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The Interdisciplinary Work of Lyss England

Posts tagged wellness

Check out my interview with Sabrina Scott!

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We talk about:

and more!

Featured Tunes:
Overbite by Sincere Engineer
Real Hip Hop by LolaBunz
A Tribe Called Red by Angel Haze
West Side by LolaBunz

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Check out my interview with Maggie Robbins here!

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We talk about:

  • Radical inclusion and empowering families
  • The Village Hearth Northumberland
  • Living with cancer
  • Navigating the healthcare system as a survivor of sexual violence
  • Gynaecology and rape culture
  • Parenting through trauma

Features Tunes:
Littlest Birds by The Be Good Tanyas
Rainy Saturday by Hayden
Orion Town 2 by Frontier Ruckus
I Feel It All by Feist

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“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.

Listen to the Podcast (recorded at Rotilicious) HERE!

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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

August 17 LIVE on Northumberland 89.7 FM Small Town Radio!
LISTEN HERE for the podcast version. 

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Tune in to hear my interview with my good friend (and low key mentor) David Sheffield. We are gonna talk about Green Wood Coalition, affordable housing, art, poetry, local events, frontline social work, harm-reduction, building community, and more. 

“I’ve lived in various parts of Ontario, but Northumberland County has been my home since 1986. My wife, Beth, and I settled here at that time, and have always felt that this was a great place to raise our four children. I often note that my children have been my best teachers, and that’s more true today than ever. We have four grandchildren, also living in this area, and we are enjoying the new discoveries they have brought to our lives.

My work in community outreach started 10 years ago, but I think I was being guided to this place by many years of life experience. This feels more like a vocation than a job. Much of my career was in the painting trade, while spending off hours in community engagement through art projects, meals, church activities, music festivals and campfires. My writing—poetry and non-fiction—has been published in a variety of periodicals and anthologies. Writing is my favourite way to process some of the difficult days that one can encounter in this kind of work.

These days, I’m the Community Director at Green Wood Coalition, which is a people-level response to the disconnection of poverty and related social struggles. The work is difficult, at times, but also very inspiring because of the resilience of individuals that I encounter, and the encouragement of many people who work alongside me.”

If you wanna read the article Gareth Vieira wrote about poets, including David and I, click here.

To learn more about Art Hives, click here.

Learn more about Overdose Awareness Day Northumberland here. 

Features Tunes:
Roll Away the Stone by Carlos Del Junco and Jimmy Bowskill
I Will by Christa Couture
Shelter Valley Road by David Newland
Barley by Birds of Chicago