Unplug Yourself and Bark Back and Find Your Agency

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Unplug Yourself and Bark Back and Find Your Agency
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There’s an Anne Lamott quote that says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes—including you.”

And that’s a lovely quote and quite true in so many instances, but also sometimes? Sometimes it can feel next to impossible to unplug.

Sometimes that unplugging has to be a dramatic event where you realize that you have to rescue yourself from the habits that are controlling your life, or the people controlling your life and you have to actually take your own control of your life.

I know! I know! Terrifying.

But the first question is: how do you actually take control over your life?

Over at the greatergood, there are some potential possibilities that we’re going to share here. It’s a great article written by Anthony Rao and Paul Napper back in 2019.

Controlling Stimuli

They write:

“Agency begins with what you let into your mind—meaning what comes in from your environment. If you are lacking agency, it’s likely your attention is being hijacked and you need to figure out how to restore it.”

A phone next to you when you’re reading? It’s probably going to distract you, they say. But walking outside? It lets your brain recharge.

Same thing with email notifications. 

Another thing they suggest is . . .

“Associate Selectively”

They write:

“It’s impossible not to be affected by those around us—it’s easy to “catch” their emotions, for example, and our brains tend to synch up when we associate with other people. That means you should set boundaries with difficult people, disentangle yourself from negative online interactions, and be more conscious of how you might be vulnerable to “groupthink”—pressures to behave or think in ways that are contrary to your values.”

How do you do that when that person is your kid? It’s a good question. But they suggest making sure you have a lot of interactions with people who want to help you cultivate your skills and talents, grow to your potential, and help you with your positive beliefs. Volunteering and just chatting can help.

Move Around

Get up. Off the couch. Off the chair. Stretch. Walk. Dance. As often as possible.

Learn

They write: “People with high levels of agency are continually learning more and expanding their capacity to learn by adopting a more open, collaborative approach to everything in life.”

There’s a whole lot more we’ll talk about next week too, but for this week, try this:

  1. Put your phone in another room while you work.
  2. Go outside and walk if you can.
  3. Get up every 40 minutes and move around for five. Set a timer.
  4. Chat with someone positive or sign up to volunteer somewhere.
  5. Sign up for a free class or even listen to a podcast like this. Take some time to learn something.

And think about this:

“You can’t buy, achieve or date serenity and peace of mind,” Anne Lamott says in a TedTalk about being sixty-one. “It’s an inside job, and we can’t arrange peace or lasting improvement for the people we love most in the world. They have to find their own ways, their own answers.”

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Bark. Communicate your needs and sometimes the neighbor will bark back and you’ll feel less lonely.

Sparty

LINKS WE USE IN THE PODCAST

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/seven_ways_to_feel_more_in_control_of_your_life

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/wellness/help-i-found-a-weird-way-to-calm-the-dog-next-door-my-neighbor-is-furious-about-it/ar-AAVAHvE

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. 

Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

WE HAVE EXTRA CONTENT ALL ABOUT LIVING HAPPY OVER HERE! It’s pretty awesome.

AND we have a writing tips podcast called WRITE BETTER NOW!

We have a podcast, LOVING THE STRANGE, which we stream live on Carrie’s Facebook and Twitter and YouTube on Fridays. Her Facebook and Twitter handles are all carriejonesbooks or carriejonesbook. But she also has extra cool content focused on writing tips here.

Carrie is reading one of her poems every week on CARRIE DOES POEMS. And there you go! Whew! That’s a lot!

Goat-hair unibrows and the strange things people do for beauty

Loving the Strange
Loving the Strange
Goat-hair unibrows and the strange things people do for beauty
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This week’s episode of LOVING THE STRANGE is all about the things we do for beauty. These are things in history and now, right?

Because this world is weirdly obsessed with looking hawt and has been for a long time.

From CITI/IO it says,

“In Hollywood films, it is practically a given that female spies will look stunning, and female nuclear scientists will be attractive blondes. In this world, beauty is considered to be a peoples’ defining feature.

“People love to worship celebrities and buy magazines that show their ‘perfect bodies’ and ‘perfect lives’. This feeds an unrealistic expectation of what life is really like. Not everyone is a male or female model with flawless skin. Actually, many magazine photos are touched up by photographers to remove blemishes and spots.”

They go on to say that attractive people can spend up to a third of their income maintaining their looks.

In a 2006 article, “Examining a society obsessed with appearance,” Kathryn Masterson writes,

“Last year, Americans spent $9.4 billion on cosmetic surgery, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. More than 10 million cosmetic procedures were performed in 2005, including 3.8 million Botox injections. Cosmetic surgery is so common it has branched over to entertainment: A host of plastic-surgery shows, including “Extreme Makeover,” “Dr. 90210” and “The Swan,” allow us to watch the unattractive (or those who simply feel that way) pursue an ideal of physical attractiveness.

So, let’s talk about some of the weirdness:

TANNING

You know it’s weird that we try to change the color of our skin despite the whole skin-cancer issue.

