You know why Saturdays rock? Because you get to wake up at noon, eat a bunch of junk food in bed, make grrrlVIRUS flyers, send emails to awesome grrrls you wanna interview for your zine, write a blog and go back to sleep a few hours later and wake up again after dark.
And that’s what I’m doing and will be doing. It’s Saturday, and I currently got to the “writing a blog” stage, so soon, I’ll crash again cuz I feel it coming. Though when I woke up this morning (read noon), in my head I was thinking “It must be like 10:00 a.m. or something.” I look at my watch and I see 11, and I’m like “Awesome!” Then I see the 54 after the 11, and I’m like “HOLY SHIT! Fuck yeah!”
The truth is no matter how late I crash on Friday night, I never manage to sleep past 9:00 a.m. the next day. Once I went to sleep at 4:00 a.m. and woke up an irritating four hours later. And I was all zombishly exhausted, yet I couldn’t fall back asleep, and my entire day was fucked up. So this is why I was so surprised (and ecstatic!) to wake up at noon.
Clearly, my body needed this. Last Wednesday, I pressed the stop button instead of the snooze one and overslept (i.e. I got up at 7:30 instead of 5:30). That same evening, when I came back from work, I told my roommate what happened and since it was not the first time I overslept since I started working at that place, my roommate said: “I saw that you were still here when I woke up and I didn’t know why. Do you want me to wake you up next time I see you didn’t leave your room yet?”
I thought about it for a little while and thought it might be a good idea, but then my inner child protested: “That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. Your body knows better.” It’s true. In fact, ever since I discovered feminism, and even more so when I got into riot grrrl, then even more so when I got into grrrlVIRUS, listening to my body has been the smartest, healthiest and most revolutionary thing I’ve done.
“Naaa, thanks, it’s ok,” I told my roommate. “If I oversleep, it means my body is trying to tell me something, and it needs those extra minutes of sleep.”
My roommate agreed.
Since my therapist introduced me to my inner child about three years ago, I’ve been listening to my body quite obsessively, and allowed it to talk my ears off. That’s because all my life I’ve been repressing my body and my inner child, silencing it with all the tools that the patriarchy bestowed on me. I kept thinking that if I use these tools to suppress my body and my emotions, then I too can be heartless and careless like many of the members of the male specie I’ve encountered in my lifetime, and nothing can touch me, nothing can hurt me… except for me, of course. And I learned that the hard way.
So sometimes she yells out, sometimes she keeps quiet and I try to invoke her if I know she feels something is not quite right. I go with the flow of my body, the hormonal tides, the random cravings, the lunar influences, the divine forces that surround me and sometimes compel me to say a prayer, make a blessing, offer thanks… If I respond to all these things, I feel a sense of serene tranquility and rabid empowerment at the same time. Taking out the dogs for a walk and going to a job I don’t particularly like (to put it mildly) does not hold a fucking candle to that.
Also, ever since my roommates and I had that art night on Tu Bishvat and my friend Deb gave a lecture about natural products, I’ve been using these natural products on a regular basis. Since I already started using cloth pads over a year ago, I was already fluent in alternative menstrual products, and I keep using them. I also stopped using antiperspirant, because I know that if the body needs to sweat, keeping it from sweating is another form of suppression. The Mother Goddess gave us sweat glands for a reason. I also stopped using regular deodorant because aluminum salts suck, and I opted for all natural deodorant instead. Same goes for shampoos and conditioners that pack my system up with chemicals I can’t even pronounce (read the label of any pharmacy shampoo if you don’t believe me). Now I wash my hair with baking soda and I condition it with apple cider vinegar, and style it with grape seed oil (and yes, I do often smell like salad dressing). Thank you Deb. You rock my world!
Up until my natural products spree, I have been experiencing severe hair loss and had a fucking disgusting dandruff-infested scalp, and all that shit. But today, my hair has never been softer, fuller and shinier, hair loss has diminished significantly, and dandruff is completely gone. Smelling like vinegrette is a small price to pay.
I am still trying to find alternative methods for facial cleansers, moisturizers, body soaps, medication for allergies, etc. I’ve been surfing around for recipes and tried a few things. I am planning to try an olive oil and honey recipe for a hair mask, and a similar mix with coarse brown sugar for a facial scrub, a mix of different exotic oils (grape seed, avocado, evening primrose) for a body scrub… it’s definitely not as quick and easy as just buying some product from the pharmacy, but it’s definitely more gratifying.
Think of it as cooking your own food and savoring the hell out of it, instead of ordering some fast food shit and paying for it later on the toilet.
Of course, I can’t speak for everyone. My body has different needs and responds differently to different stuff. Other women’s bodies respond differently to any given thing. The key is learning to listen. The inner child always knows. Let her speak.
Deb in a grrrlVIRUS flyer!