Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2020-06-26

Fail Every Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Bevin @ 7:19 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

I watched an interview with Sara Blakely the founder of Spanx today. She related the story of her father asking at the dinner table every week what she failed at. She would seek to try things so that she could report her failures. The lesson of this was that the only actual failure is to not try.

I was crying during this interview because I just wish I had that kind of environment growing up! I am working right now as a 41 year old human on how to embrace failure as a necessary part of success (because it is). Failing means you’re trying enough. Evaluated experience is part of my every day effort to get 1% better.

I will absolutely use everything in my parental possibilities to create a safe environment to fail in so you don’t shy away from trying. I want to create resilient adults!

Emotional muscles are some of the most important we have.

Try, fail, get better, be awkward, learn. Try, fail, get better, be awkward, learn. That’s how we build the world of our dreams.

xoxo,

Mom

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-25

Don’t Compare Your Insides to Other People’s Outsides

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Bevin @ 3:58 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

This month that I began this daily letter writing habit is also a month where I don’t have internet at my house. Due to the quarantine the only internet service provider that works in the remote village in the forest I live in (imagine it like the North Pole but only snowy a couple few weeks of the year) won’t install new service due to stay at home orders.

I would argue that Internet installation is an essential business, but the proprietor did not agree and that left me scrambling when I moved from my sublet to my trailer to get internet.

Mom (who you will probably call Nanny) was kind enough to set up the bedroom of her art studio as my office for the month while we wait for the ISP to install at my trailer. It’s been kind of rad to have a co-working space with my mom and Pat. I run into them way more often since I work an awful lot.

When I first moved up to Washington state to live in their neighborhood, I was curious how our dynamic would be. My mom was my primary influencer the first 17 years of my life, but then I moved away for college and then across the country for law school and the first 20 years of my adult life.

Something that was super interesting to me is that over these past few months as I watch and sometimes help my mom accomplish her goals, I started comparing my results to hers. The goals my mom works on are primarily art projects, service projects for neighbors or gardening projects. It’s fun to see what lights mom up and how much of a diligent worker she is.

However, I’m a Capricorn she’s a Cancer, we’re really opposite people. I’m learning how to tackle big tasks in daily micro chunks instead of fear-based procrastination and slap dash efforts. I’m learning how to deeply prioritize what I am moving forward and be okay with feeling out of balance. (Balance is a myth.)

I noticed, because I was comparing my internal process to my mom’s external results, I was feeling not good enough. That’s an old dusty rusty feeling. I know better than to compare my insides to other people’s outsides, but yet it still happens.

This morning she was explaining her preferred work habit which is slowly and steadily working at a task until it’s done. Verrrry similar to my current aspiration to achieve in a methodical way. But I wouldn’t know that if she hadn’t explained it.

Just a great reminder why it’s not nourishing to “compare and despair” as they say in Al-Anon.

Also, an effective use of time in the Great Uprising is for white folks to set aside 15-30 minutes a day to learning about anti-racism and doing some work to dismantle it. Read a book! Consuming social media about justice! Listening to a podcast about abolishing the police!

Here’s to eating the frog one bite at a time!

xoxo,

Mom

Mom’s a wildly talented artist! I’m excited for the body of work she’s leaving us!

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-24

Can we reconcile capitalism and liberation?

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

Just talked with my friend Magaly about systemic racism and the US. It’s fun to be a former lawyer with current lawyer friends because they remind me of dormant thoughts and opinions I haven’t been interacting with.

Since the United States was born at the intersection of genocide and enslavement, the question comes up can it even be redeemed? And yet, Mags and I are both the children of immigrants who sought opportunity in this country. Mags’ folks specifically escaped communism in favor of the opportunities of the free enterprise in the United States’ capitalist system.

We wondered how to reconcile capitalism, which is so inherent in upholding systems of oppression, free enterprise opportunity and the possibility of liberation for all. This is a great video explaining how systemic racism works and how unequal access to capital affects folks generationally.

