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Comparison is the ladder

Posted at 15:00 on 29 Dec 2020 by Pandora / Blake



A few weeks back I wrote a very personal post about body shame, gender dysphoria and bodily autonomy that is up there amongst of the most raw and emotional things I’ve written for this blog. It was difficult to write and a little nerve-wracking to post, but it felt important both to me personally and as a wider topic for discussion.

While all that was stewing in my brain, my therapist and I talked about the things I was struggling with . She recommended a book called The Body Is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor, and an episode of Brené Brown’s excellent podcast ‘Unlocking Us’, in which Sonya Renee Taylor comes on as a guest to speak about the book. I’ve not had a chance to read the full book yet, but the podcast alone has blown my tiny mind. All of the questions I asked in that post have been addressed simply by hearing Sonya Renee Taylor speak.

Her approach centres around a concept that she calls ‘the ladder’. The ladder is the hierarchy of bodies upheld by our oppressive society: the colour of your skin, whether you’re thin or fat, whether you’re disabled or not, how closely you conform to society’s beauty standards, your age, your transness or cisness. I hadn't realised it before, but most oppression in our society is based on the body, and on judging other people based on what they look like. Even wealth and class is often rooted deeply within the body; our size, appearance and how free we are to climb the ladder and gain status based on our body varied depending on our financial and social power. 

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Tags: body image, body positivity, body shame, feminism, food, gender, hierarchy, oppression, patriarchy, power, self-acceptance, self-love, shame, social justice, social transformation

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5 Ways to Build Trust

Posted at 16:00 on 9 Nov 2020 by Pandora / Blake

As my patrons know, I've just moved house, and am now living in an amazing community with friends. Forming this community has been a powerful experience. It happened surprisingly quickly, from realising during the March lockdown that none of us wanted to live in isolation again, to moving in together at the end of September. In between were five months of weekly Zoom calls, two in-person socially distanced park meets, and some of the richest group work I've ever done. It's transformed the entire way I think about relating. 
 

Several of us have previous experience of attempting to form a community like this, myself included. It turns out that if you want to make it work, you have to do the work - both within yourself, and with the group. We've taken our learnings from our personal experience, from self-development work and our studies into how to form high-functioning relationships, and evolved an organic process which seems to be working really well for us. It's challenging, but so worth it.
 

I've identified five key principles which I think are absolutely essential if you want to build trust and connectedness with people, that will withstand all the difficult things that come up in our lives. In this post I'm going to share them with you, and I hope you find them useful.
 

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Tags: communication, community, power, relationships, trust, vulnerability

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