Info

The Interdisciplinary Work of Lyss England

August 3 LIVE on Northumberland 89.7 FM Small Town Radio!
LISTEN HERE for the podcast version. 

ep17.jpg

Hear my chat with the incredible Kim Doolittle!!

We chat about :
– Writing and performing music
– Her newest album “Into the Blue
– Being a long-term pillar of the music community for 40+ years
– Being a chick singer
– The housing crisis in Northumberland County

AND!!!! She played a song live on air!!!

Featured Tunes:

Jimmy Bowskill and Carlos Del Junco
Abby Zotz
Al Kirby and Jim Yates.

 

 

I was laying in the grass
and I saw one single bird
fly across my line of sight
wings outstretched
sunlight glaring off it’s feathers
which were black
like my hair
spread around me like a halo
weaving through blades of grass
while the bird weaved
through the tree line
shrieking at the barn cat
things were simple.

Once,
I felt part
of something
but
I didn’t feel
part of myself
just part of
outside of me
body lost below me
untouchable
except to anyone else
no room
left for me.

So I’ll just be grateful for birds (for now)
ones with wings that blend
into the night sky
of the new moon
ones that exist
simultaneously with the clouds
the trees even
the lake
when they need/want it,

something like
the opposite of dissociating
something like
the opposite of this
jaw-clenching reality
this existence I’ve tried
to  opt out of
until now.

IMG_7292

“I texted my friend to say I wanted to talk with them about something and it made them really anxious and now they want an apology.”

It’s never fun to get those texts or to be the person who genuinely just wants to have a conversation and finds out someone was distressed by their message. We’ve all been there, probably on either side at some point or another. Whether in romantic relationships, friendships, or even professional relationships, our actions affect one another.

If you’re a person with anxiety, you can probably relate even more. Catastrophizing is a thing we do by definition, and “Hey dude, can we talk when you get off work?” can quickly turn into “Hey dude, I think you totally suck and I don’t want to be friends with you anymore ’cause you’re the worst”.

This  fear relies on the concept that things are being done to us, and that means that we have no control over our experience. By giving into this fear (which, yeah, is real and uncomfortable), we allow ourselves to give any power we do have over our reactions away. And then our fear is enforced. It’s also a way we tend to avoid accountability for our uncomfortable feelings. If we can blame someone else instead of taking ownership for ourselves, that’s a lot easier in the short term. This then allows us to justify our feelings, which are often unavoidable within ourselves, rather than just giving ourselves permission to feel them. I wrote about this before when I wrote about escaping and preventing toxic communities:

Escaping and preventing toxic communities comes down to changing our perspectives from “they did this to me and this feels awful” to “this happened and it feels awful because I’m perceiving it as something that was done TO me that I have no control over.”. The reality is that you do have control over what you do with your hurt. Sure, communicating to the person you felt hurt by may be helpful, but what will be really helpful is you changing your perception (and thus, your reality) of the hurtful thing. It’s not about ignoring the hurt or “choosing not to feel it”. I mean, that sounds nice, but we all know it’s not that simple. It’s about feeling it and acknowledging that it probably had nothing to do with you and everything to do with the other person/people. What is yours is your reaction. When we accept people for where they are at, it makes for far healthier and happier interpersonal relationships. And when we can’t reconcile where someone’s at with the reality we’re choosing to actively build for ourselves, we get to choose the context in which we relate to that person.

This works on a smaller level than just in the context of community-building. It also works in individual relationships. So here are three easy steps for what to do when someone makes you feel bad:

1. Readjust your paradigm.

Did someone make you feel some way? Or are you feeling someway about something what happened?

2. Take back your power.

Once you’ve shifted your paradigm to a place where you’re recognizing that you have control over your reaction rather than simply being a passive recipient of something someone else does to you, you’ll find you have a lot more choice over how you respond. No, this isn’t a magical anxiety cure- but it does help.  A lot. This is the time to make an in-the-moment decision about what’s going to happen for you. Sometimes, (okay, a lot of the time) that reaction is emotional and it’s totally okay to let yourself feel it. But don’t act on it immediately. Take a breath and give yourself a little time and gentleness to feel what you need to feel.

3. Make a decision about how you want to react.

Sometimes people do things that violate our boundaries, which is one of the most common reasons we end up getting in our feels. The good news is that we’re in control of our boundaries and we can shift them as we need to. Although emotions aren’t always negotiable, actions (and reactions) are. And it can feel really empowering to choose who you want in your life and the context that you choose to have them. Sometimes it’s worth the work to communicate about your boundaries and to negotiate your interactions with people, and sometimes it’s not. The cool thing is that it’s your choice.