I truly believe that each human contains the seeds of ideas that bring about our collective liberation and joy. I think that we’re all born with inherent dreams, desires and delights that lead us towards what we are meant to bring about in our lifetime. I mean this across all differences, that no life comes to the mortal plane in vain.

Some folks their place in the movement is to protect the environment, some folks are here to move forward scientific advancement, some folks are here to be incredible parents and caretakers. And some folks come here to love and teach us empathy.

Following our joy is part of unlocking and fertilizing that seed. Capitalist ideas that we must “work” or “produce” in order to have value get people stuck in careers and jobs that give them no opportunity to germinate those seeds. Absent a lot of grit, determination and support, it’s really difficult to germinate seeds on the side when just running a day to day life is so time consuming. Keep us working to death so we can’t revolt.

What is happening during this time that is supporting the Great Uprising is monied folks helping to pay bills of folks who are spending their time on the front lines doing protests. It’s incredibly cool to see folks come together to resource share in order to advance a huge social agenda to dismantle racism and move forward equality.

I would love to see more folks redistributing wealth in concentrated ways. Part of what I’ve always wanted to fund with my potential future millions is an activist incubator that supports folks with strong visions with the skills they need to create sustainable movements.

Obviously systemic oppression continues to exist because it protects the interest of the 1% and anyone with a full house isn’t going to ask for a new deal. But seeing even some rich folks doing what they can to keep the momentum of the Great Uprising going is heartening.

xoxo,

Mom

One of my fav pics of me and Magaly in Atlanta singing along to Britney Spears.

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-23

Balance is a Myth

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Bevin @ 6:32 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

Writing again towards the end of the day and not to start my day. And yet, I persist and we’ve gone one week of a daily challenge, which just means I’m moments from landing roots into when this will appear during my day.

Routine is something that has eluded me much of my life. My early career as a Real Estate Attorney (old habit to capitalize that, does it even need to be capitalized if you don’t need to “posture” like you do when you’re practicing as an attorney?) meant I was all over the NY and NJ metro areas every day. I could drive 300 miles in one day to multiple closings or, more heroically, going from deep in Brooklyn to Uptown Manhattan on a tight time schedule.

I never had routine in that job. Most of that type of career is problem solving, adapting and changing and other than regularly checking email nothing was the same from day to day.

As I’ve settled into the entrepreneurial life and I’m building a business to serve folks around their movement needs (aerobics) I have come to realize how much success is baked into a daily routine. Problem solving still comes up as a persistent need, but really I’ve noticed my true progress come from doing the same things every day to compound results.

I started that foundation when I read The ONE Thing, which also dispelled the myth of balance. There is no real balance in life and most people don’t feel particularly balanced. The things that really matter we need to attend to every single day (health, relationships, spirituality). It’s also true that small bits of effort compounded over time actually create real results.

I am about 7 months into a daily routine I set out to develop when I first moved away from Los Angeles. I was so grateful for my routine when the Corona quarantine first began because it was stabilizing. I keep up with it and continue to add to it as I need to while deleting habits that don’t serve me. Nothing feels like it’s in balance for long, something comes up and tries to disrupt and I cling to my routine and my momentum, knowing it will eventually feel more balanced again. But life is always lifing and routines serve us by allowing us to continue momentum by knowing what must be done in a day.

I was talking to one of my beloved coaching clients today about how social media is full of painful stories of reckoning with racism these days and it’s a lot to hold. I see this as using social media to collectively do shadow work–kind of like what happened with the #metoo movement. It’s a great use for social media, to connect over big ideas and share information outside of the six corporations who own all the media.

Social media is no longer where we can go to get our warm fuzzy dopamine hits and distract ourselves from what’s going on. This is beyond a marathon, this is sustained long term work that can really move forward if we routinize it. And care for ourselves!

Last year I set out to prioritize “What does my body want” as a centering question and it helps me know my self care priorities. Sometimes I can get so caught up in work that I don’t listen to my body.

