vanessacarlisle vanessacarlisle

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Vanessa Carlisle  queer poly SWer writer, sex and gender educator, MFA, PhD, podcaster @OntheDresser, forever showgirl

Challenge yourself: 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 posts. #meditateforgood From 11/18-11/27 I’ll be meditating every day and posting once a day on how my meditation went. Supporting @threejewelsnyc that provides free meditation in NYC. Sign up now if you’d like to join! Link in my bio.
I sit on my knees with my cushion under me, not cross legged. I’ve found this is more helpful for aligning my spine and relaxing into it all. Shortly after I started sitting this way, I started training a martial art, and we often sit in this position. Whether I’m on the mat “sitting seiza” or on my cushion, this posture now really helps me calm myself, reconnect with my internal sensations, and focus. Just a suggestion for anyone who may find cross-legged sitting a barrier to enjoyable meditation. 😊🍃💖

This is where I sit when I meditate. My practice gets derailed by depression/PTSD symptoms, the very things I meditate to handle/heal. This is the cycle of depressive/anxious/trauma-related mental health issues: when you feel worse, your self-supportive practices are harder to do, so you don’t do them, and then you feel worse. You have to just force yourself sometimes, and when PTSD is related to being forced to do things, it gets even muddier. So. You get up, sit on the cushion, journal, exercise, blah blah blah all the while thinking “this isn’t helping” and then weeks later feeling a tiny bit better and still wondering if I’m ever again going to be flooded with relief, with a sense of safety, with joy, why does it take so these darker moments, I have started to tell myself: your whole life revolves around your desire to inspire and help others heal themselves and their communities. In order to do that, you must heal yourself. So I’ve taking up the 10-day #meditateforgood challenge from @threejewelsnyc. 10 days, 10 minutes, 10 posts. Check them out to see the Great community work they do and join in if you want to! My godmother once told me to “take exquisite care” of myself—let’s all get the pendulum swinging that way.

Thanks @tristantaormino for the inspiration, @nikukashef for doing an art giveaway, and @jacqthestripper and @speedracerisdead for the hashtags. I’m a forever showgirl and I have ideas about how shit should be done. #SLUTSVOTE #sexworkersatthepolls #midterms2018 #ivoted (edit was a credit I missed in draft 1)

Sick. Being “unproductive” is the greatest test of my self love. I’m irritable, I’m exhausted, I hurt, I’m gross, I look at social media and think everyone else is rushing along into their happy futures without useless me. It’s my ego wailing: I’m not DOING all my “shoulds,” when it’s enough to just feel this bad in my body. I’m so lucky I’ve got @j__andreas who took care of me on the worst day, scooped me into a car and put me in front of the ocean for a few minutes of spirit-raising. Offered me endless affection instead of keeping self protective distance. Reminded me that I’m worth as much as a person when I’m recovering as when I’m healthy and charging bravely ahead. (And not making fun of me for needing these reminders.) So I’ll be practicing gentleness and rest this week.

I wore a purple dress my grandma made around 40 years ago, a wreath of flowers I made today, and went as a Morning Glory to witness the wild world of my twin niblings @thelanetwins gathering candy in a heavily decorated beach neighborhood none of us lives in. When she saw a life size skeleton, nearly-5 yrs old Oakleigh said gleefully: “That one left their body behind!” #happyhalloween

Happy Birthday on the 31st to @gebthompson and thanks for making your home a spooky cute Disney villain party. All night we had amazing arguments about whether Indiana Jones counts as a villain—majority said yes. I dressed as the sadistic human trafficker Madame Medusa from The Rescuers, one of my childhood favorites.

How about a world in which your friend just has this pic in her phone and the bar just has some kind of printer that you can text it to which will replicate your image on egg white foam atop your cocktail and then the conversation is so good you use up every one of those happy hours together. Thank you @everydayerotic for traveling your mind with me and also really doing Los Angeles, so well.

In 2005, my prof and Masters Thesis chair Pamela Painter @xpamelapainterx told me: ”don’t date people who don’t read.” At the time, I was—and this advice cut into my heart. I knew it was true for me, it’s something I need to have in common with intimate partners. She also told me “when you’re working on a longer manuscript like a novel, it’s good to get short pieces published to keep your spirits up.” She taught an excellent short shorts class and I’m forever grateful for her sharp eye for repetition and her advice about summarized dialogue. I learned to LOVE writing short shorts with her guidance and I haven’t stopped. I’d like to thank her publicly all these years later, and the editors at @prisminternational for including my short short “Surrender Akimbo” (swipe to read the first half) in this gorgeous edition. (Edit was some quote marks for clarity.)

I’ve put false eyelashes on in public bathrooms, in cars, hotel sinks, bar manager offices, an alley behind a gig. I’ve done my make up in the dark more often than in a clean well lit place. I change my shoes and my clothes in the back of the car, or half hidden behind the door. I can get a face on in less than ten minutes and I can take off just enough to look “undone” but keep just enough on to be sleeping pretty. I know which products make me break out of I sleep with them on, and I stopped fucking with liquid eyeliner in 2008. (It looks amazing on all of you.) I can wear six inch heels for eight hours. My #femme shit is robust and reliable while my gender identity/expression is a little more fluid these days. A student used they/them pronouns for me this week. I felt seen and grateful, and also, had a little chuckle to myself about how I’ve been doing public performance of femininity (often for money) since before they were born. What does it mean? Does this pair of lashes make my dirty makeup sponge look like a face?

Today my dentist was surprised I traveled 40 min to see her—she shouldn’t be. Dr. Chung @birdseyedentistry is awesome. (Also I spend 1-4 hours in the car every day.) I never feel shamed for my bad flossing or lack of dental insurance at her office. Here’s that special novocaine face that happens after a filling. I have to save up to go to the dentist—I put cash in an envelope over 6 months for today. If you’ve got dental insurance, make an appointment RIGHT NOW. Don’t be all “It sucks I don’t wanna.” If I had dental insurance I’d have a cushy new mouth guard and another crown already. I was injured and financially manipulated by a real bad dentist a few years ago, so when I feel safe in that chair it means a lot. Anyway, go see Dr. Chung if you dread the dentist. She’s seriously the best.

You have NO IDEA how much i enjoyed this. Or maybe you can tell. 🔥😭❤️❤️#Repost @swop_sacramento with @get_repost
House of SWOP presents The Ball
Performer: @vixennoir
And @vanessacarlisle Photo Courtesy of Muir Productions
#swopsacramento #swball2018

I just spent 4 days straight with this boo doing #sexworkersrights and education and fundraising and they did ALLLL the driving. They made sure I got up super early on all the days, they helped me get ready and pumped my spirits up when I got insecure or intimidated. They watched me lecture and danced with me and recorded me and snuggled me when got exhausted. I’m SO lucky to have their love and support and I wish we got some actual vacation time now. Love you, @j__andreas 😭❤️❤️❤️💖

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