I’ve mentioned that emotions aren’t always negotiable, especially for people living with anxiety disorders, but I also need to acknowledge that we live in a social world where so much is out of control. The way our disabled bodies operate in a late-capitalist system, the way race affects peoples’ experiences, the way our gender dictates literally how much we will be paid or how likely we are so be raped… We don’t have control over those things. And I want to be very clear that I am not talking about systemic violence in the rest of this post. It’s also well worth noting that people have the choice to use whatever privilege they may have to hold some space for oppressed people’s reactions for being oppressed. That shit is real.

What this post is about is about how we do our best to operate within this world and how we can tangibly go about standing in our power when we do have control over what happens. Because that’s real too. And all of these things can exist simultaneously.

Check out this very cool live podcast recorded LIVE in front of an audience at Masterbate Festival: Threesome on October 20, 2018 in Port Hope, Ontario.

44576907_708481599520034_915980932119265280_o

This show features:

– Live improvised music by Marko Lipovsek and Nelson Denis
– Interviews with a whole pile of audience members where they tell us their favourite sex tips
– A live performance of her original song “Don’t Send it to Me” (about receiving dick pics) by Amelia Merhar
– A live interview between myself and event host, Miranda Lukaniuk Lipovsek
– A live performance of her original song “Wanna Screw Ya” by Bella Muerta
– Interviews with all of the performers and crew from Masterbate this year who share their favourite sex tips with us

WARNING: This episode contains explicitly sexual content. It’s probably not appropriate for people who aren’t adults.

BIG THANKS to my friends at Two Blue Shirts Productions for gifting me the excellent quality recordings of the live performance pieces!

Listen to the podcast HERE!

480203DD-B031-46C1-896F-5E9BBCC32995

Check out my conversation with John and Doug where we talk all about Port Hope’s West Beach and what their lobbying group is all about

If you would like to voice your opinion about the Choate Road Extension project, please visit this page.

Featured Tunes:
Lake Ontario by Dear Landlord
Escarpment Blues by Sarah Harmer
Soda by Gob
Bad as They Seem by Hayden

 

Check out the Podcast HERE!

BAA962B9-E3F5-4E15-9DBC-D6B45E46B19E

Check out my conversation with Sam and Kathy about:
– Sam’s music career
– What Sam’s working on these days
– Taking care of one another at shows
– Why parents should support their kids in participating in local music and playing shows
– How music keeps Sam well
– The value of investing in recording your own music
– The local all-ages music scene
– The problems Sam and his friends have run into trying to book shows in Cobourg
– We do some world-building around the need for all-ages music venues

Featured Tunes:

The Depths by Cleopatrick
Transparency by Catch-22
Closer by Cale Crowe
Photograph by Sam and Alicia

Listen to the Podcast (recorded at Rotilicious) HERE!

61340D96-E0F7-42DC-84A4-8234D4BB52E0

Check out our conversation where Brett and I chat about:
– How Brett got into music
– How music keeps him well
– The details on Brett’s long time band, This! is a Crisis (and some updates on his other bands too!)
– Promoting DIY shows
– DIY punk communities
– Why we love punk rock (and how we first got into it)
– How music keeps Brett well
– Medical cannabis use and how it’s beneficial
– Some comments on the new cannabis legislation
– Which strains of cannabis we find most beneficial for managing our symptoms

Featured Tunes:

Nothing Is Fair in Love and War by Dead and Divine
It All Comes Down to You by This! Is a Crisis
High Cholesterol by Keep Flying
A Message To You Rudy by The Specials

41439796_234680410547565_8702695354878918656_n

Check out my interview with a handful of members of the Take Back the Night: Port Hope committee: Sarah Kennedy, Ashley Bouman, Ariel Reilly, and Meghan Sheffield. We chat about:
– The details of TBTN:PH
– How TBTN:PH started (and why)
– Our personal experiences with sex education and learning about consent
– The performers of TBTN:PH
– The sponsors of TBTN:PH

Featured Tunes:
Burn the Rapists, Not the Witches by Backyard Riot
Angela by The Hannigan Sisters****
Natural Born Woman by Kim Doolittle****
Don’t Wanna Know by Deviants and the Odd Man Out****

****Performers at TBTN:PH 2018