I forced myself to take a dinner break because my body was saying “hungry,” and when I was up at the Lavender Queen (the name I gave to my trailer to acknowledge that it’s more like living in a boat than in a house) snipping greens to put into ramen and the Asshole in My Brain (TM) came up to tell me, “Gosh if you can’t even feed yourself on a routine how can you expect to have kids.”

If you can identify the “Asshole in My Brain (TM)” for you it helps to swiftly dispel shitty, limiting thoughts. I recognized the AIMB and I considered how balance is a myth, I’ll definitely figure out how to feed y’all and meals will all be routinized eventually by the time you show up.

xoxo,

Mom

A rainbow that appeared with no rain during my coaching call–so powerful and vibrant!

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-22

Learning Curves

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Bevin @ 5:14 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

Every tarot reading I’ve given myself in the past few months has next right action something to do with studying. I’m a lifelong learner but right now I’m deep in study. Perhaps even studying harder and more frequently than when I was in law school.

Connection is at the core–how to connect with people, how to communicate, refining my storytelling and listening skills. I’m also studying health and wellness products, Tantra, stretching modalities for trauma healing, and Grateful Dead.

Mostly those areas align with my professional goals, but the Grateful Dead thing is more of an ongoing revelation. I’m seeking to understand what it means to be a Dead Head and using Andy Cohen’s prescription for learning about the Dead one song at a time and it’s been a fabulous way to learn. It reminds me of how folks would spread the gospel of Ani DiFranco back in the mix tape era.

My current learning curves involve life, too, since I just moved into a travel trailer a month ago and so much is different in this lifestyle. I feel like there’s a new problem every day I need to learn to solve, not the least of which is continuing to organize my stuff in a smaller and smaller place. I’m getting simplified and that’s a learning curve. So is learning how to light the oven (no pilot light), not flush toilet paper and empty a “black tank” without any spillage.

I’m also streamlining my time with limited internet access. I am writing this from my mom’s art studio where I go to work until the internet service provider gets to my installation–delayed over a month due to covid quarantine.

I was used to being able to work and take care of myself at the same time. It’s been a big schedule disrupt to commute and plan ahead. I got really hangry frequently for a couple of weeks until I finally got a better handle on my schedule.

Anyway, learning curves are hard because it’s out of your comfort zone. But it’s also where life begins and our greatness unfolds. I want you to have a great example of lifelong learning in me.

Something that helps me remember to take it easy on myself when I’m frustrated about having to learn yet another new thing in order to cook a meal at home is to take a deep breath and consider, “How can I make this simpler?”

Oh, also, getting lots of sleep. Learning brains need rest and replenishment. Not playing video games, actual sleep. (I’m saying that to me.)

This time, where we’re learning how to create a new world together, is all about learning curves and leaning into the discomfort.

xoxo,

Mom

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-21

Mass Meditation as Resistance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Bevin @ 6:05 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

I just got finished participating in a global meditation for peace. I have noticed that the fervor by which some of my activist friends run out to protest injustice in the streets is the fervor I now feel when asked to participate in mass meditative action.

I think it’s incredibly powerful what organized people can accomplish together with a common vision. I learned that early on from my work with Girl Scouts and later participating in the building and dismantling of a temporary village of women every year for much of my young adult life. Together, we can accomplish far more than separately. We need leadership, support and action.

I’m not much of a protestor–I went to a Prop 8 protest in 2008 wielding a cardboard sign that said, “I deserve the right to be the Lesbian Liz Taylor.” That was the first time at a protest I was physically penned in and started to feel intense panic. Slowly but surely over the years I’ve been recognizing feelings of stress in large crowds. I dealt with that by developing coping skills for when I need to be in large crowds and avoiding them when I can.

I don’t feel disempowered or bad about not going to in person protests, there are so many great ways to participate in movements. (I talked about five big roles in the Showing Up Imperfectly for Change episode of my podcast.) I had to learn to release the guilt and shame around resisting differently than my fervent activist friends.

As I’ve become more of a spiritual person and a meditator, I’ve met other folks who are very psychically connected who react poorly to large crowds. (Nice to realize I’m not alone or some kind of activist failure for not wanting to do crowded protests.) I’ve also witnessed the profound power of collective meditation and consciousness raising.

