[Courses] [Spineful Living, lesson 1: Dreams]

Carla Schroder 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 
circular arguments.

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.

Carla Schroder
Linux geek and random computer tamer
check out my Linux Cookbook! 
best book for sysadmins and power users

More information about the Courses mailing list