Female Empowerment Friday #02

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Body / Other

Look who’s back?! This rubric is fun and needed. Noteworthy is that it came to me as Feminist Friday, but I figured that the word feminism scares some people off. So using that word would require a little disclaimer – which I ended up adding to Edition #01 anyway, but without the -ism. I write and speak many disclaimers, really. ‘This is what I do and this is why.’ Interesting.

So: Female Empowerment Friday for listed noteworthy infos about fully being female! ♥

Where do you get regular female empowering updates? One awesome source I know is the Thinx newsletter. Thinx provides you with period proof underwear, but their mailings are as noteworthy! They’re actually lined up on their blog page, which does not clog your inbox and is easier to browse. Head over there for mostly short and to the point (read: easy to read), generally quite informative pieces about everything related to being a women! This includes medical information about sexual organs and hormones, anticonception, thought pieces about all kinds of stuff, and many many puns. I find their posts very honest and disarming. We need more pieces like this – and places where to find them.

I have lived with many women and talked about menstruation many times and I never encountered fully syncing cycles with them. Have you? Thinx, from the period panties and newsletter that’s right, declares that this menstruation syncing up that is commonly accepted as true is a myth. I think this is important – I want to know my cycle and how it works. Very importantly, I want to add that for at least some women syncing up with the moon is true. I can certainly know because I am one of these women. I used to have my period with new moon, then it shifted to full moon when I had a copper IUD*, it shifted away to waxing/first quarter moon after the IUD came out, and just this period it shifted back to new moon! I have friends with similar experiences, so it’s not just me (it never is). So maybe you and your sisters aren’t syncing up with each other, but with the moon! (Which happens to have the same cycle to anyone. You know.)

The Heart is an amazingly well-crafted podcast about ‘love, life, bodies and feelings’. I would say it is mostly special because of its openness, in general but mostly specific about sex and related issues (involving love, life, bodies and feelings). The Heart was hosted by Kaitlin Prest, broadcast through Radiotopia and situated in Brooklyn. It is no longer in production, but you can still listen to the episodes through the Radiotopia website and the Soundcloud page. I highly recommend it since I highly enjoyed them!

Extra for Dutch peepz: Harlot is a news platform, as part of larger news platform One World, dedicated to informing about sexual freemdom in the Netherlands and elsewhere. They give a ‘multi-layered’ perspective and are a medium through which young activists can tell their story without being disrespected, which often occurs in other media. They address very important issues and indeed show perspectives that are generally often overshadowed by more common viewpoints. They also share fun but important stuff, like sex-addressing podcasts among which The Heart.

* With the copper IUD I used to have a period that started with a few days of spotting before the big wave came. My first day of blood loss wasn’t always with full moon, but my heaviest day was. It occurred that my first day of blood shifted forward in time compared to the moon cycle, but my heaviest day remained to be with full moon. Interesting right?!

Belated but beloved foods (and harvest!)

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Food / Nature

It’s amazing how sometimes I draft a blog post and then completely forget about it! Later I find it and get surprised by how nice it is. This juicy food-picture line-up here even dates back to last February! It includes dishes that were consumed with Christmas ’17, can you believe it?! Crazy stuff.

This is now even my first food-related post of the year. Except for veggies growing on plants and freshly harvested, which I treat as nature-related posts. 🙂 Things are changing! (Have I completed my mission of spreading vegan food inspiration? Is that it?)

As I’ve witnessed in my garden, this year’s delivery of pumpkins and bell peppers is coming in so I can happily post this now and tell myself I am a conscious blogger.

Speaking of my garden: I’ll add a picture of our latest harvest! And as you can see from that one, my priorities also slightly shifted away from taking good-quality pictures with my actual camera. Also, my Photohop moved to a farm. So pictures can be blurry and pale. But you get the picture!

Pumpkin quinoa veggies

quinoa with veggies & veggies

flax-crackers

super easy flax seed crackers

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Stories of clothes and ourselves – a wardrobe update

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Other

Earlier I shared with you my enthusiasm for the capsule wardrobe: a simplistic method that, when applied correctly, would free you from all wardrobe misery. I set out to play with it, and I already wrote some thoughts about my experiences. Here are a few more of those thoughts & experiences.

A few months ago I had a short period of visiting webshops to browse through pictures of clothing, searching for items I’d consider buying. I then would consider buying them for a bit, to undecidedly leave the matter for later. I repeated this process several time, for fun. Browsing for clothes is kinda fun. You get to create these stories in your head about them and about yourself. But then apparently my attention shifted away towards other activities. I went on doing other stuff and forgot the whole clothing browse. But where did the stories go? Did they stay or leave?