During today’s mass meditation Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith charged us to ask God, “What does a kind and just global society look like? What does justice look like? What does proper policing look like? Where must we as a civilization grow? What is my individual role? What must we become?” It was a powerful space to open up to a vision of what’s possible.

We didn’t come here to fix a broken world, we came to create the world of our dreams. That starts with the boldness of dreaming.

If you want to see it (maybe this link will still work in 25 years when my kids actually read this or maybe someone reading this wants to get in on this meditation) here’s the link to the mass meditation. The video starts about 10 minutes in and the meditation starts 40 minutes in.

Orange mushrooms I found on my walk in the forest yesterday. It was a belligerently rainy cloudy summer solstice.

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-20

Pride is a Rebellion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , — Bevin @ 3:26 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

Last night I was reflecting on having a quiet Friday night in June. How just 10 years ago I would have looked at that as a failure. I was so enlivened by going out and celebrating Pride that I didn’t want it to stop and soaked up every opportunity.

Living in NYC meant a Pride festival pretty much every weekend (and, when we were lucky, the Mermaid parade would land on the weekend between Brooklyn Pride and NYC Pride). I called June “Gay Stamina Month” for a long time.

I was taking last night easy because this morning I did a very Day Gay event (11AM start time). I taught aerobics in a cannabis healing event for LGBTQIA+ folks and their allies as a fundraiser for Project Q. (For more info on Project Q and what they do, check out my podcast episode with Sabine Maxine who is the Director of Programs.)

Rest is an important component of self care for everyone, and especially for me in my healing work. I consider teaching Fat Kid Dance Party a healing.

I was remembering last night I used to live at this pace: going going going burn out / get sick / rest a little going going going / repeat. Now it’s rest, teach/agitate/rebel, rest, heal myself, rest. I’m soooo grateful for the internet that enables me to live someplace where I can rest and heal effectively and still participate in the world and connecting to folks. The internet, our global brain, is what is making this time in herstory so possible.

When I produced my first event at Stonewall I learned from the manager that they call Stonewall a Rebellion not a Riot. It’s an important distinction that I think is important to remember.

Our foremothers (primarily Black Trans women and butches) were rebelling against consistent persistent abuse from the police. Pride began as a rebellion, a protest.

The fact that today we get to “party” for Pride is it’s own kind of rebellion. Queer folks loving themselves and partying and dancing in celebration is rebelling against homophobia/transphobia/systems of oppression. But what’s most important is that we rebel in the spirit of everyone being liberated. I wish I had centered that idea more concretely when I was deep in my plus size party girl days but it’s never too late to learn and live our values.

My hope for you is that you remember that just because something is a law doesn’t mean it’s ethical. (Sodomy laws were still on the books in many states until 2003 when the Supreme Court released Lawrence v Texas.)

And that you know how important it is to distinguish rebellions from riots.

Happy Pride!

xoxo,

Mom

Lavender foxgloves are near the highways when I drive to town but there are only two plants in the forest along the path I walk. So special, and blooming just for Pride month!

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-19

Your power is in your daily habits

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Bevin @ 5:41 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

Day three of a new habit. I realized in the past few months that nailing down several daily habits is how I best function low-stress high-productivity. Not “most days”–every day. It’s liberation through discipline (or as Michael Bernard Beckwith puts it in his book Life Visioning–“Blisscipline”).

My intention when I set out to do these letters was to get them done and posted early in the day. My theory is if I center my “why” before I endeavor to get the day’s tasks done, I will be more productive.

Finishing this in the morning hasn’t been the result yet but as I keep working at getting this into a daily habit I’ll move towards shifting it into the “when” I was aiming for.

When I started my meditation practice ten years ago, I barely ever did it. Now I’m a diligent first thing in the morning daily meditator. I realized last year that if, in ten years, I can adopt a life changing habit I do at the same time every day, I can definitely habit my way to more life improvement.

