A Midweek Meditation on Self-Care, Intellectual Stimulation and The Power of Resiliency

Midweek Meditations is a weekly column written by Julia-Elise Childs where she rounds up her favorite happenings in fashion, art, culture, and beyond. We figure that despite living fast, we should probably catch our breath every now and again.

I’d be lying if I wrote that I’m not struggling right now. As we’ve all gathered by now, our country is in a situation and social media activism has reached an all time high. The latter is beautiful – I do not discredit social media activism in the least. However, I asked myself how I can be of service when I am rapidly inundated with others opinions? How can I speak my truth when the noise is too loud to hear it?

This week, I am turning away from the digital and am turning to self-care, quenching my intellectual curiosity, and striving towards a state of resiliency, for I am nothing if I am not resilient.

Get Your Mind Right

I’ve taken a bath almost every single night since Donald Trump won the presidential election. I’ve upped my work outs. I’ve engaged in rigorous self-care. Now, I’m downloading OMG I Can Meditate! and attempting to develop a meditation practice. Ironic, I know, that I invite you all to engage in a meditation of sorts every single week but I don’t actually meditate. But, because I feel the need to get very still on a daily basis, I figure dedicating 10 minutes of my day to do so is a solid investment. With dedicated use, meditation can lower anxiety, enhance sleep, reduce symptoms of depression, and improve concentration. Worth a try, right?

An Endless Education

I’m stepping outside of the internet to expand my mind. This isn’t to degrade the power of a well-written thinkpiece or honest news article – this is an invitation to end the misplaced gushing over the open letters men write to their teenage daughters and instead spend time educating ourselves. The New York Times released a reading list dubbed “6 Books to Help Understand Trump’s Win“, a tagline that is equal parts daunting and enticing. Building A Movement to End the New Jim Crow: An Organizing Guide picks up where Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow left off, providing resources and tools for movement-building. My pick? Reza Aslan’s No god but God: The Origins and Evolution of Islam.

On Resiliency

I recently came across an article on The New Yorker titled “How People Learn to Become Resilient.” Written in February 2016 by Maria Konnikova, it resurfaced this past week in the wake of America’s fearful political state. According to George Bonanno, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University’s Teachers College, one of the main elements of resiliency is perception. While I doubt this comes as a surprise, I do believe the strength of perception is important to remember. This isn’t a call for forced positivity. This is a reminder that we are capable of incredible movement – even when oppressed. America’s current turmoil is far from over and we have the power to write its ending. You wouldn’t want to be left out of history, would you?

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