The reason I am writing this out is that it’s a classic story. We want to do something to make us feel happier and we think that looking for clothes, or any other items, and buying the nicest ones does just that. Here, in my example, I liked the activity! But I also love how in the end I just turned away, having enjoyed the ride, without buying. Without buying into some fantasy in which new pretty clothes actually make you happier, or whatever version of the fantasy speaks to you most.

For honesty and amusement’s sake I have to add that earlier this year I did fell for a huge sale on ethically-made clothes and I bought stuff that I hardly wear. I am not sure if I will wear the 30 wears in the end. But I learnt from it, at least some. I aim to not repeat that thing any time soon!

I will spare you the deets of my wardrobe contemplatons, but I do like to share some things. Generally, I still dislike giving clothes away so I keep most of my items and plan to wear ‘em out, I still hardly buy stuff, I did receive some items as presents, so my wardrobe is pretty full and not in capsule-mode. I am reliving old items and trying plenty of new combinations, which is great.

I never committed fully to the capsule wardrobe. I don’t want to force myself into buying clothes in a certain week of time. I prefer to do it when I feel like it, which isn’t too often anyways. (Fun fact: serious capsule-wardrobers were prepping their summer capsules two weeks ago and are rocking them right now.)

However, since I know of the capsule wardrobe, I am observing more structurally which clothing items I would like to have someday; I am collecting these preferences somewhere in my brain for future reference. This is how it’s supposed to be in Capsule Wardrobe Land. Personally, I love how I do not feel as if I need the items I am picturing in the near future. I am fine with waiting a few years – or until someone hires me and gets me a pay check. I’ve been doing without these specific items for 25 years and I’m quite fine. So I surely don’t need them now all of a sudden, because I have seen them somewhere. There’s no need to stress about it.

As it is, enough things are more important to stress about. Like: how do I get someone to hire me and actually write me a pay check?! I’m graduating soonish and I am growing nervous for having to do job interviews. At least I got some new ethically-made shirts to wear! They may be too formal for me to wear casually but they sure are suitable for job interviews.

That’s it for me now.

I love having you around.

Mulching on a Dream: garden harvest mid-June

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Nature

Oogst 21 juni

In the midst of my interning episode, I make a point of contributing to the garden and of enjoying how lovely and peaceful it all it. Back in May, I did get stung by bees twice in two weeks, which is ridiculous and not at all peaceful. I had bad luck being close to aggressive bee hives two times. I found the experience of being attacked like that pretty horrifying! As was the resulting swollen upper lip. Ouch. It took me some time and unnecessary panicking before I could trust bees again, but I think I managed!

Now I’m just showing off this beautiful bunch of plant materials. The flowers on top are being dried. The rhubarb went down as a pie. The kohlrabi – yes, the purple two! – are not supposed to crack in the middle. Today the Courgette Counter proudly reads 19. 🙂

No non-garden updates today. Enjoy the picture and as much as you can!

Female Empowerment Friday

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Art / film / Illustration / music / photography

I am very passionate about female empowerment. I want all humans to be empowered, and I think that equality both contributes to that and comes as a result of it: empowerment brings equality and equality brings empowerment, ultimately. Because of the many gender-related issues I experience, I cheer of joy every time I find anything that contributes to overcoming these issues. To share the joy, today I list three amazing artists and their art pieces that surely empower women. ♥

Emerging filmmaker Helen Plumb made a wonderful short film about female body hair, in which poet Anam Cara is considering whether or not she should embrace her body hair in public. I find this topic very relevant, since I also experience this tension between my and other females’ natural hairy state and the ‘beauty ideal’ of shaved legs. I love everything about this video: Anam is so real and authentic and I experience much intimacy. Watch the short film here on The Barbican Centre and read the short interview with Helen.

Barcelona-based artist and self-called artivist Zinteta makes incredible, colourful art featuring women’s bodies, specifically portraying what is usually not shown. This art consists mostly of illustrations and body-painted women (captured in pictures). I find that her art celebrates women in all of their being and seeing it makes me really happy. Check out Zinteta’s Intragram page here.

Songwriter Marya Stark just released her newest album Lineage. Marya is not only a songwriter, but a mentor in the art of voice and archetypal embodiment. I absolutely love her beautiful voice and the lyrics she sings. I am also still not over her previous work in collaboration with Carmen Crow: the album RemembranceListen to Lineage and find Marya’s other work here.

Got something to add? Do it!

Around the World ~artwork~

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Art / Illustration

This will break the silence: a donut-shaped Earth painted on a tea table by my boyfriend and me!

We do believe in a ball-shaped Earth. However there is some sense in the image, since we humans tend to look up from the Earth to the sky and its celestial bodies. It’s an interesting perspective at least.