Being willing to do things and not nail it right away has been a growth area for me. Something I want so much for you is to strive for greatness not perfection. I accidentally learned by being an overachiever perfectionist as a young person who naturally excelled in academics, that talent overrides work habit. That’s not true. Talent sometimes prevents us from our greatness because it teaches us to rely on innate ability instead of developing what really gets things done.

Something that has been crucial to my shifting mindset is practicing chunking things down into tiny daily tasks. “Winning the day” by doing what I set out to do and fulfilling my personal objectives.

I think a lot of what has slowed down anti-racism is folks feeling frustrated that the problem is too big for any of us to fix. And it is! It’s a huge issue that requires a lot of work. When a lot of work is spread across a lot of people is very possible to topple.

Unarmed Black people have been executed by police officers many times during my adult life. We have historically had big uprisings followed by petering out of sustained effort. What I’m hearing and seeing that is different this time is a call for sustainable long-term action.

If white folks spend 10 minutes every day focused on unlearning racism or having hard conversations confronting racism we could truly change the conversation and create equality.

So much change has already happened in such a short time! I’m excited for what is to come as folks roll up their sleeves and keep going.

Today is Juneteenth and while I’ve heard of the commemoration of the end of slavery before this year it’s centered like never before. People are talking about it everywhere and folks are having mass meditations, prayer vigils, protests and commemoration. I wonder if this will grow and if in future years it might become a federal holiday?

xoxo,

Mom

Love living in a tiny village of mostly like-minded folks who can’t wait to vote #45 out of office

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-18

Resources for Abolishing Prisons and Jail from Episode 41 with Sonya Mendoza

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Bevin @ 8:01 pm

Released June 18th–podcast interview with Sonya Mendoza, longtime activist, who was willing to come on my podcast and talk about what it looks like to have a world without police and prisons. Here are resources she suggests for folks who want to learn more about this work.

The Juneteenth website for finding protests: https://sixnineteen.com/

Resources:
1. Podcast – Ruth Wilson Gilmore Makes the Case for Abolition https://theintercept.com/2020/06/10/ruth-wilson-gilmore-makes-the-case-for-abolition/

2. Read – hey look how convenient an entire PDF of “Are Prisons Obsolete” by Angela Davis https://www.feministes-radicales.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/Angela-Davis-Are_Prisons_Obsolete.pdf

3. Watch/study  – This was done for Wilderness Torah, a synagogue in the Bay Area but it’s an incredibly great overview on what white supremacy is and how it functions in every day life with a lot of grounding in history so I would recommend this to anyone who wants to learn about systemic racism! https://www.facebook.com/wildernesstorah/videos/564074664291521

4. Another podcast, a throwback from a few years ago but I really can’t recommend this highly enough and I continue to push to people, is Seeing White, a 14 part podcast on the construction of whiteness that endlessly helped me formulate better anti racist arguments and has given many white people a better framework for why everything is happening right now is happening. https://www.sceneonradio.org/seeing-white/

The Role of Shame in Pursuing Justice

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Bevin @ 7:41 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

Something that keeps coming up for me is how much of a role eradicating shame plays in the toppling of systems of oppression.

Toni Morrison said about racism “If you can only be tall because somebody is on their knees, then you have a serious problem.” 

White supremacy continues to go unexamined because white folks choose not to talk about it. And we have the privilege to not talk or think about it, which is what white supremacy does. It’s shame that makes people need to feel tall at someone else’s expense.

A call we white folks are receiving now is to have uncomfortable conversations about race. This system of oppression will only topple as we choose to continue to dismantle it with other white folks.

So many people don’t speak out because they are afraid to get it wrong. They are afraid to cause further harm, that people might not like them anymore–shame!

Life paralysis comes from being too afraid to put anything out in the world that’s imperfect. Perfectionism is a stronghold that keeps you paralyzed and does not produce results. You stay stuck in fear and shame. (This is all based on the Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.)

