[Courses] [Spineful Living, lesson 1: Dreams]
carla at bratgrrl.com
Fri Mar 30 19:30:34 UTC 2007
What do you want?
It's a simple question, but it's one that most women can't answer. In general,
we're not raised to aim high or to think that we can do or have anything we
want, or that we can put our needs and wants first. We're raised to be good
little servants, and to take care of everyone but ourselves. So your first
homework assignment is to cast off your inhibitions, and ignore all those
little voices that are continually telling you "no, you can't do that." Dream
as freely and as largely as you can, and write it down. Forget about getting
it "right", which another common Curse of Woman. Nobody but you can tell you
what your real dreams and ambitions are. Even if you think you already know
this stuff, give it a try- you might surprise yourself.
Forget about "what will people think." Anyone who thinks your dreams are wrong
or stupid is a lamer and not worthy of you.
Forget about "I can't do that, it's not possible." That's not the point. The
point is to throw away all the garbage that holds back your thoughts, and to
be 100% self-honest.
Forget about "I don't know what my dreams and ambitions are." They're there-
you just have to sweep away the crud they're buried under. Maybe they are
modest, like becoming a beekeeper or having a little house with an excellent
garden to putter in, or finding mates for all the single socks in the world.
Maybe they're grand, like working for world peace or traveling in space.
Maybe they're character-related, like "I want to be more spiritual and not so
obsessed with collecting stompy boots." Whatever they are, your job is to
figure out what they really are and to put them on paper.
If you need a jumpstart, ask yourself if you're doing the work you really want
to do, or living where you want, or have the kind of family life you want.
If you want, share some of your dreams with the list. It might help other
people de-rust and start some ideas flowing. But it's not required. The idea
is to practice being 100% honest with yourself, and opening up those clogged
Hang on to your dream list, because you're going to need it throughout the
Your other assignment is to get the book "When I Say No, I Feel Guilty" by
Manuel J. Smith. It's an excellent book that's been around forever, and which
contains much of the inspiration for this Course.
Another excellent book is "Mastering the Gentle Art of Verbal Self-Defense" by
Suzette Haden Elgin. It excels at teaching how to recognize common verbal
attacks, especially of the "dang, I think that's an attack but I'm not sure
why," and how to not get sucked into off-topic, defensive, and pointless
Lesson 2 will be posted next Friday-ish. In the meantime, feel free to discuss
this lesson on the list. Please preserve the subject line.
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