures we endure encourage healing in ways one can never quite predict. What is a wellness site for queers if it cannot help mend and uplift us in a time of immense need? This is what we are here for. Let’s get to work.

See you soon,
Ky

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Ky (they/them/theirs) is a genderqueer, intersectional feminist writer who perseveres to impose positive change on a personal and professional level. They live, work, and play in LA. Wednesday Pivot is their attempt to put their ideas and challenges on the table to connect with a broader community of wellness- and growth-minded folks.
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Core Work for a Conscious Practice

banneryoga

“Subversion best describes a practice in which the power of the patriarchy is turned upon itself,

to REVOLUTION and HEALING.

A REVOLUTION that, because it is subtle and not frontal, can be effective even in the face of formidable obstacles.”

Laura S. Brown

Subversive Dialogues

I sat down this morning with an intention to pour myself into starting this blog series. It’s  been a concept that I’ve been rolling around in my head for awhile. It keeps popping up in different incarnations, taking shape, and then just as quickly as it appears, dissolving into the day’s to do list of chores, errands, dates, obligations, and general life distractions. It kept shifting and changing and I was having a hard time getting a firm grasp on it. Sitting down to write about healing challenged the time and space I was making for my own. I would get excited about a certain practice and then bunny hole into its problematic nature.

It was then that I realized that this was the connecting factor– the complications and intersections! Anything explored consciously and connected will remain in the, sometimes daunting, but always insight building, constancy of transition. It’s the intention behind this tiny queer healing space in this great big internet universe.

With that in mind, I spent the morning reading blogs about the yoga industrial complex, the appropriative nature of western yoga, and the conflicted way this practice has been a powerful source of agency for marginalized folks and communities of color (not withholding, but also not primarily focused on communities of South Asian Americans).

Healing is a complicated (and politicized) animal. The reading I did reflected a struggle that I’ve experienced often, and not just around my personal and professional yoga practice. We may want to take our own complicated healing journeys out of this but we can’t, and I would argue, that we shouldn’t want to.

We live in a culture that parses out our minds, bodies, hearts, and spirits into segregated categories. When something in ourselves or our worlds becomes “broken” or “pathologized” we don’t think first to take a breath, check in with the wound, analyze it for both positive and negative messages, and reach into our internal resources to fix it.

We go find an expert to tell us what’s wrong.

Furthermore, this external (and problematic) healing isn’t neutral or accessible to everyone. It’s one battle to accept that we need healing, another battle to figure out what that healing might look like, and an all out war to integrate it into our lives in a conscious and honoring way. Talking about healing through war metaphors isn’t an accident. It’s a place of internal conflict.

When I walk into a yoga studio I carry with me all of my intersections and all of my stories. I hold places of privilege and oppression. When I’m taking class I do my best to “take what I need,” and when I teach I often encourage my students to do the same. While I could pat myself on the back that I don’t preach asana for beach bodies, I’m also invariably awkward when pre-class conversation includes the latest high protein (read: meat) based diet and the way vinyasa flow can tone your arms. The familiar anxiety of female bonding office lunchroom chat washes over me. I often defer to silence unsure whether it’s more yogic to “observe without judgment” or start handing out copies of “Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere.

The truth of the matter is- the yoga that I’ve learned, re-shaped, and now want to share helps heal my original wound. A wound that (even with the potential for projection) I believe is shared amongst a lot of us. It meets us where we’re at. It honors our bodies and what they are trying to speak to us. It’s science and spirit and heart space. And it’s also the offspring of this bastardized arranged marriage between a need to heal wounds created by western culture itself and the inherent resistance of eastern spiritual healing. Even as the consciousness of a donation based intention and a queer folk filled playlist subverts one oppressive narrative, it makes other roots invisible.

I didn’t (and haven’t) come to a clear answer as to how to solve this. Similarly, the analysis around ways that we heal here in the west are broken into two general camps. One camp discusses the process without relevance to the history and intersections of power, privilege, appropriation, colonization, and abuse while the other often focuses only on these challenges. The latter also often holds “calls to action,” solutions to ways we can be more accountable, while individual healing journeys are often mis-routed to more activism/advocacy. This can pose a troubling conflict for those of us that are already hyper conscious, sensitive to the constant barrage of trauma in the world, and working tirelessly to find healing that works for our courageously soft and divinely broken spirits.

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

I noted to myself that I started this morning highly motivated to dig into the depths of healing practices. By the time I finished my consciousness raising reading list, I wanted to quit everything, wrap myself in my overpriced yoga mat, and sit in a shame corner while the rubber stink slowly filled my lungs and asphyxiated me with the weight of oppressive appropriation.

I know… not super helpful.

This isn’t a defense of privileged fragility (that’s nothing new) but rather a question of how we can institute sustainable (as well as ethical) self-care practices for ourselves. It’s a challenge around how we can hold and honor the best of what nurturing wisdom is already in existence as well as forge our own paths. It’s a request to hold awareness around roots while also grounding ourselves in our current context.

It’s faith in the healing exploration of living consciously and connected.

This blog series will be an offering to this discussion and search. A place to process the complicated, unique, unexpected, and sometimes problematic, intersections where healing happens.

In Passionate Compassion, Subversion, Revolution, and Healing,

Traci

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Traci Medeiros-Bagan {She|Her|Hers|They|Them|Theirs} is currently in the depths of intentional core work to build a conscious practice. They are a therapist, yoga teacher, and human in progress. Information about where, when, and how they share this journey with community can be found at compassionaterevolthealing.com

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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.