One of the things that works best for me to cure shame is grace. Having grace with myself and grace with other people helps me release and recognize shame when it happens. I want to be an effective leader and encourage other folks to release their shame so they will at least try. Try having the hard conversations with Trump supporting relatives. Try connecting to a neighbor even though you feel ashamed that you’ve never introduced yourself.

Connection is where we are going to build this revolution and it’s going to require all of us to get outside our comfort zone, day by day.

Perfectionism has stolen so much peace and progress from my life. My hope for you is that you know that while you’re never going to be perfect, that you will always strive to be the greatest you that you can be. And that you recognize shame when it comes up and are able to diffuse it so you can get back to being great.

xoxo,

Mom

Selfie from last night–these are my quarantine bangs. Another life lesson I had to release shame about that I’ve learned before–always cut them much longer than you think because bangs shrink! My friend Sonya reassured me in 1-2 weeks they’ll seem way less short.

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-06-17

We didn’t come here to fix a broken world we came to create the world of our dreams

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — Bevin @ 1:15 pm

Dear Kids:

I’m resurrecting my blog to start writing daily letters to my children who I haven’t met yet. I am not even partnered yet, so in many ways maybe this is my version of How I Met Your Mother (in my case we’ll go with gender non-specified How I Met Your Other Parent), written in real time. If this was a sitcom I’d have someone as iconic as Bob Saget do the voice over.

I’m resurrecting my blog to share about what’s going on in the world. I was thinking about my 90% completed memoir, the archives of this blog and all my other creative output and how happy I was to have them at least for my kids to get to know me as a younger adult before they were in my life. I heard in a movie if a father hasn’t prepared his kids for his death (which is inevitable) than he has failed. That really landed for me.

I don’t know if I’ll live to know you as an adult. I want you to be able to come to these resources I’ve left when you’re ready so you can know me.

My mission in life has been to make the world safe for people to love themselves. I used to think that meant I needed to aim my work at eradicating the systems creating hostility for self love. (Whenever you feel bad about yourself think, “Who profits off this self loathing?” That’s a system at work.)

I’ve since learned that lasting transformation comes at a grass roots level, when each person makes a choice to enter into a practice of resistance through self love.

When enough people resist a system, it ceases to have power to influence and crumbles.

Day by day the world continues to change. Just 2 months ago I was talking to Alex the Medium on my podcast about how there is no going “back to normal” and that was just about the Corona Virus quarantine. Turns out this quarantine has set the stage for major transformation and the system of white supremacy is on the chopping block.

I wanted to start this daily reflection to share this time with you, to share some of the things I’m learning, witnessing, amplifying and how we are working together to create a better world for you. You are my “Big why,” the “Why that makes me cry” that inspires me to work as hard as I do.

I had given up real hope on having kids in the past few years and now have the privilege of working with mentors in my life who are helping me build the hope and possibility back up. When I start my day focused on you, it really pushes me forward.

I don’t think the work towards the social, political and economic equality of all people will be finished in this generation, and I will be passing this work on to you. My plan is to equip you with what I’ve learned so you never have to reinvent the wheel, you just get to keep making it better.

I also know kids really absorb what actions they witness adults in their life doing. I’m dedicated to getting 1% better every day so you learn from me to have a growth mindset and live evermore in alignment with your values.

We can either stay attached to the nightmare or the possibility. Doing nothing and staying silent in this time is to stay attached to the nightmare. I choose to think in possibility.

The most important thing we can do as change agents is to dream the world we want to create. I believe each of us is planted with seeds for the world of to improve. When we play small and deny those seeds they die with us.

Diversity among the human species is our strength!! We are taught through the matrix of oppression that to be “safe” among other humans is to be homogenous. This denies the value that every person uniquely brings to the table. We lose those seeds! We can learn so much from one another by valuing all people, centering and amplifying the voices of the most marginalized.

Michael Bernard Beckwith has been saying at Agape services lately that in this changing time in herstory we are either a participant or a bystander. I choose to participate and share with others.

This daily blog series is performative self care–it helps me stay accountable and hopefully inspire other folks to persist in their own work. (I started my dancing in the forest videos as performative self care on Instagram Stories because I needed to be dancing more and I was super depressed. It worked! I’m dancing way more again.)

