BBA 2.0, Let's Get Woo, takes the last 18 months of life changes/new experiences/self-care and adds a layer of, well, WOO.
Carrie: Last week, Joni had an awakening. A true spiritual journey that culminated with a cliffside moment of zen and bliss.
And then…crisis. A flesh-eating infection from a spider bite.
Joni: My feelings about spiders used to be pretty neutral. NOT ANY LONGER. Spiders can burn in the fiery depths of hell. It was probably a black widow and I'm probably never going to sleep again.
Carrie: We talked about how to support her body while it fought off the infection with the aid of antibiotics and bleach. And while I love me some Ayurveda, there is a time and a place for bleach and antibiotics and to be clear, THIS WAS THE TIME AND THE PLACE.
Joni: The wide variety of medications/supplements I am currently taking completely fills one of those plastic storage shoebox type things. This includes (but is not limited to) two kinds of BRUTAL antibiotics, all of my psych meds (which in and of themselves is enough), probiotics (two kinds just to be safe), collagen and biotin, Vitamins A, C, and D, Manuka honey.
Carrie: Joni, while battling this pretty freaky post-enlightened infection, asked what this week’s assignment is. I laughed to myself because this is what Pittas do. Pittas ask for more when they have too much to begin with. And to be very fair, that is how our society is set up. It is how we measure success. It’s not enough to accomplish. We have to accomplish all the time; we have to push through, overcome the worst of circumstances, and triumph over the countless odds while being productive, damnit. Then we reward people with I-don’t-know-how-you-do-its and You’re-Superwomans while we just keep burning up and burning out.
Our world rewards the drive and determination of the Pittas and wants everyone else to burn like pittas, too.
Here’s the thing, though. It’s bullshit. I’m not going to tell a client, even if she’s one of my BFFs and boss, that she needs to do MORE when she's already stretched beyond what any reasonable person should withstand. I’m not going to give her more labor, even when she’s asking for it. I’m going to tell her what I tell other people who want to work themselves out of a problem for which the only answer is this:
Your body is working too hard.
You are sick because the world is full of germs and we are full of feeling like we are never doing enough and we constantly move and stretch to contain a life that cannot truly be managed. I’m not just talking about Joni here. I’m talking about most of us. Beyond the busy season of motherhood, or career-making, or dealing with kids or spouses or parents who have extra or special needs, or any and all and more of those things.
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We have to learn how to rest. Especially as women, we have to stop demanding so much of ourselves, which starts by understanding what reasonable demands truly are. SPOILER ALERT: Reasonable demands are not working from home for 40+ hours a week, managing a family schedule, managing a home, managing a staff, and doing near constant triage for all of the things that seem to come up on a near hourly basis. All of this is in addition to the emotional labor we inherently take on as women — invisible labor that drains us the most and generally rewards us not at all.
Joni: I'm just going to honest here and say this: When Carrie told me to do nothing but heal, I felt a strange combination of relief and guilt. What do I do if I'm doing nothing? I can't be doing NOTHING. But Carrie's admonishment was the push I needed to permit myself to let go of some of the shit I do on the daily/weekly/monthly — which is why I'm only contributing a few sentences to this article.
I have a necrotic lesion on my left shoulder that makes typing excruciating — 10/10 do not recommend getting bitten by a venomous spider.
Carrie: Reasonable demands are this, in this order: Care for yourself. Care for your dependents and partner. Care for your staff and coworkers. Care for your community. Give each of them an appropriate (not equal) piece of your exquisite pie. You’ve crafted it carefully. It has spent hours in the oven. Nobody gets all of it, and burned pie won’t help anyone, least of all you.