Saturday, July 3, 2010

Quick Hit: Take a Break for Activist Stretching

Let's face it: we're all aspiring activists. I don't know when it hit you, but I had my first "aha!" moment (of which I'd have many, many more) when I staged a "boycott" against McDonald's at 5 years old. Whether or not my reasons for doing so were noble (and believe me, they weren't), I stuck to the ban and made sure to give friends & family a piece of my mind about the corporation.

While the issues have changed from fast food to feminism, this activist streak has only become more prominent in my life and is reflected in the things I care about. Like many of you, I have devoted a pretty huge piece of myself to these values- I'm sure you know how this goes. You attend numerous meetings about organizations and projects tailored to your specific "special interests." You read books and blogs and magazines and newspapers and anything you can get your hands on, just to stay up-to-date or to have new fodder for discussion and debate. You're the one who can't have a conversation about art or music or movies or sports without bringing up issues such as the oppressive nature of masculinity or the objectification of women's bodies. You eat, breathe, sleep, live your passions to the point where you can't see how anyone else could possibly not value them as much. I get it because I've been there. Heck, I get it because I am there. And being "there" is sometimes tiring.

I'm always inspired to keep on keepin' on by the amazing activists I come across, one of whom is the amazing, gorgeous hellraiser Bevin Branlandingham. For those of you unfamiliar with Ms. Branlandingham, check out her website, Bevin is an activist for women of all sexual orientations and of all body types, and her performances are moving and mind-blowing. One little snippet I came across through her blog is this demo of what she calls "activist stretching." While it's a little cheesy, I have to say that I found it incredibly refreshing. All of the moves remind you of exactly what you're trying to do all of the crazy activist things you do, and sometimes all you need is a little reminder.

So take a deep breath and remind yourself that we're all in this together! We're working toward the same goals, and there's something really refreshing and invigorating about that thought. I'm thinking we should start every Crozier meeting off with this stretch next year. Yeah? Yeah.

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