The more you are vulnerable the more folks connect with your heart. Sharing that I work to build a future for kids who I don’t even know yet, that I want to bring into a world with a partner I also don’t even know yet feels a little nutty, however, true dreaming should feel nutty. Three cheers for feeling awkward and doing the thing anyway.

I hope you dance!

Love,

Mom

My full-length quarantine bangs before I finally broke down and cut them myself on Saturday. The wild roses blooming delight me every day!

This blog is entirely supported by Patreon. Every dollar counts to making this work sustainable and maintaining the archives of this blog. Thanks to my awesome Patronus supporters (as my mom calls them) for co-creating with me!

2020-03-30

Worm Composting aka Vermiculture: Fun Family Activity!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Bevin @ 8:09 pm

My mom first showed me worm composing aka vermiculture when I was a teenager. I didn’t help much back then except to sometimes put the kitchen scraps in the bin, but it was really fun to see the worms enjoying meals that were otherwise waste.

Nowadays I’m living down the street from mom and helping her out with a fresh crop of worms! Vermiculture is a quality, fun family project!

Mom has used worm compost in her gardens on and off since the 70s. She has anecdotal evidence that the compost helps plants grow exponentially bigger than with miracle grow based on the results of her smaller worm composting last year.

Worm composing is essentially keeping worms as working pets. You create the right environment for them, feed them the correct scraps and in time have incredibly nutrient dense compost to put into gardens.

We have learned a lot in the past four months and I wanted to share some of our key learnings.

Plastic storage bins that are roughly this size have been most effective for us. We tried bigger bins and those didn’t fare as well as the more shallow bins.

Drill holes too small for the worms to wiggle out of about 2 inches apart so that air can get in and water can drain out. Holes on the bottommost part of the bin and around the top side of the bin are sufficient.

Drill holes near the top of the bin for air. My mom said these holes were too close together.
Drill holes in the bottommost parts where water will otherwise pool.

Lay down a layer of paper scraps, fertilizer and a bit of soil for grit, approximately 2 inches high total and well mixed.

Add in kitchen scraps. No citrus, meat or trash. Veggie ends, banana peels, coffee grounds (mom opens up her kcups and dumps the coffee out), tea bags made with paper filters, apple cores. Those kinds of things. I hold onto veggie ends for making bone broth but anything else ends up scraps for the worms. We learned that the worms did not like old bread or gluten free matzo. They loved the leftover flowers from dead hydrangeas but not the stems (they ate them clean like rib bones).

Next add in red worms. You can get them from a bait store or oder them online as my mom originally did. They multiply in the bins so start with 30 or so per bin.

Then a layer of leaves for insulation, and a layer of newspaper for insulation. Then a good amount of water so it’s damp but not drippy.

Set the bins someplace where they won’t freeze in the winter and maybe out of the light of the sun. Under a deck, in a corner of the garage or a shed are great spots. Set them on top of a tray (we used old plastic bin lids) so that you can catch the compost “tea” that drains out. This is great for adding nutrients to plants! We have many bottles of it after this winter.

You’ll need to visit the worms about every 3-4 weeks to add more kitchen scraps, more water, drain the tea off the drip trays and make sure the worms are doing okay (this is how we learned they were rejecting bread and matzo). Eventually, a few months later, you can go in and pull out the “worm casings” as mom calls it. That’s the nutrient rich soil.

Sorting through looking for worm friends!

It’s such a great opportunity to teach children about reducing waste, gardening, worm lifecycles and also it’s really fun and rewarding to have worms doing dirty work for you!

We’re using this time to expand our worm composting since, due to quarantine, we’re making the garden bigger. So as we go through and pull out casings for the garden we are creating additional bins and moving some of the worms into the new bins.

I didn’t get too terribly specific here since there are lots of resources and how to videos on the web and you tube. Wanted to share how fun and rewarding this project is and introduce you to this awesome adventure!

Hydrangeas that sprouted inside the worm bins! Excited!

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