Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mid-Week Balance -- 27 April 2011

While this week's Mid-Week Balance is just as eclectic as last week's, I've chosen posts that all speak to the theme of regaining your voice. There are several different takes on this, and maybe some of the authors would be surprised to see their posts in that category, but that's how they scanned to me. I hope that you find something in this line-up that inspires you to free your own voice and let it sing out in the world.

First up, a post from Amy Jussel of the powerful media literacy blog Shaping Youth. This post is designed to help parents feel empowered to help their children cope with adult bullies, but I think that there are great resources for all of us to regain a sense of power when faced with dismissive, unkind, or hurtful behavior. As a bonus, she included at the end two YouTube clips. The first is of a beautiful, brave 8th grader named Alye, as she speaks out against her own bullies. The second is a song written in response to Alye's post. Taken together, these clips are a lovely example of how technology can connect and strengthen us. Here it is: "Tips for Handling a Real-Life 'Sue Sylvester from Glee'"

Pete Michaud
says that, "My mission is to inspire people to think clearly, to live deliberately, to conquer fear and embrace possibility, to express beauty, and to love completely." In this short and powerful essay, he asks us to take a step back from the quest to fix ourselves and consider refocusing our energy on embracing our journey and focusing our growth. My favorite line from this essay is this: "But you and I are not really a series of shortcomings. We are perfect and complete." I hope you enjoy this challenging take on: "Positive Psychology"

Tara Sophia Mohr of the Wise Living blog did a guest post for me last month. This week, she shares a blog post that asks how and why so many of us, even if we had the advantages of growing up in loving, safe homes, experience painful and sometimes crippling self-doubt. The post contains some interesting links to research that might lead to more understanding of how we have lost our voices (and how we reclaim them): "What Happened?"

If you read this long enough, or follow my Twitter feed, you'll know that Medical Marzipan is one of the blogs that I regularly share, because I appreciate Mara's voice and perspective. This week, she had guest bloggers from the Beauty Redefined. The reason that I chose this post to include in my "voice" roundup is that I think that we frequently feel silenced and outvoted by the media that we are awash in. I appreciate the reminder that we do have some power. "How do we fight back? By recognizing we’re in a fight, first off. And we truly are." In this piece, we're reminded that our voices do have a place in coping with media, and that we have the right--and the responsibility--to share them: "The Unrealistic Nature of Media Images and Fighting Back"

Leo Babauta's Zen Habits blog is new to me (but not to the 200,000+ people who already follow him). You may be seeing his voice in Mid-Week Balance a lot, because his writing is a fit for my goals here. This post really grabbed me this week. At first blush, it might seem an odd choice for a "voice" line-up, but stay with me. The post explores handling criticism. Read it first and just soak it up. Then read it again and consider using the same technique with your own inner critic. Imagine what would shift if you respectfully considered whether the harsh voice of that inner critic was actually valid. Imagine the change possible if your inner critic was gracefully incorporated as a productive member of the chorus in your head. Just try it out for me: "The Art of Handling Criticism Gracefully"

I learned a lot this week, and found challenges in some new and unexpected places. Please feel free to use the comments to share your own thoughts on finding your voice--and to share other great voice resources.