This month I’ve been very busy with my internship and shipping myself back and forth accross the country. Hopefully the storm will calm and I can get some peace more easily.

Vegetarian satchel bag review

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sustainability

Today I’ll write something rather silly: a review of the faux-leather satchel bag of the vegan brand Vegetarian Shoes.

Serious background:

☘ Supporting fair brands with a vision = supporting said vision and helping said brands to have a positive impact.

☘ The brand Vegetarian Shoes develops durable/high-quality fake leather materials.

☘ Shopping at Vegetarian Shoes will stimulate further developments.

The experiential part:

I got the satchel bag in red. I remember falling for a similar red bag about 10 years ago. That bag was made of leather and too expensive for me then. This time I had been waiting for a new bag to come along, because my go-to bag is through. So I took a train to the shop Vega-Life in Amsterdam and got it!

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I like writing about the bag, because my experiences are a little funny. On the one side the bag is really pretty and a little funky because of the colour, at least I think so. I love the Vegetarian Shoes-label, which has a great function of proving the material is fake leather. The bag weighs very little, which is funny to notice!

The size is just right for me; my basic collection of stuff to carry just fits. (This includes: Dopper water bottle, KeepCup mug, diary, wallet, etc.) A small laptop would also fit, but I don’t like the idea, plus: the laptop would literally take up all space and would not allow the crucial re-usable water bottle to be there too. I like how the bag has a solid shape that can stand on the ground. I am used to more soft and flexible bags, in which my items would mingle around… In this bag everything remains right where I put it!

On the other side, the bag has some funny drawbacks: The buckles are impossible to open and close fast, so one has to learn to be conscious of when to open and close it, of what is in and outside of the bag. If the front pocket is well-exploited, the bag is front-heavy and not able to stand anymore; it will tilt over. I find it funny and a little awkward that this happens! It’s a bag with only one extra pocket and that the pocket ought to be used with care, apparently.

The other funny thing is that Vegetarian Shoes is a little mysterious about the material. The material is called Vegetan Bucky and it is ‘a hard wearing breathable microfibre that looks and feels amazingly like supple leather’ (source). I personally don’t think of that as an explanation of the material. A microfibre? I would want to know where this fibre comes from; is it a plant? Oil? Something else? As far as I’m concerned anything could be a microfibre.

These days fake leather can be made from anything: mushrooms (MuSkin), pineapple leaves (Piñatex), seaweed (Ocean Leather), and a lot more is being developed. There’s something to say for not using fake leather. I personally like soft materials, but I live in a rainy climate where water-resistance is an important quality for bags. I do not like black fake leather so much because it reminds me of animal skin, but I am more positive about fake leather in other colours.

All in all I’m pretty happy with my vegetarian satchel! I love how after all these years the bag came to me in the perfect moment. I’m a proud vegan and conscious consumer. 🙂

The (standard) satchel bag is currently available in eight colours (here). In addition, Vegetarian Shoes sells ‘mini satchels’ and ‘cycle satchels’. Check out the UK-based brand here.

Welcome new readers!

Thank you Naoki for adding me to your list of cool Dutch blogs for potential readers to find me.

I found an ‘environmental systems analysis’ internship! I’m really excited and slightly overwhelmed.

My spiritual background

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Other

It’s time for me to write something about my spiritual background! In the last few years I have learnt a lot and I have come to feel more secure about talking and writing about the theme of spirituality or consciousness. Also, recently I promoted my blog a little more and a friend even interviewed me about consciousness and meditation for his website. So now seems a good time to unfold a little, for who is interested.

Some of you may recognize yourself in my story. At least now you’ll know better where me and my writings are coming from. I will attempt to keep it short. Questions can always be asked, and they may be answered.

I did not write about ‘my spiritual background’ before, mostly because I deemed it not so important. I figured readers would get the vibe of my writing and that would be enough. The right stuff would come up in my posts anyways. But now I’ll give you a better picture of my path so far!

Life story

As a child I learnt to suppress my emotions so to survive in this harsh world. I got pretty disconnected from my feelings and emotions. I did not know much about them, really. My choice of studying BSc Biology really came forth of a rejection of things that are man-made. I liked nature because it was not human (except the human body of course). In hindsight I find this very funny, especially because later relationships became my most favorite study subject.

I moved to student houses and into student life, so my environment changed drastically. I have learnt a lot from being with fellow (Biology) students and from (living with) housemates. I learnt a lot about possible ways to be and to live. However, I did not greatly fit in with Biology students, because I was not so much a nature lover as most of them (in their own special ways). The others did inspire me a lot. Most certainly I was drawn there because I yearned to be more in contact with others, myself and with nature. Also, I now see that back then I found the social structures, relationships and the people much more interesting and worthy of my attention than the curriculum of mu studies. Read More