And even before now and the time of spray tans (to avoid the sun-induced cancer) people would paint their legs too. During WWII especially when there wasn’t any pantyhose or nylon out there.

THE OPPOSITE OF TANNING

In Europe in those horrible Middle Ages, it was the thing to have pale skin because if you weren’t pale that meant you went outside and if you went outside? Well, that meant you were a peasant. Rich people did NOT work in the sun.

So to make that difference even more obvious, some would get some leaches and bleed out a bit to get that almost-dead look of vampires. Yay rich people? Using that money wisely.

Cough.

Things haven’t changed much.

WHITE TEETH AND BLACK TEETH

In Japan for a bit, military commanders’ daughters would have their teeth blackened with a lacquer made from taking vinegar and dissolving iron in it.

Eventually, the practice expanded and it was the aristocrats. And then those of us commoners had it for special occasions. It eventually was banned, but I’m not sure why.

It wasn’t just Japan though. Queen Elizabeth of England’s past had nasty teeth, black and naturally so because she ate too much sugar and didn’t have Crest, I guess. So, all these other ladies blackened their teeth to look wealthy and pretend like they had eaten tons of expensive sugar products just like the queen.

THE COD PIECE

Because we all want to pretend like there’s a giant kielbasa down there.

THE TAPE WORM

Because being skinny is worth parasites, meningitis and epilepsy.

BUTT IMPLANTS

Once, someone hacked my Amazon account and ordered butt padding. Honestly, I could use this, but they weren’t sending it to my house.

HOBBLE SKIRT

Because who doesn’t want their legs bound together?

NO HAIR

Everyone wanted lovely oval shapes back in the 1300s in Europe again. So they plucked a lot of their hair out at the top of their head. Then they got into it on their eyebrows. And then the church said, “STOP IT! WE ARE MAKING THIS A MORTAL SIN!”

Mortal sins are bad. You’re cutting off god’s sanctifying grace until you confess. But hey! You’re fashionable, right?

LARD HAIR

Well, not hair, but wigs. Back in Europe again, they wore some super massive wigs made out of wood frames. The paste on the frame? It was lard.

And that made some issues with rats.

Rats like lard.

So, when people took off their hair, rats would go on in and have brunch, or a late night snack and party down. So they invented wig cages and the term “rat’s nest.”

URINE MOUTHWASH

Apparently, some Ancient Romans would get their teeth white by making a mouth rinse with urine and it had to be from the Portuguese. We, allegedly had the strongest urine in the world. It was the ammonia, my friends. Or maybe the cod?

TOOTH INLAYS

According to Bust. Com, Ancient Mayans drilled holes into their teeth so that they could have jeweled inlays. Snazzy.


THE GOAT HAIR UNIBROW, OR JUST THE UNIBROW

Untouched eyebrows? In Ancient Greece, it meant you were pure. If you were like Carrie and had scant eyebrows, then you filled it in.

A unibrow meant you were a beautiful smartypants.

And they’d go to great  lengths to get that look. How great? Imagine making fake eyebrows out of goat hair and then sticking them on with tree resin.

RESOURCES

https://citi.io/2020/07/29/reasons-why-people-are-obsessed-with-beauty/

https://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-xpm-2006-10-29-0610280136-story.html

https://www.healthyway.com/content/beauty-trends-in-america-that-seem-weird-to-other-cultures/

https://bust.com/style/15479-tk-totally-weird-beauty-trends-in-history.html

https://www.cosmopolitan.com/health-fitness/advice/a3634/anal-bleaching-trend/

BE A PART OF OUR MISSION!

Hey! We’re all about inspiring each other to be weird, to be ourselves and to be brave and we’re starting to collect stories about each other’s bravery. Those brave moments can be HUGE or small, but we want you to share them with us so we can share them with the world. You can be anonymous if you aren’t brave enough to use your name. It’s totally chill.

Want to be part of the team? Send us a quick (or long) email and we’ll read it here and on our YouTube channel.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

Email us at carriejonesbooks@gmail.com


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast and our new LOVING THE STRANGE podcast.

We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. 


Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 263,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

One of our newest LOVING THE STRANGE podcasts is about the strange and adorably weird things people say?

And one of our newest DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE episode is about fear setting and how being swallowed by a whale is bad ass.


And Carrie has new books out! Yay!

You can order now! It’s an adult mystery/thriller that takes place in Bar Harbor, Maine. Read an excerpt here!

best thrillers The People Who Kill
The people who kill

It’s my book! It came out June 1! Boo-yah! Another one comes out July 1.

And that one is called  THOSE WHO SURVIVED, which is the first book in the the DUDE GOODFEATHER series.  I hope you’ll read it, like it, and buy it!

The Dude Goodfeather Series - YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones
The Dude Goodfeather Series – YA mystery by NYT bestseller Carrie Jones

TO TELL US YOUR BRAVE STORY JUST EMAIL BELOW.

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